FMJ.CO.UK MIDDLE EAST FOCUS
Fiona McDonnell, General Manager of OCS Emirates, talks to FMJ about the
prosperous 0iddle East )0 market and the signifi cance of winning the facilities
contract for the massive Sheikh Shakbout Medical City healthcare complex
MAY 2018 35
In January 2018, OCS Emirates announced it had secured a five
and a half year hard and technical FM contract with the Sheikh
Shakbout Medical City (SSMC), the largest healthcare facility in
Abu Dhabi. The agreement represents just one in a number of key
healthcare wins for the service provider over the past year, both
in the UK and internationally. The significance of this contract
also demonstrates how substantially the FM market is growing
in the Middle East, following the staggering rate of construction
that continues unabated in the region.
FM IN THE MIDDLE EAST
While the Middle East FM industry is not as well established as its
European and North American counterparts, the region nonetheless
o ers providers opportunity for significant growth, both in the short
and long term. BIFM’s third business confidence monitor for the
Middle East - conducted in 2017 – showed a wholly positive outlook
for the area, despite spending cuts in both the public and private
While this report also highlighted some additional challenges that
FM in the region has to address, namely a challenging economic
environment and reduced industry exposure thanks to marketing
cuts, the feeling was generally positive among respondents, with
a stable period of prosperity expected over the coming years.
McDonnell agrees, adding: “I have worked for OCS for eight years
now and have personally seen the Middle East market expand
rapidly in that time.
“Like any economic area it’s not without its challenges, but I
anticipate the region to only grow in importance in the coming years.
Most estimates place the global value of FM at around $1 trillion.
The Middle East region will definitely contribute significantly to that
growing figure over the next decade.”
This expectation is well supported. Research from Abu Dhabibased
event organiser FM Expo recently valued the UAE’s FM market
at $12.9 billion, with that figure expected to rise to over $17 billion
over the next five years. This rate of growth is primarily down to
some $629 billion worth of UAE-based construction contracts
currently in process that are expected to be completed by 2021.
Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East Facilities Management
Association (Mefma) has estimated that the nation’s FM market value
currently stands at $20.9 billion, with this figure set to rise to $49.8
billion by the end of 2030.
Mefma’s research shows that Saudi’s market accounts for some
55 per cent of the entire Middle East FM sector, with the sustained
prosperity attributed to a consistent expansion in the real estate,
tourism and retail sectors as part of Saudi Vision 2030 – the nation’s
plan to reduce dependency on oil and diversify its economy by
developing public service sectors such as health, education,
infrastructure, recreation and tourism.
In short, it’s safe to say there will be plenty of good news for FM
service providers looking to grow their footprint in the region in the
THE SHEIKH SHAKBOUT MEDICAL CITY
The SSMC is the latest hospital complex to open in Abu Dhabi. The
site reflects the UAE’s striving for clinical excellence and is one of
the largest hospitals in the region, placed strategically within the Al
Mafraq area of the capital of Abu Dhabi, covering 300,000 sq m.
It is distinctive in the region for providing advanced burn treatment
– the first centre within the UAE to provide such a speciality. It also
o ers medical services in orthopaedic and thoracic surgery, cardiac
services, and other advanced medical provision to meet the growing
medical needs of the region. Before the construction of the site,
patients oª en had to seek specialist medical treatment overseas.
The SSMC represents a cost-e ective solution to this problem.
On such a huge site, the FM service delivery challenge for OCS
Emirates is clear. With some 440 permanent medical sta and 1,800
nursing sta on site at any one time, the sprawling city facility
requires a high degree of service in order to keep it at peak function.
The SSMC counts 732 beds, two presidential suites, 36 VIP suites,
an intensive care unit with several operating rooms, emergency
departments, labour and delivery rooms as well as a medical
research centre, all within its grounds.
The site is also host to cooling plants, a workshop, mortuary,
underground tanks, service tunnels, underground car parking, and
two helipads – all in need of ongoing cleaning and maintenance
regimes. This sprawling complex is also at the cutting-edge of
medicine, with robotic surgery units present on site to assist with a
range of di erent surgical disciplines.