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Tue 14 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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FM at the financial hub

Monika Grzesik investigates how EMCOR promises to increase productivity at the Bahrain Financial Centre with its newly integrated facilities services.

Monika Grzesik investigates how EMCOR promises to increase productivity at the Bahrain Financial Centre with its newly integrated facilities services.

With an annual turnover of US $100 million, over 1000 staff positioned throughout the region, and operations in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, KSA, Oman and Qatar, Dubai-based EMCOR Facilities Services is already established as a leading player in the field of facilities services and property management in the Middle East.

Current projects include providing FM services for clients including the Qatar Olympic Committee, Dubai Airport, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, IFA Hotels and Resorts and Nakheel.

The most significant benefit to the end-user is that while EMCOR Facilities Services provides flawless facility performance, they can focus on outperforming their competition in the comfort that the facilities they work in were designed to provide.

Now, as part of  an aggressive expansion strategy for the region, the company recently launched operations in Bahrain through the formation of a joint venture with Bahrain Financial Harbour Holding Company (BFHHC) and Financial Centre Development Company (FCDC), to create EMCOR Facilities Services (Bahrain). The newly formed company will offer integrated facilities services and property management solutions within the Kingdom of Bahrain.

To cement EMCOR's formidable presence as an FM provider in Bahrain, the company has signed a deal to provide comprehensive facilities management services to the landmark $3 billion Bahrain Financial Harbour development-a massive, self-contained financial city spread over 380,000m2 of seafront in the centre of Manama-which is set to reinforce Bahrain's status as the financial capital of the Middle East.

Phase one of the project, ‘The Financial Centre' is now operational and open for business. This 250,000m2 area incorporates the Harbour Towers (Bahrain's tallest towers) a project that offers high quality prime office space for the local, regional, and international financial services industry and the ‘Harbour Mall', which houses exclusive retail outlets, cafes and other leisure facilities, as well as the Bahrain stock exchange and brokerage and trading firms.

Integrated service solutions

EMCOR has been brought on board to provide all estate management and customer support services for the Financial Centre. The company plans to roll out an Integrated Management System for the project which will cover every facilities requirement, ranging from operations and maintenance, service procurement, asset and property management and integrated system solutions.

EMCOR's role will be to manage ongoing facilities operations, as well as to oversee the expansion, reconfiguration and renovation of the development, working with the client to develop an overall strategy for current and future facilities requirements. There will also be a call centre staffed around the clock for all current and future tenants of the Financial Harbour development.

"From self performance to subcontracting, we cover the full range of facilities requirements," says Robert Gavin Wood, general manager, EMCOR Facilities (Bahrain & Kuwait), "and we work with our clients to help them develop the overall strategy for their facilities needs-now and in the future."

Christian Roberts, CEO, EMCOR Facilities Services Group emphasises the level of service the client can expect: "We are committed to applying our international and regional expertise, people, systems and processes to provide truly integrated and best practice service solutions to the BFH development and to new businesses in Bahrain."

About EMCOR

EMCOR Facilities Services Group is a company of EMCOR Group, a Fortune 500 company with over $7 billion in annual revenues and a global leader in facilities services, mechanical and electrical construction and energy infrastructure. The company has offices in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain and has chartered an aggressive expansion strategy for the Middle East region with plans to enter Saudi Arabia in the second half of 2008.

This is indeed the first time that this level of totally integrated service provision has been implemented by an FM company on such a large scale development in the region. While this type of service is already in existence in Dubai and elsewhere it has not been seen on a project of this size before.

Wood has no doubt that EMCOR's  involvement in such a prestigious, landmark development will provide the ideal showcase for the company's expertise in the field, which will further drive the demand for integrated services, not only in  Bahrain but in the rest of the region.

"We have tied into a partnership with one of the largest financial locations in the world. This combined with its design and location is a signature site for EMCOR's Facilities Services in Bahrain, thereby allowing for EMCOR Facilities Services to showcase the value of total integration throughout the region."

We have tied into a partnership with one of the largest financial locations in the world. This combined with design and location is a signature site for EMCOR’s Facilities Services in Bahrain, thereby allowing for EMCOR Facilities Services to showcase the value of total integration throughout the region.

Answering questions

So what exactly are the benefits of total integration? Where does the value lie in this level of comprehensive service provision for the developer and also for the end user, and why should the client invest in this kind of service?

Wood explains that with a project on the scale of the Bahrain Financial Centre, it is undoubtedly helpful to have a single management company, with great expertise dealing with any issues that may arise. "Both client and tenants have a single point of contact on individual projects, and this will allow the client to gain from an immense amount of knowledge base that has been captured over the years, which in turn guides and ensures an improved service."

However, by far the main plus point of the integrated services solution is increased business productivity. "Our people have experience in the public and private sectors throughout the Middle East," Wood explains. "And whether we partner with our clients to provide tactical solutions to support their real estate strategies, or recruit, develop and retain our own onsite staff, we will ultimately help businesses enhance productivity."

Wood adds: "The most significant benefit to the end-user is that while EMCOR Facilities Services provides flawless facility performance, they can focus on outperforming their competition in the comfort that the facilities they work in were designed to provide."

For a prestigious development on the scale of the Bahrain Financial Centre-which has ambitions to create a world class business community-attracting the top players in global finance, it is hardly surprising that the prospect of increased business productivity would be a major draw. And Wood believes that other developers will be quick to jump on board. "Total integration is the way to go for larger projects. With the numerous benefits that IFM poses to both EMCOR facilities services and the client, the potential is tremendous and we aim to leverage the growing demand across the region."

Dr. Omer O. El Mardi, managing director, BFHHC and FCD agrees: "As per industry experts the facilities management market in the Arabian Gulf will be worth an estimated $892 billion over the next 25 years. The current construction boom across the Gulf is building a huge demand for facilities management in order to help provide expert advice in the planning stages of a building and help property developers maximise profits over a building's lifecycle. Against such a back drop we believe that an entity like EMCOR Facilities Services (Bahrain) will not only play an instrumental role in the Financial Centre but also several developments in Bahrain in the long run. We are upbeat that with the support and the confidence displayed by the stakeholders, EMCOR Bahrain will record an impressive start."

About Bahrain Financial HarbourA fully integrated, master planned development, the US $1.5bilion BFH will be a self contained financial community which it is hoped will secure Bahrain's position as the financial capital of the Middle East. Spread over 380,000 sq metres of prime sea front property in the centre of Manama, the development includes the Harbour Towers - Bahrain's tallest towers, and hopes to attract some of the biggest players in the global finance industry.

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