Oriental Press signs agreement with Farnek to manage its carbon emissions, in UAE printing industry first

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has signed an agreement with Oriental Press, to manage its carbon emissions and to realise its goal as the first carbon neutral printer in the UAE and wider Gulf region.

The first phase of the project involves measuring the existing carbon footprint of the printing operation, including raw materials, energy consumption, production facilities, transportation, and other supply chain components.

Once Oriental’s CO2 footprint has been measured, Farnek can then focus on effective ways to reduce existing emissions and subsequently plan to offset the remaining unavoidable emissions, using cutting-edge software provided by ClimatePartner, Farnek’s strategic carbon management partner.

“That enables Oriental to offer carbon neutral paper products and pave the way for an upstream and downstream sustainability strategy, encouraging its suppliers and customers to become net zero too,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“A positive environmental strategy is no longer an option for commercial organisations, consumers today are demanding products that are sustainable and it is not only the printing industry that can benefit from carbon neutral products, the manufacturing industry in general can as well,” added Oberlin.

Established in 1952 the Oriental Group has grown to become one of the world’s premier printers, exporting products to over 80 countries worldwide. With modern manufacturing plants in Dubai and Bahrain, and Sales & Marketing offices in the Middle East and Europe, Oriental manufactures a comprehensive range of high-quality products in six business divisions: books, commercial printing, paperboard packaging, flexible packaging, security printing, and of course digital.

Oriental has two main production facilities, one in Jebel Ali, Dubai, where the focus is on soft and hard cover colour book manufacturing, most of which are exported to global markets. In Bahrain, through their 23,000 sqm printing complex, a commercial printing facility produces magazines, promotional material, annual reports, calendars and office stationery. In addition to this, there are separate facilities for production of paperboard packaging and flexible packaging products. And a separate security printing factory produces postage and revenue stamps, cheques, share certificates, and many other high security items.

“Amongst other certificates, we are already FSC accredited, which means that we only source paper that comes from well-managed forests and recycling. Reducing and offsetting our carbon emissions is the next stage of our environmental journey,” said Mohamed Al Zeera, Managing Director, Oriental Press.

“Carbon offset projects help counteract the release of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, whilst simultaneously improving the livelihood of people around the world. By supporting carbon offset projects, we can offset emissions that are currently unavoidable and therefore reduce our overall environmental impact.

“If the UAE is to achieve its commitment of net zero emissions by 2050, the government will need the support of the private sector, not only by reducing but offsetting their emissions,” added Al Zeera.   

ClimatePartner has been offering a wide variety of environmental solutions since 2006, ranging from carbon management strategies to enabling climate neutral products and services. They are also involved with numerous internationally recognised carbon offset projects and in addition, the company has also developed an IT solution for calculating carbon footprints and offsetting carbon emissions in order to make products and services carbon neutral.

“The climate neutrality of products can be verified online and stakeholders are be able to see the amount of GHG emissions that are generated during the production process and the type of climate action project that has been selected to offset those emissions,” said Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Sustainability, Farnek.

Practicing what it preaches as well as underscoring still further, its green credentials, earlier this year, Farnek inaugurated a rooftop vertical garden which grows salad plants for Farnek’s staff canteen. The food waste generated, which is calculated at around 125kg per day, is composted and returned to the garden closing the loop and creating a circular economy.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Photo captions: Mohamed Al Zeera, Managing Director, Oriental Press, signs the agreement with Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Sustainability, Farnek.

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company.

With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management and security services across several sectors; Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure and Entertainment.

Farnek signs MoU with Huawei

Farnek signs MoU with Huawei to digitalise FM Services

Farnek, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, Huawei.

Under the terms of the technical partnership, Huawei will assist Farnek with periodic knowledge transfer and support on smart initiatives, developed and supported via Farnek’s AED 200 million state-of-the-art staff accommodation centre – ‘Farnek Village’ located in Dubai South.

More specifically, Huawei will be supporting Farnek’s latest smart initiative, HITEK solution 4.0. by not only providing Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, powered by AI and Huawei Smart City, but also bringing operational technologies including AI security platforms and smart plant rooms. This will contribute towards Farnek’s increased agility, efficiency and dynamism.

HITEK 4.0 uses the increased bandwidth, ultra-low latency and enhanced security, to connect assets from multiple sites, so that they can be centrally monitored and managed.

This is achieved through the concept of a digitally connected workforce and customers, to its in-house stream of technically advanced and cost-effective solutions, utilising the Internet of Things (IoT), Mobility, Cloud, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technologies, amongst others.

“The system supports operational efficiencies, staff welfare, and sustainability while saving clients significant amounts of money by reducing manpower costs by up to 17% by transferring from traditional FM operational management to HITEK’s smart management,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“Delivering quality services and offering a seamless experience, which enhances our business capabilities, through our connected workforce, has always been our top priority and this is one of the main reasons why we decided to partner with Huawei,” added Oberlin.

Commenting on the technical aspect of the agreement, Javeria Aijaz, Senior Director – Technology & Innovations, Farnek, said: “Huawei is renowned for implementing the industry’s best enterprise high-speed network with Wi-Fi 6 and Smart innovative technologies which will be the basis for many of our innovative solutions moving forward, based on IoT, AI, high speed internet/network and smart gadgets.”

-Ends-

Photo caption: Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, signs the MOU with Dongyue Ouyang Managing Director, Huawei UAE Enterprise.

About Farnek

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

The Road to Carbon Neutral Printing

FM Consultancy of Farnek helps printers to become carbon neutral

The COVID-19 pandemic came as a severe jolt, creating socio-economic fissures that impacted society like never before. But come to think of it in a more positive way, it is here that a realization for environmental protection grew manifold. There was an urgent need to consider the ecology as an investment for the future.

The biggest challenge to conservation globally is the steep rise in carbon emissions from industry and motor vehicles. With climate change and pollution, utmost priority is being given to protecting the environment while at the same time undertaking much-needed development initiatives.  And for this, governments all over the world have begun to focus their efforts on becoming carbon neutral.

In a recent online meeting, Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Sustainability at Farnek Services, shed more light on the importance of this very point of carbon neutrality. Farnek is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management (FM) company. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek has a sustainability department and also works as a full-fledged consultancy service in the Middle East. Some of their iconic clients in the UAE include Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, Dubai Airport, and some prominent companies in Abu Dhabi.

The company boasts several awards for their initiatives in energy management, waste management, etc. “We are partners with Green Globe, an international certification body for the hospitality industry. And carbon management is integral to our sustainability strategy, which we initiated more than a decade ago,” says Ibrahim.

According to Ibrahim, the concept of carbon management is picking up very fast in the UAE and for companies, including big corporations’ carbon metrics is inclusive in the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) reporting procedure. Many organizations and industries are committing themselves to efficient carbon reduction as part of their sustainability objective and commitment to the fight against climate change.

We are also promoting this concept to the printing industry, which is often vilified for their excessive carbon emissions, from cutting down trees to the waste generated from printing.

Farnek has an agreement with Munich-based ClimatePartner, an international solutions provider for corporate climate action, to provide consultancy for a full range of life cycle carbon management services in the Middle East. According to ClimatePartner, up to 25% of the printing presses in Europe have climate-neutral printing products and demand is increasing, not only in Europe but worldwide.

Already sustainable changes have been seen with an increase in the use of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper which comes from managed forestry rather than from virgin forests.

The Carbon Management Process for printing involves three stages. This includes the calculation of CO2 emissions of the whole printing process of a company, calculating the carbon footprint of an individual product say for example office paper or a brochure or a book for a specific order and offsetting the emissions through an approved Carbon Offset Program.

Numerous well-known publishing houses have many of their books printed using carbon neutral paper, and the trend is certainly picking up,” says Ibrahim with an air of confidence. Increasingly more and more customers are demanding carbon neutral print products as part of their sustainability objectives as well.

Put succinctly, the definition of carbon offsetting is the action of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions arising from industrial, commercial or human activity, by participating in sustainable schemes or projects, designed to make equivalent reductions of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Carbon offsetting is approved by the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

This allows countries to fund greenhouse gas emissions-reducing projects in other countries and claim the saved emissions as part of their own efforts to meet international emissions targets. Explains Ibrahim, “The objective of the United Nations is to let companies do their business but in return pay for the damage done to the environment.

The central notion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is to let corporations maximize their profits while pursuing other pro-social objectives. We had meetings with several pulp and paper manufacturing companies in Abu Dhabi regarding the same project.”

Farnek has partnered with ClimatePartner, a German-based organization that offers companies around the world with climate solutions: from climate action strategies and carbon footprints to climate-neutral products with the support of international carbon offset projects.  “Canon works with ClimatePartner and produce carbon-neutral paper.

The meeting was concluded with an interactive Q&A session between Ibrahim and ME Printer Editor-in-Chief Alex Jahanbani who wanted to know more about how easily carbon management could be incorporated into the printing and packaging industry.

Excerpts:

Alex Jahanbani: The printing process is a very complex one with pre-press, press, post-press stages. We have to image the plates, plates go to the printing press, and then there’s inking involved, followed by coating, and then drying. Is your process a holistic one covering all these stages?

Nadia Ibrahim: For a complete Carbon Assessment all stages of printing starting from the raw materials to the waste generated from the final product can be calculated. This involves calculating CO2 from utility consumption, emissions for company vehicles, employee computing, CO2 emission from purchased goods including papers, inks and other chemicals etc. are also considered.

The calculation is based on GHG & ISO 14064 requirements and cover Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions. The assessment also evaluates the carbon footprint of each activity and identifies the activities that create the highest carbon emissions and offers advice about potential solutions to reduce them.

AJ: Normal paper making process involves more carbon compared to recycled paper. However, regarding inks, there are so many brands and varieties such as solvent-based, UV based, water-based inks. In printing, because of the complexity of the whole process, it is impossible to maintain zero-emission. What is your take on that?

NI: Zero emission is the ultimate objective; however, this is not a very realistic objective. The whole concept of Carbon Footprint management is to identify your existing CO2 emissions and focus on reducing them by optimizing your activities in the most sustainable manner. Nevertheless, emissions are unavoidable as businesses have to operate. For higher environmental commitment and action, the reaming emission can be made neutral by supporting a low carbon project through Carbon Offsetting.

AJ: Is there any Carbon Offsetting project being implemented in UAE at the moment?

NI: Yes. The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) has its own Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from DEWA Chiller Station L Project through adopting the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Farnek was the first company to purchase these offsetting credits. Through these credits we have supported many hotels and organizations to offset events and business travel in an effort towards carbon neutrality in the UAE.

AJ: It seems to me that Zero Carbon Emission is an ideal goal rather than something you can achieve in short or even medium-term?

NI: Exactly, Net Zero is a long-term goal however to achieve the goals organizations must set short- and medium-term goals to reduce their carbon footprint gradually. This should start with assessing their carbon footprint and planning reduction goals.

Even after possible reduction still, some amount of carbon emissions are bound to occur as we cannot completely close business operations. This is where Carbon Offsetting come into play, whereby organizations can compensate the CO2 emissions with a carbon neural project thus creating a balance in global carbon emissions.

AJ: So, this carbon offsetting applies to printers as well?

NI: Definitely; Carbon Offsetting can be achieved by any business or for any specific product. The first step in this direction is to calculate how much carbon is emitted annually from your printing activities or total carbon for a specific print product; this can be done through approved carbon calculator software like the one Farnek is providing.

Once the total carbon in tonnes is calculated the equivalent of this is offset through any carbon reduction project by paying a specified amount per tonne. This is however a voluntary activity but increasingly companies are doing this to reduce their carbon footprint and also as a CSR initiative because often it is communities in the developing world that benefit from these projects.

Farnek Hotel Management launches Flexi-Guest at AHIC

Hotel management company launches new hospitality app that digitalises the guest journey from pre-arrival to check out, enhancing the guest experience & improving operational efficiency  

Farnek Hotel Management, a part of leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has developed a ground-breaking hospitality app that digitalises a hotel guest’s journey from the initial reservation through to check out.

