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Tue 31 Oct 2006 08:00 PM

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IFMA chapter for the UAE

The increasing presence of the FM industry has created a stir in the UAE, resulting in efforts being made to form some kind of institutional body to represent and support the FM profession. FM Middle East can reveal proceedings are underway to achieve this.

The growth of industry awareness about FM has prompted FM Expo organisers to start a Facilities Management Business Group (FMBG) to help industry figures form a regional Chapter of IFMA (International Facilities Management Association).

The initial ground work for forming the Chapter started back in 2004.

“We started collecting people who were already IFMA members – we got around six members and we tried to get other people involved and in 2005 we collected 45 memberships,” explained Dilip Khatwani, chief executive officer of Reliance FM.

In order to form a Chapter for the Middle East region, there must be a minimum of 25 local business citizens involved and part of the group.

The local Government must also approve the Chapter.

Khatwani and his group only had four or five locals and the Government failed to approve the Chapter.

Sinead Bridgett, project manager of FM Expo said: “The FMBG being set up will be a step forward to forming a Chapter of IFMA.”

With the industry still at a very early stage, forming an IFMA Chapter will enable people who are practicing FM and those responsible for supplying the market with products and services, to help with the development and education of the profession.

Bridgett said that she wants the Chapter to “bring awareness of FM to the region and help it gain respectability.

“It will also allow members to have knowledge about what is happening locally and keep updated of the developments within the market.”

The first meeting will take place on Sunday 6 November at the Renaissance Dubai Hotel during the first of monthly networking meetings, arranged by the FM Expo organisers.

The process behind gaining acceptance will take some time, but once it has been completed Khatwani believes the industry will reap the benefits.

“Any knowledge group is important for the facilities management industry to grow and add value to the region.

This group will get a lot of professionals to work together and share their experiences.”

He went on to say that when the group was first started back in 2004, they use to get together on a monthly basis and people from within the industry would give presentations.

He hopes this will continue once the FMBG has been formed and the Chapter has been established.

IFMA requires a number of written requisitions from different companies operating within the FM market.

These letters will be prepared before the FMBG meeting takes place so all that is needed is signatures from individuals.

Companies must be registered with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).

Bridgett said: “I think it will take about three months to establish it as we need to have three meetings first before we can register the FMBG with the DCI.

Then at that stage I am confident we will have the amount of local citizens we need in order for IFMA to get involved.”

With many people within the industry talking about educating others so they can fully understand and appreciate the market, the attempt to form a Chapter has come just at the right time.

“There has to be a group of companies working together to get the business group up and running and finally the chapter,” added Khatwani.

The group plans to start the process within the UAE as this is where the most interest lies.

Once established, Khatwani thinks other parts of the Middle East will want to get involved.

“There has been lots of interest from other places like Saudi and Kuwait, they are very keen to get involved.”

The group is set to bring enormous benefits to the UAE’s FM market.

Bridgett said: “I believe it will help to establish good bylaws about construction and implementing proper rules and laws for the management and maintenance within the GCC community.

I think it will change attitudes – an overall very positive step forward.”

“Khatwani believes the industry will reap the benefits of having a chapter”



According to the IFMA website, the top five reasons to join an IFMA Chapter are:

1. Local networking with professional peers IFMA chapters add special value to your membership experience.

A unique forum for FM professionals to network locally with their peers, chapters provide many avenues for professional and personal development through monthly meetings, educational courses, social functions and facility tours.

2. Chapter-specific member resources In addition to information and tools available through your IFMA membership, chapters offer resources specific to your local interests.

Many chapters maintain their own web sites, publish newsletters and local membership directories and provide employment referral services.

Chapter resources are important to your career growth, industry knowledge and networking.

3. Best practice sharing with local peers through chapter web sites, meetings and events you have the opportunity to talk with peers about workplace challenges and pose industry-related questions, receiving timely answers.

Chapters bring IFMA resources directly to you, making your membership experience more personal.

4. Local professional development programs Chapters sponsor IFMA educational seminars, offer round table and panel discussions, and present ‘hot topic’ speakers to members.

Chapters also organise certification study groups designed for members planning to take IFMA’s CFM exam.

Peer support and knowledge sharing contribute to enhancing your professional development.

5. Leadership opportunities Chapter committees and leadership positions allow members to contribute in areas such as program and event planning, marketing, web development and member recruitment.

As a source of personal development, participation as a chapter leader or organiser is highly rewarding.

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Shahzad Jahangeer 7 years ago

is there any IFMA Chapter established for UAE. please provide me informations

Felicidario O. Bollozos, Jr. 6 years ago

Is there any Qatar chapter for the IFMA ?