The Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA), which provides a dedicated platform for facilities management (FM) professionals, wider construction industry stakeholders, and owner associations, discussed a wide spectrum of opportunities as well as pressing challenges in Egypt’s FM industry on the back of the country’s fast-developing urban sector.
The association brought its series of networking events to Cairo to provide a platform for local stakeholders where they could engage and exchange ideas, experiences, and expertise under one roof. Held at the Grand Nile Tower Hotel, the event titled ‘The Future of Facilities Management in Egypt – Challenges & Opportunities’ saw the attendance of industry pioneers, leaders, and decision makers.
During the networking event, Eng. Mohamed Essam, Managing Director – Facility Management, Talaat Moustafa Group, delved deep into the future of the domestic FM sector based on the emerging trends and new developments at the local and regional levels. His comprehensive lecture was followed by Tarek Nizameddin, Senior Executive Director, Ejadah, who shared with the participants some of the best FM practices prevailing in the GCC region.
A panel discussion moderated by Eng. Essam was held after the individual presentations to allow industry leaders to give their insights into the current vital industry reforms and transformations and how stakeholders could take advantage of opportunities and face challenges in the midst of these changes.
The elite panelists consisted of Dr. Eng. Amro Kandil, Project Manager, Hill International; Mohamed Ahmed Mostafa, General Manager, Key Facilities Management Egypt; Osama M. Othman, General Manager, EFS Facilities Services – Egypt; and Eng. Sherif Maged, Senior Director – Housing and Transportation Services, the American University in Cairo (AUC).
After the panel discussion, the participants took part in a networking session also organized by MEFMA to promote future collaborations and partnerships between the attendees.
Jamal Lootah, President of MEFMA, said: “At MEFMA, we have always endeavoured to help reinforce the FM sector across the Middle East as part of our goals and objectives as an organization. We play an effective role in developing and maintaining operational strategies within the Middle Eastern markets. In Egypt, a growing Arab country, the FM segment is poised to experience a steady increase in the coming years on the back of the growing local urban sector. As such, we saw the need to provide a venue where concerned parties could meet, interact, and coordinate to capitalize on this expected expansion. The event was hosted around this need and we are happy with the results.”
“The event in Cairo provided the attendees a chance to connect with leaders and their like-minded peers. Apart from opportunities and challenges, the event also focused on sustainable FM strategies necessary to keep up with the environmental sustainability movement sweeping the country and the world,” he added.
Eng. Mohammed Essam also discussed the most important challenges plaguing the Egyptian FM sector. He pointed out that during the last five years, Egypt has witnessed a remarkable development in the field of urban development, which necessitated intensified awareness creation efforts to educate real estate developers, engineering and other professionals, students and graduates on the importance of facilities management. Such efforts have become even more relevant in view of the emerging challenges and an urgent need to enhance their capability to effectively handle management and maintenance operations that would boost performance, while also reducing operational costs and rationalizing energy consumption.
“Competition within the FM sector in Egypt is growing rapidly as a result of the accelerated pace of urban development, and the competitiveness rate has increased by at least 60 per cent among local companies. We can say that real estate companies are increasingly adopting management best practices, with leading companies in the Egyptian market recognizing the important role of management and maintenance functions in improving performance and efficiency”, he added.
Meanwhile, new companies will still need some time to gain an in-depth understanding of the importance of facilities management. We are upbeat about the development prospects of facility management sector in Egypt, which will undoubtedly witness a significant growth over the next few years to become a prominent market in the Middle East, especially in light of the efforts exerted by MEFMA to facilitate the contribution of facilities management to meet the growing development needs locally and regionally,” said Essam.