The app which was developed in-house by Farnek’s award-winning technology and innovation division, interfaces with the hotel’s property management system (PMS) affording guests a whole suite of services from uploading travel documents, such as vaccination certificates, ordering a car on arrival, room service and laundry. The hotel app can also send automated electronic updates and alerts to the guest, as well as e-registration documents, e-invoices and e-receipts, all in one convenient space.

Walter Knight, Director of Hospitality at Farnek said, “Flexi-Guest achieves three main hotel objectives. First of all, it offers the guest an enhanced experience, providing a seamless pre-arrival and check-in procedure.

“Secondly, during the stay, guests can order room service in advance, have laundry picked up or delivered, request early or late check outs, invoices or order a car to go to the airport. Because the app manages secure online payments, the guest doesn’t even need to physically visit the reception.

“Finally, the hotel benefits too. If the experience is good, the guest is more likely to return and also recommend the hotel to friends and colleagues. The hotel operates more efficiently, saving staff time and expense and has the added advantage of driving revenue through F&B and e-concierge services,” added Knight.

Farnek has just completed a successful trial of the app, having secured a contract for the Expo Village, situated on the Expo 2020 site. Farnek is currently responsible for managing the reservation services, concierge, front office services and housekeeping, for the 2,273 apartments.

“Feedback from the initial guest reviews, has been very positive,” said Knight.

Sustainability is never far from Farnek’s market proposition and Flexi-Guest is no exception. The app can estimate the carbon emissions generated by any guest during their stay and provide a cost should the guest wish to offset their carbon footprint.

“The fact that Flexi-Guest can interface with any hotel property management system, makes it extremely marketable. Our business strategy is to offer the app as part of a cluster of services or as a standalone, whereby a hotel or apartment complex could outsource it’s entire front office services to us, or just pay a licence fee to use the app,” said Javeria Aijaz, Senior Director – Technology & Innovations, Farnek.

Looking ahead, Aijaz added, “Although we are first to market with this app, we are already looking at additional services and improvements, particularly to the management and operational reporting.”   

The newly formed Farnek Hotel Management company offers a full suite of services including consultancy, management, outsourcing and manpower services. In fact, as a Facilities Management (FM) provider, Farnek has been supporting hotels and resorts to become more sustainable over the past 15 years.

Indeed, Farnek’s Hotel Optimizer software, can record, analyse and benchmark a property’s energy and water consumption, as well as waste generation, along with expert recommendations to operate more cost-efficiently and sustainably.

Furthermore, Farnek is a preferred partner and auditor for Green Globe the worldwide sustainability accreditation system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses.

“We believe that our 360-degree market proposition for the hotel sector, is unrivalled and our participation at the Arabian Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC) provides us with an ideal platform to showcase our services to a targeted audience of industry leaders, owners, investors and prominent management companies,” added Knight.

Photo caption, (L-R): Farnek’s Javeria Aijaz, Senior Director, Technology and Innovations, Khaldun Aburok, Director of Business Development, Markus Oberlin, CEO, and Walter Knight, Director of Hospitality, at AHIC 2021.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

Farnek launches hotel management company

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek has developed its hospitality division into an all-embracing hotel management company under the leadership of renowned UAE-based international hotelier Walter Knight.

Knight was originally responsible for structuring and developing Farnek’s fledgling hospitality division earlier this year. Farnek started by providing a comprehensive range of outsourced and third-party services, including concierge services, housekeeping, property operations, maintenance, energy consultancy (POMEC).

Farnek’s endeavours met with early success, securing numerous contracts which included the new Expo Village, situated on the Expo 2020 site. Farnek is currently responsible for managing the reservation services, concierge, front office services and housekeeping, for the 2,273 apartments.

Furthermore, under the trade name of Farnek Hotel Management, the company can now expand its services to cover all aspects of hotel and resort management from initial consultation to day-to-day operations.  

Knight, director of hospitality commented: “Originally we were aiming for a service offering, which not only embraced traditionally outsourced FM and manpower services, but also managing revenue driven services, such as central reservation offices and associated sales services.

“Now with our hotel management licence, we can approach hotel developers, investors, owners and management companies direct with a full suite of services including consultancy, management, outsourcing and manpower services proposition.”    

Farnek is no stranger to the hospitality sector in the Middle East and has been supporting the UAE’s hospitality sector for over 40 years, in which time it has amassed an extensive portfolio of hotel contracts, which include five-star brands such as Marriott, Sheraton, Sofitel and Rotana.

Its consultancy division has been helping hotels and resorts become more sustainable over the past 15 years. Indeed, Farnek’s Hotel Optimizer software, can record, analyse and benchmark a property’s energy and water consumption, as well as waste generation, along with expert recommendations to operate more cost-efficiently and sustainably.

Furthermore, Farnek is a preferred partner and auditor for Green Globe the worldwide sustainability accreditation system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses.

“Our strategy was to create an unrivalled 360-degree market proposition for the hotel sector, and we have now achieved that. Moreover, we also have some exciting smart products in development that will be launched very soon, complementing and interfacing with existing property management systems,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO Farnek.

“This gives Farnek a very clear competitive edge, in an industry that will see major changes in the way hotels are managed and operated, with the advent of artificial intelligence, sustainability, human capital development and the digitisation of asset management over the years to come,” he added.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Photo caption (L-R): Walter Knight, Director of Hospitality, Farnek and Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

About Farnek: Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

Farnek secures security contracts worth over AED 10 million in H1 2021

Leading UAE FM company Farnek to mobilise over 200 security guards as the firm wins new contracts across oil & gas, residential, tourism, education, and construction sectors

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek has underscored its security credentials with new contract wins totalling AED 10.6 million during the first half of 2021 in sectors including oil & gas, real estate, tourism and hospitality, construction, and education.

The company has been contracted to mobilise 211 guards to locations across the UAE to provide a full spectrum of security services. New contracts, which vary from one to three years, include Shanghai Electric Group, Al Wahda Investment, two Millenium Hotel locations, The Royal Grammar School Guildford, China Machinery Engineering Corporation and the Al Bateen Community, amongst others.

Farnek will use the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technologies as part of the company’s security operations.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “These latest contract wins recognise our security expertise and our understanding of the needs and demands of clients across a variety of sectors. We have adopted a range of new technologies to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry, which aligns us perfectly with our clients who demand a high level of technical ability when it comes to security services.”

Farnek has invested more than one million dollars into research and development in tech-driven initiatives, including its award-winning multifunctional smartwatch technology.

Unique to Farnek, the Android watch is programmed, coded and developed in-house and provides attendance and incident reporting, call facilities, geo-fencing, photo and video functions and health monitoring. All watches are connected to the company’s recently launched 24/7 command and control room, located in Farnek Village, the company’s new staff accommodation centre in Jebel Ali.

The control centre uses 5G and is Wi-Fi 6 enabled, meaning Farnek can take advantage of increased bandwidth, ultra-low latency and enhanced security to connect assets from multiple sites so that they can be centrally monitored, managed and guards can be provided with real-time updates.

Further underscoring Farnek’s growth aspirations in the security sector is the appointment of Ahmed Salah as Head of Security. The Egyptian national brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked in the Abu Dhabi security industry for over 15 years, before which he was part of the Egyptian Military Judicial Department.

“Ahmed has a deep understanding of security operations in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE, which will be invaluable in our next phase of growth. He has worked extensively in the diplomatic, government, education and retail sectors which are key areas of development and crucial for our ongoing expansion,” added Oberlin.

Salah will have an instrumental role in training, business development, risk management and will work closely with Farnek’s ICT division to ensure the seamless implementation of the latest security innovation and technology.

“I’ve been particularly impressed by the growth of Farnek’s security operations in the last 12 months. Not only has the company increased the size of its security division by almost 2,000 people, but it has also witnessed a significant increase in new contracts. This provides the perfect platform to develop the business further, an opportunity I relish,” said Salah.

“We are ideally positioned to utilise the technology and innovation at our disposal and secure our position as market leaders in the security field,” he added.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

Farnek experts lead the discussion at Smart FM showpiece

Khaldun Aburok and Javeria Aijaz, Farnek Senior Directors, led the agenda at the recent Smart Facilities Management Conference, which was held at the Sofitel Dubai The Palm.

As part of their insightful presentations, they discussed the current trends in the Middle East FM industry and outlined the technology implementations Farnek has made to secure its position as a market leader in smart and green facilities management.

Speaking at the event, which took place 18 – 19 August, Javeria Aijaz, Senior Director, Technology and Innovations, said:

“We recently launched the Farnek HITEK solution 4.0. This new system allows us to connect assets from multiple sites so they can be centrally managed and monitored by utilising the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technologies.

The system supports operational efficiencies, staff welfare, and sustainability while saving clients significant amounts of money by reducing manpower costs by up to 17% by transferring from traditional FM operational management to HITEK’s smart management.

Farnek’s award-winning in-house technology team has developed a range of cutting-edge technologies and initiatives such as a smart washroom, wearable technology, eProcurement, telematics solutions, facial recognition, and benchmarking and forecasting software to make buildings more sustainable.

Khaldun Aburok, Director of Business Development, said: “At Farnek, we are at the very forefront of technology development and implementation, which creates a distinct advantage in this incredibly competitive market. We offer our clients the very latest in smart FM, which has a far-reaching impact in reducing their costs, a key factor in the Middle East FM industry.”

Farnek HSEQ App

Smart FM provider unveils innovative in-house HSEQ app

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has launched its latest in-house innovation, a Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Management (HSEQ) mobile app, which aims to raise staff HSE awareness, monitor health and safety compliance, boost innovation, improve operational efficiency and quality management.

Specific features of the bespoke app include, hazard, technical and HSE incident reporting, plus HSEQ technical data, audit checklists and inspection reports. It also includes monthly maintenance and cleaning checklists, task specific risk assessments, Permit to Work, HSEQ Alerts and immediate Covid-19 reports.  

The custom-built application now gives Farnek staff and HSEQ management teams, quick and easy access to a complete array of online information, at any time, wherever they are, which they can capture and share running under the umbrella of latest and innovative state of the art HITEK – Farnek Solutions 4.0

Built on latest mobility and cloud architecture, the app also affords increased accuracy when it comes to analysing data, reports and record-keeping and can identify necessary actions to be carried out and even distributes these to relevant personnel for follow up and further action. Images can also be uploaded with reports to add a visual record.

“This is a significant step forward for our HSEQ division. It will virtually eradicate any delays reporting an incident, which was previously labour intensive, time-consuming, and generated a lot of paperwork. It was also open to human error when compiling records and producing reports,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“We also have the added advantage that it will also support our sustainability goals, through paperless reporting,” he added.

The HSEQ app is accessible through Farnek’s enterprise, single sign on, secure and branded app. The one stop vibrant platform with a host of features that will help to keep Farnek employees updated, with the latest company news and services, through customised notifications, which can also be integrated with social media platforms.

Another ingenious feature is that the app facilitates a digital payroll system via RPAY cards, to help employees send remittances seamlessly to their families abroad. It also offers convenient access to all other internal Farnek applications and there’s even a ‘good idea’ section, where users can put forward innovative ideas and suggestions to Farnek management.

Commenting on how the HSEQ app, complements Farnek’s smart business strategy, Javeria Aijaz,Senior Director – Technology and Innovations, said, “In short, the Farnek platform is designed to achieve paperless automated reporting systems, 100% online incident reports and to create a vibrant workspace with improved HSEQ awareness.”

Farnek’s ICT team has been at the forefront of the company’s technological transformation, having recently launched its new 5G and Wi-Fi 6 enabled, 24/7 command and control room. Increasingly it will connect assets from multiple sites, so that they can be centrally monitored and managed.   

“Ultimately our vision is one of a far reaching, digitally connected organisation, empowering our employees, for the benefit of our customers, by driving innovation and efficiency through a stream of technically advanced and cost-effective solutions, developed in-house.

“The HSEQ app is key to our integrated approach to FM digitilisation and we are now planning to develop a sustainability management module, a web app and an IOS app,” added Aijaz.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

Farnek Hitek Solution

Smart Farnek launches HITEK solution 4.0

Swiss Consul General to Dubai inaugurates Farnek’s new command and control room in Jebel Ali, praising the Swiss company’s innovative use of state-of-the-art technology

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, today unveiled its new 24/7 command and control room, located in Farnek Village, the company’s new staff accommodation centre in Jebel Ali.

