Saudi Arabia alone will need around one million new homes over the next five years
Imdaad, a leading provider of integrated facilities management solutions in the UAE, has conducted a discussion on the strategic importance of facilities management in shaping a sustainable built environment and promoting socioeconomic development during the inaugural regional conference of the Middle East Facilities Management Association (MEFMA) held recently in Qatar. Jamal Abdullah Lootah, CEO of Imdaad and President of MEFMA, further pointed out that MEFMA will play a crucial role in maintaining the level of excellence in the region's facilities management industry, acting as a key source of expertise and know-how.
Lootah offered as an example the changing social and infrastructural landscape in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which according to a report by Saudi-based study group Jiwar will need around one million new homes over the next five years or 5.5 million units by 2014 to accommodate a surging population, a staggering number that presents unprecedented challenges in terms of maintenance and management of the built facilities. In light of such an enormous task, Lootah noted that it is equally important to promote education, training and knowledge sharing among key stakeholders of the facilities management sector, which is a crucial step in creating a comprehensive approach towards solving the future challenges in maintaining and managing built facilities.
"Education, training and knowledge sharing form the backbone of the MEFMA policy and serve as the cornerstones in achieving our long-term objectives in terms of sustainable maintenance of facilities. In this regard, it is our continuing commitment to engage professionals, governments, universities and all stakeholders of the society to address the future challenges in the field of facilities management. By cooperating with the government sector, we hope to help policy makers institute strategic reforms that promote sustainable practices in the maintenance and management of facilities," said Lootah.
"On the other hand, we are taking the initiative to collaborate with regional and international universities to develop accredited courses of the highest standard and ultimately make these courses accessible to the entire Middle East region. In all these initiatives, MEFMA will serve as a key source of expertise and know-how for all things that concern the region's facility management industry," added Lootah.
MEFMA board members also worked to develop a road map for the Association's short-term and long-term plans during the conference, which was also attended by MEFMA board members from Lebanon, UAE, KSA and Qatar. Initiated by the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) as a non-profit association, MEFMA provides a standardised framework for facilities management professionals, wider construction industry stakeholders, building owners and tenants to work with, and from, across the Middle East.