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Sat 14 Nov 2009 04:00 AM

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These days, everyone’s a jack of all trades

Well, it's me again. Back at the helm of facilities management Middle East and ready to listen to those willing to teach me all that I don't understand about this all-ecompassing, all-things-to-all-people industry.

Well, it's me again. Back at the helm of facilities management Middle East and ready to listen to those willing to teach me all that I don't understand about this all-ecompassing, all-things-to-all-people industry.

Long time readers may remember a short stint at the end of 2008 when fmME was under my control. I seem to remember some of those same readers chastizing me for not really understanding facilities management. Fair enough.

Well, now I'm back as interim editor, I understand more, although perhaps only slightly, about facilties management and more importantly, as any good journalist, I'm willing to listen to my readers.

For the first time I was able to attend a Breakfast Club meeting and, to be honest, everyone reading this magazine needs to contact Stephen Barker to reserve your space around the table. It was fascinating to listen to the collective experience in the room talk about the issues in the industry and to know, like they did with MEFMA, that these same people have the influence and ability to effect change in one of the region's fastest growing industries.

In this issue, Stuart Matthews got up close and personal with those poor souls tasked with dangling themselves off a rope in an effort to clean and maintain the skylines of the Middle East. As the cover image (courtesy of Megarme) suggests, when I say cleaning the skylines, I mean it quite literally. It's one of those oft-required yet highly under appreciated skill sets that makes a real difference in the aesthetics and functionality of facilities.

Speaking of diverse job descriptions, Gerhard Hope, editor of MEP Middle East, contributed to this month's issue of fmME with post-show coverage of Cityscape Dubai and pre-show coverage of Big 5, not to mention a good bit of news.

And, in recognition of the many hats worn by FMs, Alan Millin's monthly column addresses the very popular sentiment that FMs need to be more involved at the design stage of buildings. Including them is paramount, says Millin, because FMs are uniquely trained to consider both the technical aspects of how a building functions as well as the aesthetic aspects of how it looks and feels for end users. These days, its seems, everyone's a jack of all trades.

Jeff Roberts is the group editor of ITP Business' design tiles.

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