Through its 5G and Wi-Fi 6 enabled, operational ‘nerve centre’, Farnek will be able to take advantage of increased bandwidth, ultra-low latency and enhanced security, to connect assets from multiple sites, so that they can be centrally monitored and managed.   

This will allow Farnek to rollout connected and transformative applications of technology that not only uplift the face of FM digitalisation, but also offer enhanced efficiency. This is achieved through the concept of a digitally connected workforce and customers, to its in-house stream of technically advanced and cost-effective solutions, utilising the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technologies, amongst others.

Following a tour of Farnek Village and the inauguration of Farnek’s command and control room, H.E Frank Eggmann, Consul General of Switzerland to Dubai said:

“I was particularly impressed with the innovative approach Farnek has taken by developing its own in-house ‘Swiss made’ technology. Equally impressive, is the way this is being utilised, which will not only improve cost-efficiency, but also has staff welfare and sustainability at its core. This is an excellent example of Swiss state-of-the-art technology at its very best.”

Beyond operational efficiencies and sustainability, Farnek’s HITEK solution 4.0 will save its customers significant amounts of money. The company has estimated that it can save up to 17% in manpower costs after traditional FM operational management has been transferred to HITEK’s smart management.

In addition, through IoT sensors, there is also the massive benefit of predictive and proactive maintenance, which can reduce downtime and improve the lifecycle of assets, facilitating remote monitoring with a fully connected and mobile workforce.

“In the case of manhours, a centralised system can manage multiple sites, whereas operating a traditional Building Management System (BMS) could well require a series of operators in each building. In addition, they may not be experts in every aspect of facilities management and probably will not have the advantage of benchmarking property performance,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

So far, Farnek’s award-winning in-house technology team has developed initiatives such as a smart washroom, wearable technology, eProcurement, telematic solutions, facial recognition, as well as benchmarking and forecasting software to make buildings more sustainable.

“As the technical specifications of 5G continue to evolve and expand, that will capture and encourage even more advanced IoT and AI applications, which could start to become a reality next year. So, we want to be ready to capitalise on these market opportunities, just as soon as the technology and connectivity is available.

“It is certainly going to take remote FM work to a whole new elevated level, enabling technicians to carry out tasks in either virtual reality or augmented reality environments, which are absolutely ideal for training purposes as well,” added Oberlin.

Standalone 5G deployment consists of user equipment — the RAN and NR interface — and the 5G core network, which relies on a service-based architecture framework with virtualised network functions. Network functions that usually operate on hardware, become virtualised and actually run as software.

“We have managed to develop our own 5G network infrastructure-based intelligent and connected platforms, which has its own cloud-native network core, which connects 5G New Radio (NR) technology, and non-standalone (NSA) infrastructures, which still partially rely on existing 4G LTE infrastructure,” said Javeria Aijaz,Senior Director – Technology & Innovations at Farnek.

“Until Etisalat and Du are able to build out the independent infrastructure needed for 5G, our approach uses a combination of 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), 5G NR interface, and existing LTE infrastructure and core network to provide a 5G-like experience,” she added.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Photo caption:

From left to right (L-R): Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek; Khaldun Aburok, Director of Business Development, Farnek; Javeria Aijaz, Senior Director – Technology & Innovations, Farnek and H.E Frank Eggmann, Consul General of Switzerland to Dubai.

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

Farnek wins FM contracts for eight national pavilions at Expo 2020 worth AED 16.7 million

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has secured FM contracts for eight national pavilions, worth AED 16.7 million at Expo 2020. The countries include, China, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Singapore, The Philippines, Bahrain, Morocco and Pakistan.

The largest contract of the eight that the Farnek business development team has acquired is for the Saudi Arabian pavilion. At over 13,000 square metres, the kingdom’s pavilion is the second largest at Expo 2020 second only to the UAE. More than 130 staff will be deployed to provide cleaning, pest control, operational support and facility integration services.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, commented, “The Saudi Arabian pavilion presents us with a unique challenge which simply put is its sheer scale. During the six-month Expo 2020, it will be open to the public for up to 16 hours per day, which will require a dedicated team of over 130 technical and cleaning staff, working shifts throughout the show.”

Images of the pavilion reveal an impressive rectangular, reflective structure that will stand at an angle and will cover a space larger than two football pitches. Soaring 27 metres into the sky, the facade opens like a gigantic window into the future, reflecting a society deeply rooted in its culture with unlimited ambitions.

The China pavilion is also another major contract win, that will require over 80 staff covering security, cleaning and pest control. The China Pavilion will also be one of the largest at Expo 2020 Dubai, measuring over 4,600 square metres. The China Pavilion symbolises hope and a bright future and is modelled on a traditional lantern with architecture that references ancient Chinese innovations. Like a wall inspired by fluent printing technology, which turns into a dazzling digital light show at night.

“This is a complex and intelligent structure,” said Khaldun Aburok, Farnek’s Director of Business Development. “And Chinese officials were confident that we understood how smart buildings worked and more importantly how to maintain, clean and secure them.

“We are currently working closely with Huawei developing smart security solutions tailored to our specific requirements, at our new AED 200 million staff accommodation centre – Farnek Village,” added Aburok.

Considering that Farnek is 100% Swiss owned and managed, it will come as no surprise to learn that Farnek has also won the FM contract for the Swiss pavilion. Based on tradition and innovation, this is another technically advanced marquee, where visitors can take a virtual hike through the Swiss countryside, it has a restaurant serving Swiss specialties and it’s expecting 15,000 visitors per day.

“The challenge with the Swiss pavilion was high footfall, understanding their technology and managing the highest standards of cleanliness for the restaurant as well as the high traffic areas,” said Oberlin.

“Switzerland is in our DNA – quite literally in many cases and so we had an in-depth understanding of their requirements and we have allocated more than 30 technicians to manage this diverse and innovative pavilion,” added Oberlin.

Sustainability was another key feature of the Pakistan, Bahrain, Morocco, Singapore and Philippines pavilions. In the case of Singapore, under their theme of ‘Nature, Nurture, Future’ visitors will go through an immersive 3D experience and witness a net-zero energy rainforest powered by a self-sustaining ecosystem.

Meanwhile the Philippines pavilion, which was inspired by an island nation, a coral reef will be brought to life in a sustainable space, where nature and technology are one.

“Time and again, we came across like-minded country officials who shared our passion for a future that is both smart and green and I believe that our clearly-defined proposition enabled us to obtain these contracts,” said Aburok.

Elsewhere at the Expo 2020 site, Farnek is also responsible for the hard and soft services FM of the entire ‘Opportunity District’ and Farnek Hospitality was recently chosen to manage the 2,273 new apartments in Expo Village. Farnek’s scope of work includes managing the reservation services, concierge, front office services and housekeeping.

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

About Farnek: Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

Farnek to fight climate change in Middle East with international partner

  • UAE-based smart & green FM company signs agreement with Munich-headquartered ClimatePartner
  • Farnek to offer carbon management programs to environmentally-conscious companies in the UAE and wider Middle East  

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday 30 June 2021: Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has joined forces with Munich-based ClimatePartner, international solutions provider for corporate climate action.

The agreement allows Farnek to provide consultancy and advisory on the full range of ClimatePartner’s life cycle carbon management services to help Middle East businesses, reduce the negative impact their companies have on the environment and to secure a sustainable future for generations to come.

“Carbon offset projects help counteract the release of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, whilst simultaneously improving the livelihood of people around the world. By supporting carbon offset projects, companies can offset emissions that are currently unavoidable and therefore reduce their overall environmental impact.

“Carbon offsetting is crucial if we are to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as the UAE’s target to reduce carbon emissions by up to 25% by 2030,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

Using the ClimatePartner climate action methodology, Farnek’s consultants will be designing tailor-made solutions for Middle East businesses. It starts by defining corporate and product carbon footprints followed by the implementation of a climate action strategy and a carbon offsetting plan. The final act is to communicate that to corporate stakeholders.

ClimatePartner has been offering a wide variety of environmental solutions since 2006, ranging from carbon management strategies to enabling climate neutral products and services. They are also involved with numerous internationally-recognised carbon offset projects and in addition, the company has also developed an IT solution for calculating carbon footprints and offsetting carbon emissions in order to make products and services carbon-neutral.

Commenting on their partnership with Farnek, Moritz Lehmkuhl, Managing Directorof ClimatePartner said: “Farnek will have access to hundreds of internationally-recognised and certified carbon offset projects that are currently available within our portfolio or in cooperation with our global network.” 

“We decided to partner with Farnek, because the company is widely considered a market leader throughout the Middle East, providing innovative and turnkey sustainable solutions to a wide range of organisations and was instrumental in bringing some of the first carbon management solutions to the UAE,” he added.

Farnek is the preferred partner in the Middle East for Green Globe Certification, the premier worldwide sustainability management system and certification for the hospitality, travel and tourism industry. Farnek has also developed an in-house, online solution called Optimizer which can carry out and benchmark complete energy, water and waste audits for building owners and managers.

Underscoring its green credentials, most recently Farnek inaugurated a rooftop vertical garden which grows salad plants for Farnek’s staff canteen. The food waste generated, which is calculated at around 125kg per day, is composted and returned to the garden closing the loop and creating a circular economy.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Photo captions:

  1. Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.  
  2. Moritz Lehmkuhl, Managing Director, ClimatePartner

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company.

With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management and security services across several sectors; Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure and Entertainment.

Farnek to compost 73 tonnes of staff food waste per annum

UAE-based smart & green FM company to use compost to grow salad plants in its vertical rooftop garden; composter helps Farnek to complete a circular economy  

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 9 June 2021: Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, is composting 125kg of food waste per day, at its state-of-the-art staff accommodation centre, Farnek Village.

The resulting compost is then used to grow salad plants in the building’s vertical rooftop garden, helping the company to close the loop and create a circular economy.

The composter was commissioned by Farnek to celebrate World Environmental Day on 5th June and measures three metres long, one metre wide and 1.3 metres high, with a capacity of 125 kilos. The machine processes all types of organic waste like curry, roti, rice, bread, eggshells, chicken, mutton, fish, fish bones, chicken bones, fruit, fruit, vegetables, peelings and other kitchen waste.

“All of the food waste from the staff dining hall is emptied into food waste bins. These are wheeled over to the composting machine, which uses special microorganisms to break down and decompose the organic waste. The process only takes between 24-36 hours and it reduces the original volume by 80-90%, so we end up with around 12-25kg of nutrient-rich fertilizer,” said Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Consultancy & Sustainability at Farnek.

“The decomposition process of food waste emits methane gas which is reportedly 25 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide (CO2). So, composting our food waste is an efficient way of reducing our carbon emissions as well as cutting down on our disposal costs.

“It is comforting to know that while we are serving meals to our 5,000 staff, we are saving up to 400 kilos of carbon and around 200 kilos of food waste every day. In the circular economy today’s waste is tomorrow’s raw materials,” added Ibrahim.

The above infograph illustrates how Farnek has created a circular economy.

Farnek arranged for a team of experts from Urban Ponics in the Netherlands to fly into Dubai to set up the rooftop garden and nursery and construct a 200sqm ‘shade house’, which provides a blend of shade and light to create suitable conditions for shade-loving plants to thrive with green shade netting, grow pods, lava buckets, misters, pumps, water tanks, irrigation and drainage pipes.

The produce is being grown using internationally recognised, sustainable methods including the use of vertical farming columns for a “mistponic” application, which is by far, the most sustainable soil-less growing technique, as it uses up to 90% less water than the most efficient conventional hydroponic and aquaponic systems.

“The 240 sqm area of rooftop, yields the equivalent of a half-acre of cultivated land, so, it’s a hundred times more efficient than conventional farming,” said Ibrahim.

Seedlings are grown in a dedicated nursery, in reusable plastic trays, which are lined with biodegradable bags, made from recycled potato starch. They are nurtured over a couple of weeks before being transferred into a small outdoor nursery. Once their roots have strengthened, they are ready to be planted in the main shade house. 

