The facilities management (FM) sector in the Middle East remains optimistic about prospects for growth over the coming year, despite some uncertainty remaining with the economy, according to research conducted by BIFM in partnership with i-FM.net and FM EXPO.
The FM Business Confidence Monitor – Middle East, a survey of FM professionals from the facilities management sector in the region found that 59 per cent describe the outlook of the facilities management business environment as ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ and over half (57 per cent) expect it to improve over the next 12 months.
While respondents recognise that fluctuations with the economy could impact their business over the coming year (56 per cent), they cited competition in the market as the biggest challenge (54 per cent). Interviews and qualitative insights show that competition in the region is being driven by an increasing number of FM companies operating as the FM sector matures across the region.
However, an emerging issue in this year’s survey is regulation and enforcement, with 21 per cent of respondents listing this as a concern. Again insights show that advancements in this area may favour larger organisations who are better equipped to respond to the region’s regulatory environment, where a gradual increase in the amount of regulation governing FM activities is expected.
The number of people working in the industry is also set to increase, with 57 per cent of respondents expecting their workforces to increase over the next 12 months. While only 8 per cent believe it will decline.
A sustained government drive to create smart cities in the region is set to increase the pressure on FM providers to deliver innovative approaches across all services. As a direct result 51 per cent of respondents expect to see an increase in investment for research and development, a 4 per cent increase from 2015, while 36 per cent of respondents believe investment in research and development will remain steady.
Technology is considered a tool for growing business by 87 per cent of respondents, with it potentially being used to provide greater depth and insight as to performance and also to tackle issues of the environment and sustainability.
The BCM research was created as a result of a survey and supported by a series of interviews. The aim is to establish a complete view of FM market confidence by canvassing the views of the sector’s senior decision makers as well as the teams on the ground delivering those services throughout the Middle East.