Going with the simple estimate, it will require about a 300,000-strong FM workforce to support such a plan
The 2040 mega-urban master plan launch has brought some excellent news for the economy with specific critical strategic announcements. The emphasis outlined in the vision of tourism, manufacturing, housing, and others has also put the limelight on the service industry’s evolving role. The sector in this plan envisages a pivotal role and spectacular growth in the years to come. With a 134% jump in outlays for leisure, hospitality and all-out increase in outlays for education, industrial and other sectors, there is a robust outlook for the Economy. There are great feelers for climate sensitivity with the dedication of 60% total areas for green and natural reserves. This plan has in store many opportunities for the FM sector with an exciting role to play. However, industry players have to garner resources to beef up their capability to prepare for this massive build-up in the making.
This master plan has its particular focus on the inclusivity of environment, culture and quality of living, which eventually means an exciting role-play for the service industry. Therefore, the FM industry is likely to get a significant boost and will have to capitulate on this.
This visionary master plan has a definitive role in the integrated service offering. This model will have immense opportunities for automation, technology and artificial intelligence. The master plan serves as a wake-up call on service providers to upgrade their capabilities to meet the future demand emanating from these sectoral pushes. Planning for such a mammoth vision will need them to transform themselves and reinforce their infrastructure. Facilities Management provides significant planning intervention for such planning processes. Therefore, the FM players will have to step forward to get involved at the envisioning stage of this master plan. FM companies need to be at the forefront of its implementation and execution. These have to raise their bar both in terms of quality and compliance. The maintenance and support standards will have to be upgraded to ensure best practices. Interestingly the master plan talks of integrated services and FM being an integrated tool or service offering will emerge as a significant game-changer.
Considering the ambitious timelines and scale-up plan, the FM industry needs to undertake massive innovation and automation drive, including upskilling. With the Dubai population reaching the 5 million population mark, the necessitated built environment will need many elevated service levels. There will be tumulus pressure on maintenance and, more so, to meet all the sustainability goals. Besides municipalities and developers, FM Industry will have to work in close partnership to elevate their Service levels to incorporate higher safety and environmental compliance. The newly envisioned sustainability regime will bring greater responsibility on FM to safeguard its key results areas and impact higher maintenance service standards, safety, ease and greater sustainability.
Each of the focus sectors outlined in the master plan for stimulus, namely tourism, hospitality, industrial, landscaping, and nature’s care, will get a significant boost to employment and will also quadruple economic gains to all the stakeholders. Going with the simple estimate, it will require about a 300,000-strong FM workforce to support such a plan. Even with the best of technology and automation innovation, there will still be many resources needed. The project touches upon the technological intervention, and indeed this will serve as the way for the industry to adopt AI and automation in full swing. The industry has long been waiting for a critical mass to enable adequate capital spent on technology to support the commercial viability of such funding, and the developments and opportunities envisaged in the master plan will surely pave the way for this investment flow.
It’s time for FM leaders to envision their respective roles and push to map their capabilities, and start planning. Whilst these opportunities await, it is time for the FM industry for full preparedness. These include upskilling, automation push, setting processes and building best practices based on localized needs and state of the art supply chain, notwithstanding the cost efficiencies. Indeed, this master plan will bring growth opportunities, but it will also require competitive supply chain costs, so the FM industry has to maintain lean prices whilst ensuring total efficiency.
Source: FM Middle East