Farnek experts address Hotel Show delegates

Walter Knight, Farnek’s director of hospitality with Hege Aamo, head of housekeeping at The Hotel Show

Smart & green FM provider unveils new hospitality division

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2 June 2021: Two industry experts from leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek addressed delegates at the Hotel Show conference at the Dubai World Trade Centre this week.

Hege Aamo, head of housekeeping and Javeria Aijaz senior director of technology and innovation, each participated in their respective panel sessions which examined the advantages and challenges of outsourcing a housekeeping function, with a further discussion about the adoption of high-tech cleaning tools.

Commenting on Farnek’s overall participation at the event, Walter Knight, director of hospitality said, “The Hotel Show provided us with an ideal platform to unveil our new hospitality division direct to industry professionals from throughout the UAE and beyond.

“Together with our sustainability consultancy and more traditional FM, such as maintenance and security, we are now able to bring a fully comprehensive hospitality solution to market.”

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company.

With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management and security services across several sectors; Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure and Entertainment.

Technology and outsourcing under the spotlight as FM provider unveils new hospitality division

Two industry experts from leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek will be speaking live and in-person at the Hotel Show, which opens today (Monday 31st May) at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Speaking for the first time since her recent appointment as head of housekeeping for Farnek’s new hospitality division will be Hege Aamo, who brings with her a wealth of experience, having completed successful assignments in China, Latvia, the UAE, as well as her native Norway.

Aamo will be sharing her thoughts with industry professionals about evaluating the advantages and challenges of outsourcing a housekeeping function. Having previously held executive positions with leading hospitality brands such as Madinat Jumeirah, Emirates Towers, Hyatt Regency and Radisson SAS, it is hardly surprising that Aamo is passionate about brand identity and values.

“It is absolutely vital that when hotels consider outsourcing, particularly in housekeeping, that the outside staff recruited must be highly trained in all areas of their job, that’s fundamental. But it is just as important for the contracted staff to understand the essence of the brand they are working for and to become an integral part of the hotel team, not just a contracted worker in a uniform,” she said.

Joining Aamo onsite at the Hotel Show will be Javeria Aijaz, who is senior director of technology and innovation at Farnek. Award-winning Aijaz has been working on smart innovative strategies at Farnek for over a decade now with notable success.

Besides developing a smart watch, facial recognition and a smart fleet management system, Aijaz is currently working with Etisalat and Huawei to build a smart 5G campus at Farnek’s new state-of-the-art accommodation in Jebel Ali. Aijaz will be speaking at the HITEC series of seminars about which high-tech cleaning tools live up to their hype.

Commenting on Aamo’s appointment, Walter Knight, director of hospitality at Farnek said, “Hege will be a major asset to our division. She is a consummate professional and brings so much to the table beyond her undoubted talent and more than 20 years of experience.

“She is a leader as well as a mentor and I am looking forward to working with her on our first project the new Expo Village. Our scope of work consists of managing the reservation services, concierge, front office services and housekeeping, for the 2,273 apartments within the Expo 2020 site. So yes, a baptism of fire, although I’m sure Hege will take it in her stride.”

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Photo caption:  Hege Aamo, head of housekeeping at Farnek

Topalidis to lead Farnek soft services

The Brazilian national will be directly responsible for managing more than 200 duty officers and technicians while indirectly overseeing 4,500 employees across 600 locations, with a specific focus on health and hygiene, smart innovation, quality, sustainability and ultimately customer satisfaction. She will be working on major contracts such as Dubai Mall, Dubai Airport, Circle Mall in JVC, as well as RAK bank and du telecom.

“Despite the financial stress brought on by the pandemic, over the past 12 months our soft services division has managed to retain 98% of its clients and has secured contracts worth AED 350 million. So, quality, customer satisfaction and value are integral elements of our service offering,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“Ana has the experience and the technical knowhow to lead from the front and I am confident that she will be an invaluable member of our executive team,” added Oberlin.

With 18 years’ experience in the UK, Qatar and the UAE, Topalidis is no stranger to working on prestigious projects. Before joining Farnek she worked for Expo 2020 for three years, as senior manager of cleaning and waste management, where she was responsible for soft services and waste management across 300 locations from technical planning through to building handover and delivery.

Prior to Expo 2020, Topalidis managed and delivered the soft services, namely cleaning, pest control, indoor landscaping and waste management for Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), which comprises of Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, City Terminal and Al ain airports from 2013 to 2017.  

Last year, Farnek achieved GBAC STAR™ accreditation for its head office facility in Dubai, the first FM facility in the Middle East to be accredited by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the global cleaning industry trade association, in the Middle East.

Farnek established a cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention programme that minimises risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus. GBAC STAR facility accreditation illustrates that Farnek employs the proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices to combat biohazards and infectious disease in its own space.

“One of the major reasons why I chose to join Farnek was its market-leading position, especially in soft services. In the wake of the lockdown in the UAE, Farnek was the first FM company to market, with their sanitisation gateway, face recognition system and then subsequently the GBAC accreditation.

“My strategy is to drive cost and energy-efficient cleaning methods and procedures, develop a quality system through technical training, maintain our excellent ratio of contract renewals and develop new business opportunities by upselling and cross selling complementary services,” said Topalidis.   

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Photo caption: Ana Topalidis, Head of Soft Services, Farnek.

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management and security services across several sectors; Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure and Entertainment.

Farnek acquires FM contracts worth AED 131 million in Q1 2021

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has secured a raft of FM contracts, valued at more than AED 131 million in Q1 2021, of which AED 101 million is new business.

The contracts involve a broad spectrum of FM disciplines, covering both hard and soft services, as well as hotel management, a new division that Farnek has only recently launched. All of the contracts vary in length from one to three years and in total Farnek is mobilising 860 extra members of staff to service these new and renewed contracts.

Some of the major contract wins include housekeeping and hotel management operations for Expo Village, trolley management and MEP services at Dubai International airport, as well as cleaning services for Nakheel’s new Circle Mall in JVC and providing security for the National Petroleum Construction Company.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek said: “Almost 30% of these contracts were awarded to us from organisations based in Abu Dhabi, which underscores our growing presence and reputation in the UAE capital. Another pleasing aspect of our Q1 2021 contract wins was the broad scope of work we were entrusted with, including our very first hotel management contract, which was for the Expo Village.

“Expo Village has been designated as the official residential community to accommodate participants onsite during the Expo and comprises of eleven clusters of mid to high-rise buildings with over 2,000 apartments,” added Oberlin.

Other major contract wins in Q1 for Farnek include Accor, Meydan and Aldar entailing façade cleaning and manpower supply. These are in addition to the 65 new members of staff that were mobilised earlier this year, after Farnek had been contracted to manage a range of FM services for the Fairmont Dubai hotel, Revier Hotel, S Hotel and the deluxe Sonder – JBR Suites.

“The FM sector is exceptionally competitive and commercial contracts are awarded based on added value not on price alone. Therefore, we always make a point of demonstrating a high degree of specialist training and technical professionalism, offering a cost-effective, well-equipped, highly motivated, tech-savvy workforce,” commented Khaldun Aburok, Farnek’s Director of Business Development.

Moreover, with the successful rollout of the COVID vaccine in the UAE, (over 9 million doses have been administered so far this year) many organisations are now beginning to prepare for the day that all or most of the remaining restrictions are lifted, which could be within the next four months or so.

Although organisations could be allowed to operate more liberally, they will still need to be on their guard, fully complying with all government and public health directives, specifically health and hygiene standards. Farnek has achieved GBAC STAR™ accreditation for its head office facility in Dubai, the first FM facility in the Middle East to be accredited by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC).

And through that certification, Farnek has established an internationally recognised cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention programme that minimises risks associated with infectious agents like coronavirus. It illustrates that Farnek employs appropriate cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices to combat biohazards and infectious disease.

“This will undoubtedly provide us with a further competitive edge when more offices, malls, schools, hotels and restaurants start returning towards full occupancy,” added Aburok.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

Farnek’s vertical rooftop garden comes to life

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, in partnership with Dutch green-tech projects specialist developer Urban Ponics, has created a 240sqm vertical rooftop garden at Farnek’s brand new staff accommodation centre in Dubai South – Farnek Village.

Farnek arranged for a team of experts from Urban Ponics in the Netherlands to fly into Dubai last week, to set up the rooftop garden nursery and construct the 200sqm ‘shade house’, which provides a blend of shade and light to create suitable conditions for shade-loving plants to thrive.

Urban Ponics together with Farnek’s in-house engineering team, assembled the three-metre high, metal tube framework in less than two weeks. The completed structure is equipped with green shade netting, grow pods, lava buckets, misters, pumps, water tanks, irrigation and drainage pipes.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “The rooftop garden will now be able to produce over 3,000 leafy greens such as lettuce, coriander, kale and spinach, as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, capsicums and chillis.

“The first harvest should be ready in around six weeks and will be used in our kitchens, promising to be tastier, more nutritious and dare I say, ‘greener’, than ordinary salad plants.”

The produce is being grown using internationally recognised, sustainable methods including the use of vertical farming columns for a “mistponic” application, which is by far, the most sustainable soil-less growing technique, as it uses up to 90% less water than the most efficient conventional hydroponic and aquaponic systems.

Ryan Mitchell, Workers Welfare Manager at Farnek, commented: “Moreover, we recycle the condensate water from the air handling units to provide irrigation (misting water), we even reuse the nutrients washed into the runoff irrigation water.

Inside the shade house there are 40 PODs each two metres high and given their cylindrical design, optimizing vertical space by yielding 80 plants. The 240 sqm area of rooftop, which is the same size as a tennis court, will yield the equivalent of a half-acre of cultivated land, so, a hundred times more efficient than conventional farming.

“That’s one of the main advantages of utilising vertical farming technologies,” added Mitchell. “It’s the massive increase in crop yield per square metre and looking longer term, smart urban farming like this can help to reduce the ‘food desert’ effect in many densely populated areas. In essence any flat rooftop in the UAE is a potential market garden, irrespective of our arid environment.”

The garden even has its own dedicated nursery, where seedlings are grown in reusable plastic trays, which are lined with biodegradable bags, made from recycled potato starch. They are nurtured over a couple of weeks before being transferred into a small outdoor nursery. Once their roots have strengthened, they are ready to be planted in the main shade house.  

“We will be able to cut down on the amount of salad plants we normally have delivered reducing our carbon footprint. We can also improve the nutritional content of our daily meals which will improve the overall health and wellbeing of our staff,” added Mitchell.  

Finally, food waste collected in the staff kitchens will be sent for onsite composting, which once decomposed, will provide a compost rich in plant nutrients and beneficial organisms. This will be fed into the nursery pots, thus closing the circular economy and starting the whole life cycle over again.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Farnek appoints Knight to head up new hospitality division

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek has appointed British national Walter Knight as director of its new hospitality division.

Knight will be responsible for structuring and developing a new fully functioning hospitality division, which will provide a comprehensive range of outsourced or third party services. Quite apart from concierge services, housekeeping, property operations, maintenance, energy consultancy (POMEC) and security, Farnek will manage central reservations and front office services.

Talking about how the new vertical will develop, Knight said: “Ultimately we are aiming for a ‘360’ service offering, which will not only embrace traditionally outsourced FM and manpower services we will also incorporate managing revenue driven services, such as central reservation offices and associated sales services.”

Knight is perfectly qualified to direct Farnek’s new hospitality division having had more than 15 years of international experience, across different operations, ranging from five-star to mid-market hotels and upscale apartments. As a sales and marketing director, Knight completed successful assignments for Hyatt in Kazakhstan and Avari in Pakistan, before taking up operational and general management positions in the UAE with Ramada, Holiday Inn and Citymax.

One of Knight’s more impressive achievements was creating the mid-market brand concept ‘Rove’ from scratch, on behalf of Emaar Hospitality Group, which culminated in the launch of the first property in Zabeel, in 2015. Subsequently, he was handed responsibility for the successful conversion and launch of the four-star, 244 bedroom, QE2 Heritage Hotel, the first floating hotel in Dubai.

