Dubai: The Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA), professional facility management (FM) platform that connects experts from the Arab world, hosted a forum on ‘FM Digital Transformation and Sustainable Development – Opportunities and Challenges’ in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. The event saw the participants discussing the regional FM industry’s ongoing sustainable transformation amid rapid digital innovations. Featuring comprehensive presentations and a panel discussion, it was held on January 29, 2020, at the Al Khobar Business Park Tower.
The gathering came as part of MEFMA’s series of regional events staged to sustain dialogues on major market growth drivers and bring the Middle East’s FM community to an advanced level of professionalism.
Jamal Lootah, President of MEFMA, said: “Like the rest of the world, the Middle East’s FM sector is undergoing a massive digital transformation. Next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) are providing us actionable insights, which result in higher operational efficiency and environmental sustainability levels. This year, we expect to see more adoption of smart tools due to their numerous benefits. Currently, as per the latest report issued by the World Economic Forum, more than 70 per cent of industrial companies are in ‘pilot purgatory’ when it comes to their adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technology; only 29 per cent actively deploy Fourth Industrial Revolution technology at scale, and 30 per cent have yet to pilot this technology. We are confident that the use of advanced innovations within the FM community will accelerate in 2020 and beyond.”
MEFMA kicked off the program with a welcome remark, followed by a presentation by Suleiman Barada, CEO (Middle East & Africa) of S2E Transformation Inc. Afterwards, Bassam Masri, General Manager of IDC, delivered a presentation titled ‘How Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for buildings helps Facility Managers?’. The attendees also took the opportunity to network with industry leaders and their peers during the gathering.
The panel discussion was led by moderator Khalil Al-Refaii, Planning and Work Control Leader of Saudi Aramco. The panellists, who discussed the event’s main topic from their domain of expertise, comprised renowned key speakers from highly influential companies in Saudi Arabia.
The featured panellists were Khalid Al Mubarak, General Manager, Tadbeir; Suleiman Barada, CEO (Middle East & Africa), S2E Transformation Inc.; Dr. Talal AlHarigi, Executive Director, The National Training Center for Facilities and Hospitality Management; and Turki Matoog Althonayan, CEO, Arabian Security and Safety Services Company.
“The panel discussion served as a platform to explore one of the areas that we need to pay attention to, which is the industry’s sustainable transformation in the digital era. Our top-level panellists and participating FM professionals from Saudi Arabia and other parts of the region discussed and exchanged ideas how we could maximize the newest digital tools to deliver the best FM services while helping protect the environment,” Lootah said.
The event’s main sponsor was MEFMA Corporate Member, Tadbeir, the venue sponsor was Al Khobar Business Park Tower. While the National Training Center for Facilities and Hospitality Management was the supporting partner