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Sun 5 Jul 2009 04:00 AM

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Ruler’s court!

This month's fmME Breakfast Club meeting - the forum for passionate industry leaders and knowledge sharers - delivered the constitution of the ‘Facilities Management Business Group'. Read on to find out just how important this step is...

Ruler’s court!
FINE-TOOTH- COMB: guests thrash out the finer points of the business group.
Ruler’s court!
Juma Bin Darwish Al Muhairy (JD), VP – Engineering, Dubai World Trade Centre.
Ruler’s court!
Louisa Theobald (LT), group exhibitions director SMG FM Expo.
Ruler’s court!
Dilip Khatwani (DK), CEO, Reliance Facilities Management.
Ruler’s court!
Stephen Barker (SB), chairman, fmME Breakfast Club.
Ruler’s court!
Andy McTiernan (AT), Property World Middle East.
Ruler’s court!
Omar Khoory (OK), Facilities Manager, Nakheel.
Ruler’s court!
Nigel Hambly (NH), MD, Modus.

This month's fmME Breakfast Club meeting - the forum for passionate industry leaders and knowledge sharers - delivered the constitution of the ‘Facilities Management Business Group'. Read on to find out just how important this step is...

Indeed, June was a critical month for the fmME Breakfast Club and its guests. In just its third sitting club member and VP of Engineering and Event Services, Dubai World Trade Centre, Juma Bin Darwish Al - Muhairy, presented fellow guests with the Facilities Management Business Group constitution.

This followed May's meeting where it was decided the FM sector needed a dedicated Middle East trade association to take the industry and its professional into the next phase of FM in the wider Gulf region.

Stephen Barker (SB):This is an historic step forward for the industry. We are facing a new business model here, what with the onset of strata law [‘condominium law no 27 of 2007, regarding ownership of jointly owned property in the emirate of Dubai'] and the attendant new powers handed to residential owners associations.

We, as an industry, have to present a unified front to end-users - and this a good thing. Billing and service provision transparency; all of the issue FMs and owners face concerning service charges and energy use need to be addressed, with a frame for standardisation across the industry. This can only be achieved through the formation of the Facilities Management Business Group (FMBG).

Juma Bin Darwish Al - Muhairy (JM):I have been speaking to Jumal Lootah, CEO, Imdaad, regarding an audience with the Ruler's Court here in Dubai. He has taken on the responsibility of arranging the meeting and suggests we put together a presentation on the importance of FM in the Middle East, the importance of managing and maintaining the built environment, the critical role of FMs in sustainability and energy savings.

I will work on a document and forward it on for your feedback. It's very important the message is clear and well thought out; we need the authorities to understand what we do and our social responsibility to the environment.

Nigel Hambly (NH):Having quickly read the constitution, my only observation is the restriction of the FM activities to the real estate industry which could be generally construed as commercial buildings. The British Institute of Facility Managers and International Facility Management Association have a broader scope that encompasses the industrial infrastructures and government estates. The Arabic translation of real estate may encompass these other areas.

But I am pleased to see the inclusion supporting the nationalisation programme, one I wholly support and would like to contribute to.

JM:To pickup on your point regarding the restriction of FM activities to the real estate market, the term ‘real estate' encompasses commercial and industrial facilities, government estates, infrastructure, public spaces and the coastline, for example.

Louisa Theobald (LT):The constitution encompasses a wide membership base, from small business to supporting members. What is a supporting member? Dilip Khatwani (DK):Supporting members are FM related individuals resident in the UAE practicing an industrial, commercial or other activity on a free-lance or partnership basis, or working for a non-FM organisation, but wanting to actively participate in the activities and decisions of the group, can, so long as they've paid their membership fee.

We don't want to be exclusive, but inclusive, that's very important.

JM:Indeed, this is a very important point. Take small business members for example. This is for companies that have less than five FM employees in the UAE operating through branches, representative offices or any legal entity. The FMBG is a support network and action point for everyone in the facilities management sector.

Andy McTiernan (AT):I think it's important the representative committee has to justify any disbursements through quarterly reports and annual statements.

JM:Yes, and the utilisation of credit balances has to be approved by members at the annual general assembly.

Omar Khoory (OK):The representative committee, what does that comprise of?

JM:The representative committee manages FMBG. Seven directors, with the right to vote, will be elected from members in the supporting, small business and corporate categories. And three directors, with consultative rights only, are elected from any of the membership options.

SB:To close, we'll wait for Jumal to secure a meeting at the Ruler's Court. That was the stumbling block for the previous attempts at forming a business group, so let us know and we'll publicise it to the industy as a whole.

Thank you all for your time and for moving this swiftly forward. See you next month.

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