Farnek has been supporting the UAE’s hospitality for over 40 years now and has amassed an extensive portfolio of hotel contracts, which include brands such as Marriott, Sheraton, Sofitel and Rotana. Add to that AED 7.5 million worth of recent contract wins and Knight has hit the ground running, especially after taking responsibility for Farnek’s latest contract win, the new Expo Village. Farnek’s scope of work will consist of managing the reservation services, concierge, front office services and housekeeping, for the 2,273 apartments within the Expo 2020 site.

“This will provide us with an invaluable commercial reference,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“Successfully managing the Expo Village apartments, will instill confidence in the market that we can close the circle – adding sales, reservations and complete front office services to our existing market proposition.

“And in Walter, we have a natural leader, with solid experience and a successful track record in both hospitality sales and operations. We are looking forward to realising our vision for a truly unique turnkey hospitality division.”

Forming an integral part of the hospitality division will be Farnek Consultancy, which since 2006 has been helping hotel operations become more sustainable. Farnek’s Hotel Optimizer software, can record, analyse and benchmark a hotel’s energy usage and utility patterns, which ultimately provides recommendations to reduce consumption.

Furthermore, Farnek is a preferred partner and auditor for Green Globe the worldwide sustainability accreditation system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses.

Another of Farnek’s unique qualities is its high degree of technical training and development, which affords a well-trained and cost-effective, tech-savvy workforce,  

Indeed, Farnek’s HQ was the first FM facility of its kind in the Middle East, to be accredited by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC). Through that certification, Farnek has established an internationally recognised cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention programme to combat biohazards and infectious disease – music to the ears of any housekeeping professional.

“Farnek’s credentials are beyond reproach and this is just one of many reasons, why I decided to take my career in this new direction. However, it is the outstanding commercial potential for this new division, that appeals to me most.

“I firmly believe that the trend for outsourcing will be adopted more broadly, right across the industry. This could give market entry to investors and or developers of typically smaller, mid-market, non-branded properties, who could simply outsource the entire operation direct.

“Indeed, if a number of smaller independent hotels were brought together under the same outsourcing company, they could consider collective bargaining with other suppliers and negotiating preferred rates with online travel agents and tour operators,” added Knight.  

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

Farnek launches in-house smart fleet management solution

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek has launched an in-house smart fleet management solution that will not only optimise the performance of its transport fleet, but also improve service delivery to its customers.

The solution, which covers Farnek’s entire transport fleet of more than 300 buses, vans, and cars across the UAE, was built by its in-house technology division, which after a lengthy process of research and development, has simply and ingeniously adopted and adapted the latest smart technology to produce a homemade solution.

“This bespoke telematics system has been developed in-house by our own IT engineers, using proven technology and is a Cloud and mobility-based platform. Our fleet is now powered by IoT telematic sensors connected with Google Maps for route optimisation with our drivers, fleet, service schedule, and of course our customers, front of mind,” said Javeria Aijaz, Director Technology & Innovation, Farnek.

Using Farnek’s live administrative portal, the operational staff at its logistics centre compare vehicle inventory with the current and scheduled demand and issue instructions to the drivers (each vehicle is fitted with a dedicated smartphone loaded with an app).

The drivers log in, accept the notification based on a QR code sent to the smartphone in the vehicle and start their journey. The app automatically calculates and compares the estimated and actual journey times and presents the driver with Google Maps-based navigation, to show the most time-efficient route to take.

“All vehicles are integrated with an IoT sensor that essentially tracks the vehicle and monitors ignition status, sends idling notifications and speeding alerts, all in real-time, which all contribute positively towards our drivers’ performance,” commented Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“Moreover, if for example, we have two buses with a capacity of 30 seats each travelling to the same destination, if available, we can switch to one 60-seater bus. Furthermore, by downloading the app, customers can also track the vehicle themselves and at the end of their shifts, our own employees will be able to see where the bus is and how long they will have to wait,” commented Oberlin.

“Overall, this improves safety, saves fuel, cuts our CO2 emissions as well as reducing wear and tear on the vehicle, prolonging the operational life of our transport fleet,” added Oberlin.

The operational dashboard can also generate incident reports, organise new transport schedules, search for the nearest and most relevant available vehicle, corelating with customer demand.

A whole host of reports can also be generated by the system as well, from vehicle assignment and utilisation to monthly expense reports. There’s also a driver’s module holding driving documents and records of any previous incidents or violations.

“Through cross-referencing, these reports can identify vehicles that are maybe not performing particularly well and could require some sort of repair or maintenance. Also, we can share fuel-efficiency figures with individual drivers, which will encourage them to drive more carefully and not to leave engines idling for long periods of time,” stated Aijaz.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

khaldun-aburok-director-of-business-development-farnek

Farnek wins hospitality contracts in Dubai worth AED 7.56 million

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek secured six hospitality contracts recently, varying in length from one to three years, valued at AED 7.56 million.

Farnek was awarded four hotel/apartment contracts, namely the five-star Fairmont Dubai hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, the four-star 230 room Revier Hotel, situated in Business Bay, the four-star, S Hotel in Al Barsha and the deluxe Sonder – JBR Suites, on the Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence.

In addition, Farnek also secured two restaurant contracts, The Mood Rooftop Lounge in The Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba, and the Cloud Lounge in the Studio One Hotel in Dubai Media City.

In total, over 65 staff have been mobilised to manage a range of services from cleaning, housekeeping, security as well as Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) maintenance.

Khaldun Aburok, Farnek’s Director of Business Development said: “To secure these contracts, some of which are for three years, we not only offered a broad-based proposition, which was commercially competitive. We also demonstrated a high degree of technical training, development, and professionalism, offering a well-trained and cost-effective, tech-savvy workforce.”

Due to the onset of the pandemic, the hospitality industry has had to fully comply with all government and public health directives, to ensure that their guests experience a safe, healthy, and comfortable stay, as well as protecting the wellbeing of their own staff.

And earlier this year, Farnek achieved GBAC STAR™ accreditation for its head office facility in Dubai, the first FM facility to be accredited by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the global cleaning industry trade association, in the Middle East.

Through that certification, Farnek has established an internationally recognised cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention programme that minimises risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus. This illustrates that we employ appropriate cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices to combat biohazards and infectious diseases.

“To maintain those standards training is essential and the Farnek training centre comes complete with a fully fitted elevator, bathroom, kitchen, lobby, and a staircase. The walls and the floor are partially covered in a variety of materials such as carpet, rubber, linoleum, slate, marble, wood, and ceramic tiles, enabling our staff to be fully trained on every surface they could potentially come into contact with,” added Aburok.

In terms of maintenance, Farnek’s MEP training centre is equipped with a variety of typical assets including split unit a/c’s, distribution boards, pumps, and associated systems, in order to maintain best-practice and identify new approaches to generating efficiencies.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

About Farnek: Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

farnek village

Farnek welcomes first employees to its AED 200 million ‘Village’

Next-generation staff accommodation centre in Dubai South, will become home to over 5,000 members of staff early next year

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has welcomed its first employees into its new AED 200 million state-of-the-art staff accommodation in Dubai South.

The 100,000 square feet facility, which will become home to some 5,000 Farnek employees by next year, was completed, on time, on budget and to specification.

Spacious, contemporary-designed employee rooms will be managed by a bespoke property software solution, so that new staff can be welcomed 24/7 at a dedicated reception area, sign in and be shown to their rooms in minutes. Other features include a prayer room, medical clinic, restaurant, library, barbershop, as well as leisure facilities and plenty of outdoor space.

“This is the future of staff accommodation. A place where employees feel at home, so that they can relax in modern, comfortable and pleasant surroundings. Also, connectivity is essential for staff welfare today, so free Wi-Fi has been made available to all staff throughout the entire complex,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.  

The low-rise (basement, G+4) employs the latest smart technology and is the most energy, water and waste-efficient building of its kind, not only in the UAE but throughout the region.

“Through its smart and sustainable design, we hope to save at least 20% more than a conventional staff accommodation centre, in energy and water consumption. That could be worth up to AED 3 million every year,” added Oberlin.

The complex also features a 240ft vertical rooftop garden which will produce over 3,000 leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, and spinach, as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, capsicums and chillis which will be used in Farnek’s own kitchens.  

Other design features include a 150sqm expanse of solar panels on the roof of the building, which will meet all hot water requirements and over 4,000 LED-lights have been installed throughout, supplying 90% of the total amount of lighting required.

The low energy lighting system also works in tandem with occupancy sensors and photocells installed in the common areas such as the corridors and externally in the parking areas, to optimise the building’s energy-efficiency.

Further sustainable features include reflective glazing and exterior paint, wall and roof insulation, energy recovery ventilation and energy-efficient air-conditioning.

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

-Ends-

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading smart and green Facilities Management company in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services to across several sectors; Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure and Entertainment.

Green globe certifications by Farnek

Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai, awarded Green Globe Certification

The five-star Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai has been awarded its first Green Globe Certification (GGC), a structured assessment of the sustainability performance of travel and tourism businesses, such as hotel apartments. 

The Mövenpick’s management team ensured that the property complied with or exceeded, more than 380 internationally recognised sustainability indicators, during an independent audit and assessment by Green Globe’s preferred partner in the Middle East, UAE-based, smart and green FM company Farnek.

Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Consultancy at Farnek said, “The entire management team at the Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai, has worked tirelessly to demonstrate its commitment, not only to the environment but also to all of its stakeholders – guests, employees, investors, local residents and suppliers.”

In terms of energy management, the property has invested in a GRMS (Guest Room Management System), an automated system that provides an innovative and efficient way of controlling the lights and power, as well as the air conditioning in guest rooms. To reduce energy consumption further, motion sensors have been installed in the ceilings and near main doors and windows.

To reduce their carbon emissions, an Electrostatic Precipitator has been installed, which is a filtration device that removes fine particles, such as dust, smoke and other fine particles, from free-flowing gas with a minimal impediment.  

To optimise their water usage, the condensate collected in the A/C drain tray is directed into a water tank which is then used to supplement the property’s irrigation system.

Farnek to create extensive rooftop vertical garden at the new Dubai staff accommodation centre

Dutch specialist contracted to design and build 200sqm rooftop ‘shade house’ to grow over 3,000 plants – project to be completed by January 2021     

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 3 November 2020: Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has signed a contract with Dutch green-tech projects specialist developer Urban Ponics, to design and help create a 240sqm rooftop vertical garden at Farnek’s brand new staff accommodation centre in Dubai South – Farnek Village.

Dominating the rooftop garden will be a 200sqm ‘shade house’, a structure which provides a mix of shade and light to create suitable conditions for shade-loving plants. Urban Ponics will transport this in parts from Holland to Dubai and together with Farnek’s in-house engineering team, assemble the metal tube framework for the 3m high structure onsite. It will come complete with shade netting, grow pods, lava buckets, misters, pumps, water tanks, irrigation and drainage pipes.

Farnek decided to embrace this novel concept, not only to repurpose the bare concreted space on the Village roof, but to grow fresh vegetables and other produce for its 5,000 staff, living at the AED 200 million complex.

“Farnek is an innovative sustainable company and we are always trying to identify new ways of managing our business in a cost and energy-efficient manner. Farnek Village will soon be home to thousands of our employees and we wanted to create a project that would be symbolic of our purpose and our values.

“Due to its sustainable design, space is at a premium in the Village and this initiative makes perfect use of an aspect that is generally underutilised at best and completely ignored at worst,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.  

The garden, which will be complete in mid-January 2021, will be used to produce over 3,000 leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, and spinach, as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, capsicums and chillis. The first harvest should be ready in around six weeks from seeding and will be used in Farnek’s own kitchens and promises to be cleaner, tastier and more nutritious, than ordinary salad plants.

“It is also more sustainable because we can then reduce the amount of deliveries it normally takes to feed 5,000 hungry workers. Equally diet and nutrition are an important part of the health and welfare policy for our employees.” added Oberlin.    

