Saudi Arabia is the largest facilities management (FM) market in the Gulf, accounting for about 55% of spending on the industry in the region, a top FM expert has said during the Facilities Management Leaders’ Summit held in Jeddah recently, according to a report in Arab News.
Richard Naylor, CEO of DTZ, said that there is huge potential for FM service providers in the coming years. The FM market in Saudi Arabia has attracted international newcomers since 2010. “When I first arrived here (in 2010) there were only two other international FM providers, but now there are at least 10 or 12,” Naylor said. “They see the potential in the market and they want to take advantage of it.”
According to Credo Consulting, the FM market in Saudi Arabia is worth $20-$29 billion per annum. There is 10% yearly growth.
One of the tools that are deemed to move the industry forward is the use of technology, which Alistair Stranack, partner and head of Credo Consulting’s Dubai office, said is yet to improve in Saudi Arabia.
He said that the first thing that needs to change is the way FM contracts are structured in the Kingdom.
“What is missing here is the incentive to improve the way you do something to benefit from,” Stranack said. “Technology only works if you use it to improve the way you do things.”
Goals of Vision 2030
He added that many of contracts now require companies to have a computerised system to record how FM services are provided in real time.
“If you have a system like that, you have to understand how you change your business process in order to become more efficient. If you cannot get any benefit from productivity, there is no point in investing in it,” Stranack said.
As Saudi Arabia moves towards achieving the goals of Vision 2030, changes and improvements are inevitable in different sectors.
Barry Clarke, , general manager of Macro in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, highlighting Vision 2030 and its implications on the FM market, said that the facilities sector is key to having three Saudi cities among the top 100 in the world, which is one of the aims of Vision 2030.
“One of the reasons I am very enthusiastic about this vision is the quest for quality,” Clarke said. He added that the word ‘quality’ was very much emphasised among the goals for Vision 2030. Quality “is an absolute must if we want to achieve the vision and improve our industry.”
He stressed the importance of including more women in the FM industry in order to achieve quality. “The real drive for quality is women. They have an eye for quality that very few men have”.
The summit was held as part of a three-day event dedicated to FM, cleaning and hygiene in Saudi Arabia.