The produce will be grown using sustainable methods applied by international experts and local materials will be employed during the construction phase, as much as possible. The growing methods include the use vertical farming columns for a “mistponic” application, which is by far, the most sustainable soil-less growing technique, as it uses up to 90% less water than the most efficient conventional hydroponic and aquaponic systems.

Commenting further, Ryan Mitchell, Workers Welfare Manager at Farnek said, “In addition to this, we intend to reuse the condensate water from the air handling units to provide irrigation (misting water). The main advantage of utilising vertical farming technologies is the increased crop yield that comes with a smaller footprint, requiring much less land space.

“There are 40 PODs each two metres high and based on the cylindrical design of the columns, which optimise vertical space, each POD should yield 80 plants. The 240 sqm area of rooftop, which is the same size as a tennis court, can yield the equivalent of a half-acre of cultivated land, so, in terms of land use it’s 100 times more efficient.”

The 100,000 square feet low-rise (basement, G+5) facility will raise the bar for intelligent buildings, employing the latest smart technology and the most energy, water and waste-efficient accommodation centre of its kind, not only in the UAE but throughout the region.

Through smart and sustainable design, Farnek hopes to save at least 20% more than a conventional staff accommodation centre, in energy and water savings, which could be worth up to AED 3 million every year.

Another 150sqm of rooftop space will accommodate solar panels which will meet all hot water requirements and more than 4,000 LED-lights are to be installed throughout the complex, supplying 90% of the total amount of lighting required.

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Photo caption:

The vertical garden at various stages of growth, images 1-4: Before planting, budding leaves, after planting and harvest time.

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company.

With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management and security services across several sectors; Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure and Entertainment.

About Urban Ponics:

Urban Ponics develops Green-Tech Projects to fight against today’s most pressing Urban challenges, such as lack of nutrition in today’s greens, polluted rivers and lakes, and food waste. We develop, rethink and act upon different projects together with a team of dedicated people and partners that make all this possible. For more information log on to www.urbanponics.nl

Farnek steps up Abu Dhabi business growth strategy with new management appointments in the capital

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has appointed Jonathan Caller to the position of Director of Technical Services and Business Development, and Osama Abdel Hay, to Director of Soft Services, both based in Abu Dhabi.   

With a 30-year pedigree in the facilities management industry, which includes senior management positions in the UK, Europe, and the Middle East, Caller will now lead Farnek’s operations in Abu Dhabi. His remit will cover all aspects of Farnek’s offering, including facilities management, security, and sustainability management.

During his career, he has worked across a broad spectrum of sectors, including healthcare, construction, energy, and pharmaceuticals where he has developed expertise in facilities and operations management, HVAC and MEP systems, engineering and maintenance, and building management systems, amongst others.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “Jonathan’s considerable experience in both the UAE capital and globally, will be crucial in developing and implementing our growth strategies in the emirate.

“His enthusiasm, planning, stewardship and commitment to any situation, in addition to his ability to draw on three decades of experience from a cross-section of sectors and senior management positions for leading organisations, will be crucial for providing our clients with the highest levels of expertise and direction.”

Prior to his appointment, Caller was Farnek’s project director for the Burj Khalifa. There, he was responsible for leading a team of over 100 technicians to ensure the 24/7 maintenance, including MEP and FM, of the tallest building in the world.

He also spent several years in Abu Dhabi, initially with Schneider Electric before moving to RW Armstrong as BMS/Technical Manager, then Cleveland Clinic as operations manager for the 490-bed medical facility, and latterly hard services manager for the Abu Dhabi Investment Council headquarters, the 753,000 sqft, 29 storey Al Bahr Towers.

In his new position, Caller will have specific responsibility for overseeing and directing all aspects of FM operations within Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, while identifying new business opportunities within existing and new market sectors.

“Farnek has grown its presence in the capital considerably in recent years. A raft of contract wins in facilities management, and security has ensured our footprint has increased significantly. I look forward to utilising the experience garnered from other prestigious projects I’ve managed in Abu Dhabi and implementing that to the benefit of existing and future clients,” he said.

A certified member of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM), Caller has an MBA in Executive Facilities Management from Sheffield Hallam University.

Osama Abdel Hay will utilise over 15 years of experience to support Farnek’s growth in the capital. He joins after successfully leading a team of FM professionals at Dubai Mall, before which he managed all soft services for Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), including Abu Dhabi International Airport, the second-largest airport in the UAE.

“Osama is passionate about enhancing the customer experience through soft services, a trait that will be invaluable to our customers in Abu Dhabi. He has garnered a wealth of knowledge relating to operational planning and FM soft services during his time at organisations including Emaar and ADAC, which will now be implemented to our operations in the capital,” added Oberlin.

Hay has a BA in Business Administration from Abu Dhabi University as well as a host of industry-specific qualifications including the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICS), and Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation.

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Photo caption:

Pictured from left to right: Osama Abdel Hay, Director of Soft Services; and Jonathan Caller, Director of Technical Services and Business Development, Farnek.

Farnek appoints Aburok to drive Business Growth Strategy

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek has appointed Khaldun Aburok as director of business development.

Aburok’s previous experience in business development includes a senior role with major Japanese corporation OMRON, a global leader in the field of automation, initially reporting into their regional HQ for EMEA in Amsterdam. He started out as a field sales engineer based in Switzerland, and after almost three years’ service, in 2015, he was promoted to regional sales manager for the MENA region, heading up the Dubai branch office.

Prior to that, Aburok worked in the research department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, having graduated from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and IT.

“Khaldun has a great deal of engineering sales experience, both here in the UAE and Europe, and has a very strong technological background. Therefore, given the challenging market conditions due to the pandemic, he was the ideal candidate to drive our business growth strategy,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

The Swiss national has been given the responsibility for supporting the corporate strategic vision of Farnek by implementing an aggressive business growth strategy. His responsibilities include directing the business development department’s day-to-day activities, including leading, motivating, and developing the sales team, improving quality management and client relationships, and budget accountability.

“Environmental and social awareness, innovation, and technology are at the forefront of Farnek’s corporate strategy, which are values and aspects of the business that I am passionate about. Add that to my experience of studying and working in Switzerland, and the decision to join Farnek was totally natural and I am looking forward to a long and successful career here,” said Aburok.

Since joining Farnek earlier this year, Aburok has made an immediate impact, securing multimillion-dollar projects with Dubai Development Authority and United Arab Bank, as well as winning contracts with Gulf Vision, Valiant Clinic owned by Belhoul Hospital, SIG- Schools, and Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park.

Aburok, who also holds an MBA focusing on strategic and executive management, commented: “The UAE FM market is highly competitive and it is companies such as Farnek that have embraced technology and use it to become more cost-efficient and more sustainable, that will ultimately overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic.”

Farnek has invested more than one million dollars into research and development to advance innovative tech-driven initiatives such as biometrics, its multifunctional smartwatch technology, and, more recently, its disinfection tunnel.

Dubai Developments awards FM contract to Farnek

Three-year contract covers HVAC, MEP cleaning and specialist services for four Dubai facilities – over 100 technicians to be mobilised

Dubai Developments, the privately held development company established by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Minister of Finance of the UAE and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, has signed a three-year contract with leading UAE-based FM Company Farnek, to manage a range of facilities in Dubai including four key properties within DD’s extensive portfolio, covering retail, residential, commercial and mixed-use.

Commenting on the contract, HE Eng. Essa Al Maidoor, Director General of the Dubai Developments, said: “As part of Dubai Developments’ strategy to improve service and achieve high customer satisfaction and happiness, Dubai Developments has decided to partner with a reliable and well-known FM service provider. Dubai Developments has reviewed the technical and technological capabilities of many service providers and has chosen FARNEK to join Dubai Developments in their journey towards service excellence.”

In total over 100 staff and technicians will be mobilised, to deliver a scope of works encompassing technical work (MEP, HVAC & Civil), specialised systems, exterior and general cleaning, pest control and landscaping.

The buildings that are now come under Farnek’s remit include, the 72-storey residential Blue Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road, the residential element of Al Murooj Complex in DIFC, which covers over 140 serviced apartments and associated public areas;  the Village Mall in Jumeirah and the fully commercial Al Hudaiba Award Complex in Bur Dubai, comprising of nine floors over three blocks.

“This is our first contract with Dubai Developments and we are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial working relationship, well beyond the initial three years,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Photo caption: Pictured is HE Eng. Essa Al Maidoor, Director General of the Dubai Developments, during the signing ceremony.

Hitches & Glitches launches tech-driven home security service

Innovative UAE home maintenance specialist launches neighbourhood watch, home security initiative using the latest smart home technology, for homeowners and tenants on holiday or distant landlords

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, August 30, 2020: Dubai-based innovative and technology-driven home maintenance specialist Hitches & Glitches (H&G), part of the Farnek Group, has expanded its home maintenance offering with the launch of a new tech-enabled security service called ‘H&G Neighbourhood Watch’.

The service applies to H&G customers who have bought and installed the Ring Video Doorbell Elite. The connected doorbell allows homeowners to answer the door from anywhere, via a two-way voice call and one-way live streaming of any visitor, through their smartphone app or computer.

However, if any homeowner notices any suspicious movement captured by the Ring camera, they will now have the option to contact H&G, who will dispatch a security officer within 15-30 minutes to check on the property. After inspection, the customer is then sent a report with any relevant images.    

“Our experienced and professional security team can now provide homeowners, tenants and landlords, with peace of mind, by ensuring home safety and security, 24 hours a day. We envisage this service to be popular whether a home is left vacant during holiday periods, or while landlords and owners are overseas,” said Kelvin Vargheese, Director of H&G.

“Although the service is tech-driven, it is not too dissimilar to a residents’ neighbourhood watch scheme and if during a call out we do notice any criminal activity or indeed damage to the property we will inform the owner and the relevant authorities if necessary,” he added..

Demand has soared for smart home security gadgets, as improved technology has made devices easier to use and more affordable, especially those with remote options for when homeowners are away from home, for any length of time.

H&G partnered with Ring in 2018, to retail and install its home security products and solutions to residences throughout the UAE.  

Other products available for installation through H&G include The Ring Floodlight Cam, the first motion-activated security camera with two-way talk, built-in floodlights, and a siren. The Chime Pro HD camera, the Ring Spotlight Cam, and four variations of the Ring Indoor Cam are also available.

“Ring’s state-of-the-art smart home security gadgets are now an integral part of H&G’s multi-touch offering. We can create a bouquet of products that not only cover security but sustainability and lifestyle too. The ability to buy online with the convenience of installation, added to our general maintenance and repairs, we can provide a seamless, comprehensive service – the proverbial one-stop shop,” added Vargheese. 

Homeowners and tenants can order H&G Neighbourhood Watch as a standalone feature, or as a supplement to H&G’s existing home maintenance packages.

For more information and prices, please visit www.hitchesglitches.com.

Farnek launches state-of-the-art remote energy audit system

New remote building energy audit system to promote cost savings and enhance building energy performance by utilising energy saving best practice

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 26 August 2020: Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek, will utilise virtual video tools and online data collection, to provide building owners and tenants with recommendations to improve energy performance and cut costs, remotely.

The remote system, which has been introduced due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting reduced operations and access constraints, will support businesses by assessing energy usage and utility patterns and providing recommendations to reduce the building’s energy consumption.

Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Consultancy, Farnek, said: “Essentially, a virtual energy audit is much like a traditional audit whereby we analyse the data and develop a list of recommendations that will deliver a reduction in utility consumption and associated cost savings.

“Identification of energy inefficiencies in commercial buildings has traditionally relied on physical audits whereby a team of trained auditors travel to a building to perform a series of tests with specialised equipment. A virtual energy audit will be cheaper and more efficient than its physical alternative, lowering the barrier for building owners to find out exactly how much energy they are wasting.”

Earlier this year, Farnek research discovered that average occupancy at 12 Dubai hotels during March to May 2019 was 73%, however, due to the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, average occupancy slipped to 25% during the same period this year.

Their energy consumption during that period last year was 32,000 MWh, which fell to 23,000 MWh for the same period this year. However, had those hotels put an effective energy management strategy into practice, they could have reduced their combined consumption to 19,000 MWh a saving of 4,000 MWh or 17.4%, saving AED 1.45 million.

Looking at an average individual performance, a hotel with 300 rooms could have potentially reduced its energy consumption by 200,000 KWh during March, April and May, resulting in cost savings of AED 80,000.

“Imagine how hard hotels have to work today to generate a net profit of AED 80,000 per quarter, compared with an energy audit that can identify the equivalent in savings,” said Ibrahim.

Farnek has developed two variations of audit, both of which have been developed in line with the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standard auditing process.

The first is a virtual walkthrough audit of the facility to benchmark water and electricity and compare consumption with similar facilities locally and globally. It also establishes energy and water baselines using monthly energy usage and parameters affecting the consumption, predicts future energy and water consumption and defines consumption limits while also outlining conservation measures.

The second detailed energy audit involves the same consumption assessment however also provides a detailed analysis of the performance of major equipment within the building as well as identifying ways to enhance operational efficiency and decrease maintenance costs and detailed energy conservation measures with simple payback calculations.

“We have developed these new systems to enable us to provide clients with the data required to make the best possible decisions to help reduce energy consumption. Going forward, this also negates the additional cost of a physical audit in buildings that may be isolated or difficult to reach,” added Ibrahim.    

The audits deliver full benchmarking statistical analysis and can support facility engineers when assessing their system performance, by using the data sheets and methodology, to provide year-on-year comparisons. For more information please visit www.farnek.com

Farnek HQ first FM facility in ME to be awarded international accreditation developed by biorisk experts

GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Program is the only global outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation for facilities that establishes a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention programme   

Dubai, United Arabi Emirates, 11th August 2020: Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has achieved GBAC STAR™ accreditation for its head office facility in Dubai, the first FM facility to be accredited by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the global cleaning industry trade association, in the Middle East.

Farnek has established a cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention programme that minimises risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus. GBAC STAR facility accreditation illustrates that Farnek employs the proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices to combat biohazards and infectious disease in its own space.

Additionally, through its experience in completing the accreditation process for its own facility, Farnek is uniquely prepared to assist its facility customers as they pursue GBAC STAR accreditation. For example, Farnek assisted The Dubai Mall to achieve GBAC STAR facility accreditation in August 2020.

Julian Khalil, Director of Soft Services at Farnek, said: “This accreditation proves that we can quickly address biological threats and real-time crises at our head office here in Dubai and with this knowledge, we can support our customers to recover from such events. Other cleaning standards do not cover this level of detail.

“Therefore, it will be reassuring for visitors to our head office, our customers and the public at large, to know that this accreditation is performance-based and relies on comprehensive and ongoing training, covering disinfection techniques and cleaning best practices for biohazard situations.”

In addition, Farnek’s skilled cleaning professionals are empowered to carry out their jobs safely and effectively. They are trained for the outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response, assessing risk, and understanding the latest guidelines for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Moreover, Farnek has secured new contract wins within the educational sector. Scholars International Group (SIG), has awarded Farnek cleaning and disinfecting contracts for all three of its schools in Dubai and Sharjah.

“The Clarion School, Al Quoz, Dubai Scholars in Al Qusais, and Scholars International Academy in Sharjah will now benefit from Farnek’s unique cleaning and disinfecting solution, which will be embedded into a new daily sanitising routine. Along with fogging services, our comprehensive programme will bring each of the three schools up to the very highest international standards of cleanliness.

“In fact, SIG is so committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleaning and disinfection that it is applying for GBAC STAR accreditation for all of its school facilities,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“Compliance with GBAC STAR will help instil the utmost confidence among parents and students, as they prepare to return to school for the new academic year in September. Society, in general, will need to embrace the positive change required as we move towards the ‘new normal,” he added.

Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response, and recovery, GBAC provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance, and leadership to government, commercial, and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address, and recover from biological threats and real-time crises.

“Now is the time for businesses of every size to be transparent about the measures they’re taking to protect customers and employees, including proper cleaning and disinfection,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett.

“GBAC STAR programme participants demonstrate their commitment to going the extra mile by implementing prevention and response best practices that support health and safety,” he added.

Organisations from more than 68 countries in America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia have committed to accredit their facilities to GBAC STAR, including tourism bureaus, airports, convention centres, hotels, cultural institutions, professional sports parks, and stadiums.


Additional international industry groups that have already announced their support of GBAC STAR include the International Facility Management Association (23,000 members), Informa Markets (500 brands and exhibitions), International Association of Exhibitions and Events (12,000 members), International Association of Venue Managers (7,000 members), and the Global Market Development Centre (400+ retail members).

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

About Farnek: Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services across several sectors: Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure, and Entertainment.

FARNEK APPOINTS FORMER LONDON POLICEMAN AS HEAD OF SECURITY

Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek has appointed Philip Ducker as its new head of security.

The UK national had previously spent 17 years with the Metropolitan Police Service, working in central London. Philip was an emergency first responder, management and tactical advanced pursuit driver, as well as a trained anti-terror detention officer and senior management liaison at critical incidents.

During his career, Philip has amassed an impressive array of awards, receiving the Metropolitan Police Service’s ‘Baton of Honour’ in 1999 and the Commanders Commendation six times between 2005 and 2016, as well as the Commissioners High Commendation in 2005. He is a member of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) and the Association of Personal Protection Agents (IAPPA).

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said, “Philip has had a long and distinguished career with the Metropolitan Police and brings with him a wealth of experience and technical knowhow.  

“Automation, intelligence, and resource efficiency are the future of modern security. Philip will not only drive our strategy to further develop our command and control room capabilities, biometrics and time & attendance solutions, he will also direct the bespoke training requirements for all of our security personnel.”

Research by Frost & Sullivan indicated that demand for IP-based video surveillance systems, access control and intrusion detectors would continue to drive the market, which is supported by increased government spending on infrastructure projects and the introduction of new and more stringent regulations, creating additional market opportunities.

Farnek has invested more than one million dollars into research and development to advance, innovative tech-driven initiatives such as biometrics and its multifunctional smartwatch technology.

Unique to Farnek’s security offering, the Android watch is programmed, coded and developed in-house and provides attendance and incident reporting as well as call facilities, Geo-fencing, photo & video functions and health monitoring. All watches are connected to Farnek’s state-of-the-art command centre, to pinpoint the exact location of guards and provide them with real-time updates.

Farnek Security Services has grown substantially over the past year. With the purchase of Certis security services, it has added 1,800 employees to its payroll and increased its guard force and contractual commitment by over 400%. It is one of only a handful of FM companies in the UAE to have a security licence in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates.

Philip, who arrived in the UAE in June 2016, has spent the last three and a half years working on consultancy projects with embassies, retailers and property developers. He has created, managed and audited physical and electronic security systems and manned guard forces, including planning and implementing security services at major sports and entertainment events.

Commenting on his role, Philip said: “The use of technology and creating synergies with other elements of FM, is key to expanding our portfolio in a cost-efficient manner. Farnek is in a good position to take advantage of this opportunity.

“Training is also key. Tailoring programmes to suit certain market sectors, such as customer service for the hospitality sector and loss prevention in retail outlets, for example, can provide clients with the assurance that they are getting the right guards for the right job and most importantly, heightened performance.”

Philip also shared his own thoughts on the UAE FM market going forward.

“The market here is highly competitive, with many smaller, specialist companies vying for major contracts. In this post lockdown environment, costs are coming under even more pressure and businesses that cannot innovate technically or provide economies of scale will be vulnerable. I think that there will be considerable consolidation in the market, over the next 18 months,” he said.

Farnek implements facial recognition to monitor health and attendance of employees to mitigate COVID-19 threat

New biometric facial recognition system assesses staff body temperature via thermal imaging when employees enter Farnek offices or work sites ensuring a safe and secure working environment 

Dubai, United Arabi Emirates, 13th July 2020: Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek has implemented a new contactless face recognition system to measure the temperature and monitor the attendance of its employees.

In line with Dubai Municipality regulations, the system allows Farnek to check the temperature of all employees when entering and leaving their offices, or when entering and leaving external workplaces, where the technology has been implemented, reducing the threat of COVID-19 spreading. If there is an alert, the employee is denied access, isolated and Farnek management is informed instantly.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “Contactless technology is more important now than ever before as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The leading cause of transmission is through contact or proximity to people carrying the virus, some of whom may not show any symptoms. This system alleviates those risks.”

The system works by scanning the employees face and palm using HD thermal camera technology to give a 100% accurate temperature reading. Connected to a central system, attendance can also be monitored, and payroll updated in real-time. The system also recognises when someone is wearing a mask, therefore allowing them to be worn at all times.

“This state-of-the-art technology not only mitigates health and safety risk it also monitors staff arriving and leaving. That also has an added benefit for our customers because this data can then be aligned with customer work orders, supporting subsequent invoicing. It also reassures them that all staff entering have left the building as well.”

The technology has been implemented at all of Farnek’s offices in the UAE as well as client sites, including The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, and Dubai Airport.

“This system underscores our commitment to the safety and well-being of our employees and customers during these unprecedented times. The implementation of this innovative technology is just one of many measures we have implemented to support the UAE business community and the wider public, in containing the spread of the coronavirus,” added Oberlin.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Farnek has implemented several measures to minimise the threat of the virus spreading. Sanitisation gateways, which disinfect all staff before leaving and returning, are being installed across all staff accommodation centres in the UAE.

The disinfectant system works via a Fog Gate, or disinfection tunnel, which sprays staff with a highly efficient, non-toxic, pH-neutral, and durable disinfectant. The mist is completely harmless and dries in seconds after employees pass through. The gateway is regularly sterilised and cleaned by a team of highly trained specialists from Farnek.

Farnek is also employing a Dubai Municipality-approved environmentally friendly and non-toxic disinfectant solution, which kills over 99.99% of all bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores.

“Through the adoption of innovative technology, our customers can rest assured that our staff are healthy, motivated and together we are ready to face the challenge of the ‘new normal’ once this crisis is over,” concluded Oberlin.

Dubai hotels miss opportunity to save AED 1.45 million on energy bills, says sustainability expert

  • Snapshot survey of 12 four and five-star hotels in Dubai from March to May by sustainability consultancy Farnek, reveals energy consumption did not fall in line with occupancy levels year-on-year
  • Experts present survey findings to key UAE hotel professionals during webinar

Dubai, United Arabi Emirates, 5th July 2020: According to a research study carried out by leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek, Dubai hotels may have missed out on an opportunity to save thousands of dirhams in energy consumption.

Farnek took a snapshot of the energy and water consumption and waste management of 12 Dubai hotels, both four and five-star properties, using hotel energy data with its own internet-based software, Hotel Optimizer. This online tool currently tracks the performance of more than 100 hotels across the Middle East, measuring and benchmarking energy, water and waste.

The findings were presented to key hospitality figures, during a recent webinar, hosted by leading sustainability experts from Farnek, the Swiss Business Council and Earth Matters Consulting.  

The study revealed that for the three-month period between March and May this year, compared with the same period last year, Dubai hotels may have each missed out on an opportunity to save at least AED 80,000 in energy costs and to reduce their carbon emissions by 74 tonnes in the process.

Commenting, Markus Oberlin, CEO of Farnek said: The hotel industry has faced significant challenges since the outbreak of the coronavirus, not least with airlines grounded, Expo 2020 postponed, low oil prices, social restrictions and low consumer confidence. Therefore, it is vitally important that hotels make the most of any cost savings wherever possible and the first step as always, is to identify the opportunities.” 

Farnek discovered that average occupancy at the 12 hotels during March to May 2019 was 73%, however, due to the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, average occupancy slipped to 25% during the same period this year.

Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Consultancy at Farnek said, “Energy consumption for the 12 hotels during the three-month period last year was 32,000 MWh, which fell to 23,000 MWh for the same period this year. However according to our calculations, had these hotels put an effective energy management strategy into practice, they could have reduced their consumption to 19,000 MWh a saving of 4,000 MWh or 17.4%.

“That’s equivalent to a saving of AED 1.45 million, plus it would have reduced their combined carbon emissions by 1,350 tonnes. In summary taking an average individual performance, a hotel with 300 rooms could have reduced its energy consumption by 200,000 KWh during March, April and May, resulting in cost savings of AED 80,000 and reduced carbon emissions of 74 tonnes.”

Following international best practice, Farnek’s strategy to manage energy consumption includes, strategic guest room deployment, chiller and ventilation optimisation, occupancy-based set point adjustments and exhaust fan controls.

In terms of water consumption, Hotel Optimizer noted that the 43% drop in consumption correlated with the fall in occupancy. Water consumption is more directly associated with guest activity than energy and the figures from Optimizer supported that view.     

Regarding waste, the international standard for hotels is broadly accepted as one kilo of waste per guest per night. From the Hotel Optimizer waste data analysis, it was observed that the hotels reduced their waste by 45% from Jan to May 2020.

However, the kilo per guest night was at an average of five, which means in spite of lower occupancy hotels were having a baseload of waste which if managed efficiently, could further reduce waste and bring down disposal costs.

“Dubai hotels have always been extremely successful and rarely have they experienced prolonged periods of low occupancy. So, operating in this ‘new normal’ has been challenging for them. In contrast, it is interesting that hotels elsewhere in the Middle East that are used to low occupancy periods, have controlled their costs relatively better than their peers in Dubai,” she said.

The guest presenter of the webinar was Matteo Boffa, Head of the Environmental Group at the Swiss Business Council. Talking about the webinar, Boffa commented:

“Swiss businesses like Farnek, are renowned for their sustainable initiatives, particularly through the use of innovative technology. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many economic challenges to commerce, industry and society in general. The clear message we wanted to convey to these hospitality leaders was that environmental best practice will save money as well as reducing carbon emissions. It is a win-win situation.”

Moderating the webinar, Tanzeed Alam, Managing Director of Earth Matters Consulting said, “Sustainability is a strategic topic for hotels to address at board level, which is even more important today given the challenges posed by the pandemic. This will help to ensure that the hospitality sector is at the forefront of tackling global climate change.”

There is also an energy handbook can be downloaded from www.hotel-optimizer.com

-Ends-

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Hitches & Glitches launches battery recycling initiative to celebrate World Environment Day

Dubai-based sustainable and technology-driven home maintenance specialist Hitches & Glitches (H&G), part of the Farnek Group, has launched a battery recycling initiative for its residential customers, that have existing maintenance contracts, to celebrate World Environment Day, which takes place on Friday 5 June.

The aim of the programme is to encourage consumers to be more environmentally friendly, by simply giving their used batteries to Hitches & Glitches for recycling.   

To support their customers, Hitches & Glitches’ maintenance technicians will collect alkaline batteries & lithium ion & nickel cadmium batteries which are the most common type of batteries found in household waste.

Kelvin Vargheese, Director of H&G said, “We will provide our customers with branded containers, so that they can deposit small used batteries which will be collected during our next scheduled visit. 

“The batteries will then be delivered to our partners in this programme Enviroserve, which is one of the largest e-waste recycling companies in the world, where the batteries will be processed and diverted from landfill.

“Although there are battery collection and recycling initiatives carried out by commercial organisations, diverting batteries from normal household waste, is a major challenge in Dubai.

“However, through this project Hitches & Glitches intends to close that gap by supporting our customers, managing this hazardous waste and encouraging our customers to more environmentally friendly.”

Batteries contain toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, lithium, even sulfuric acid. If batteries end up in a landfill, these pollutants can easily leak out into the environment and contaminate groundwater, damage fragile ecosystems, and even make their way into the food chain.

“That is particularly appropriate this year, as the theme for World Environment Day 2020 is biodiversity,” commented Vargheese.

Overall, the benefits of recycling batteries are clear, apart from saving natural resources and energy, it reduces pollution, reduces the amount of landfill and of course, reduces carbon emissions.

“Recycled batteries produce around 10 – 20% less carbon emissions than new ones, which is significant when you think about the millions of batteries that are thrown away by consumers in Dubai every year,” added Vargheese.

MAG launches new home maintenance app

The new MAG FM app allows tenants and owners within MAG developments in Dubai to book home maintenance services online, direct with Hitches & Glitches

UAE-based property developer, MAG Lifestyle Development, which is a part of MAG Group Holding, has launched a new Uber-style home maintenance tracking app, called MAG FM.

The MAG-branded smart technology platform will enable owners and tenants living in all MAG developments, to request home maintenance services, allowing customers to browse a wide range of home maintenance packages, or indeed customise their own package specific to their individual needs.

App-users can also book and make payments via the smart platform through Google and Apple Pay for any parts or service carried out in their home, offering a quick and hassle-free way to pay online.

Initially, the online services will be launched for residents living in MAG5 Boulevard in Dubai South and then rolled-out across all MAG developments throughout Dubai.

“MAG 5 Boulevard is an affordable, contemporary development with a real community feel and an accent on the modern lifestyle. Therefore, it seemed only natural for us to launch a reliable, convenient, and efficient, technology-led home maintenance solution for the residents there, before expanding the maintenance service to our other developments,” said Talal Al Gaddah, Senior Executive Vice Chairman of MAG Lifestyle Development.

MAG Lifestyle Development the development arm of the MAG Group Holding, was established 41 years ago, developing iconic projects in Dubai Marina, Meydan, Dubai South, Dubai Creek, Business Bay and Sharjah. The group is focused on designing projects that add value to the local economy, based on extensive market research.

Situated next to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai World Central, MAG 5 Boulevard offers exceptional residential community living, consisting of seven buildings featuring 1,452 residential units comprising of studios, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments.

The project is surrounded by a variety of facilities such as jogging and cycling tracks, playgrounds for children, community and retail centres. One and two-bedroom units come complete with a balcony and car parking spaces, with communal landscaping, a swimming pool, gymnasium, plus a variety of dining and leisure outlets. This walkable community overlooks the ‘Greenbelt’ the UAE’s largest linear network of parks and green spaces.

To deliver the home maintenance services, MAG Lifestyle Development has signed a partnership agreement with leading UAE home maintenance company Hitches & Glitches. With an experienced and professional team of over 100 technicians, Hitches & Glitches cover a comprehensive range of maintenance requests and repairs, from electrical and plumbing works to water tank cleaning, air conditioning and swimming pool maintenance, smart home product repairs and updates, gardening, cleaning, and general handyman jobs.

“One of the other major benefits of this app is that once tenants and owners living in MAG5 and eventually in all MAG developments, have booked online, they can track our technicians in real-time, Uber-style, through a link to Google Maps, so they will know their location and their exact arrival time,” said Kelvin Varghese, Director of Hitches & Glitches.

The MAG5 app is now available on Android and IoS.

Farnek secures Galadari contract

Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek has been awarded a two-year contract by Galadari Brothers, to provide security services for a diverse range of facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, and Ras Al Khaimah.

“Farnek offered a broad-based proposition, which was commercially competitive. However, it also highlighted a high degree of technical training, development, professionalism, and corporate qualities that we value greatly,” said, Manoj Kumar, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Galadari Brothers

The recently announced contract win will see 65 security professionals mobilised by Farnek, to cover a range of Galadari’s facilities in the automotive sector; printing & publishing; ice cream; construction equipment solutions; engineering works; rubber products; and real estate.   Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “Our objective is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of Galadari’s employees and its visitors. Offering a well-trained and cost-effective tech-savvy workforce is essential and notwithstanding technology, modern security is equally about diligence, intelligence, anticipation and resource efficiency.”

Galadari Brothers Equipment Solutions head office in Al Quoz, Dubai – GBES is a part of Galadari Heavy Equipment Division (HED) and is a subsidiary of the Galadari Brothers Company.

About Galadari Brothers Group

The home of international corporations based in the UAE for almost 60 years, Galadari Brothers has become an expert in global business, having successfully introduced over 50 global brands into the region. Our business is multi-industry, multi-product, multi-service and multi-national, overseeing operations across the Gulf, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Founded by the Late Abdul Rahim and Abdul Latif Ebrahim Galadari Brothers in Dubai, the city that remains the hub of the business, Galadari Brothers is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates and has operations in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, India, and Australia. Employing close to 6000 people, from more than 40 nationalities working across the world, Galadari Brothers is motivated by a sense of corporate responsibility and fairness in trading. The company ethos is that every operation should return a fair profit and that every employee can play his part in delivering success, by being given responsibility for his work, freeing the individual’s ability to succeed within the normal constraints of good commercial practice. https://www.galadarigroup.com/

Farnek installs sanitisation gateway to fight coronavirus

  • Farnek will be the first FM company to install a gateway using a Dubai Municipality-approved germ-free, non-toxic and environmentally friendly disinfectant
  • The company is set to roll out the sanitation system to all its accommodation centres across the UAE   

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 8th April: Farnek, a leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company, has installed a sanitisation gateway which will disinfect all staff, upon leaving and returning to their accommodation centres.

The disinfectant system works via a Fog Gate, or disinfection tunnel, which sprays staff with a highly efficient, non-toxic, pH-neutral and durable disinfectant. The mist is completely harmless and dries in seconds, after employees pass through. The gateway is regularly sterilised and cleaned by a team of highly trained specialists from Farnek.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “These sanitisation gateways are highly effective, extremely efficient and very practical. It literally takes seconds to walk through and the disinfectant dries almost immediately, ensuring that our teams will be protected from the virus and will not inadvertently spread the virus should they become exposed.

Farnek will implement a Dubai Municipality-approved environmentally friendly and non-toxic disinfectant solution, which kills over 99.99% of all bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores.

If successful, the pilot scheme, the first to be employed in a commercial capacity, will be rolled out across all of Farnek’s staff accommodation centres in the UAE.

A similar sanitisation system has already been installed at Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station to protect essential workers, using the bus transport system. It too is expected to be rolled out at other transport hubs around the country.

Farnek is Dubai Municipality-approved to clean and disinfect hotels, malls, offices, public buildings and residences. The company currently has over 8,000 employees supporting business in all emirates by offering a range of disinfection and sterilisation services using world-class, technologically-advanced cleaning products, which through a physical bond, create durable and self-sanitising surfaces and long-lasting protection.

Kelvin Varghese, responsible for the implementation of the new sanitisation system and the rollout across Farnek’s entire accommodation portfolio, said: “During these unprecedented times, the safety and well-being of our customers as well as employees, is of paramount importance to us and, as such, all necessary sanitising and precautionary measures are being undertaken to make sure we contain the spread of the coronavirus.”

 “The fight against viruses and bacteria has never been more critical than it is today.”

Hitches & Glitches appoints new director

Kelvin Varghese’s remit will include business strategy, innovation, training and development, at the UAE home maintenance specialist

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 25th March, 2020: Dubai-based sustainable and technology-driven home maintenance specialist Hitches & Glitches (H&G), has promoted Kelvin Varghese to Director, responsible for the strategic growth of the company while leading 800 specialist technicians.

With over 15 years of experience in the facilities management (FM) industry, the last four of which have involved managing all elements of FM, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) and business development for H&G’s parent company Farnek, Varghese has directed operations at several marquee projects including City Walk, Dubai Airports and more recently Burj Khalifa.

Varghese has previously held roles at BK Gulf and Imdaad, with experience of markets across the GCC and India. As well as holding a master’s degree in engineering, he has also been recognised by MEFMA, the Dubai Civil Defense and holds a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “In addition to Kelvin’s understanding of our corporate structure, he brings a wealth of industry understanding to this role having worked on several key projects for both Farnek and Hitches & Glitches in recent years. His ability to lead large teams of multidisciplined FM professionals will be invaluable.

“With schools closed, people working from home and many self-isolating, it is imperative that home environments stay well maintained, clean and safe.”

Varghese will direct a 800-strong team of FM, MEP and HVAC specialists who cover all forms of home maintenance and repairs from electrical and plumbing works, to water tank cleaning, air conditioning and swimming pool maintenance, smart home product repairs and updates, gardening, cleaning and general handyman jobs, air conditioning, cleaning and plumbing services to home improvement.

Commenting on his new role, Varghese, said: “We have a clear strategy to deliver excellence in every service we offer by focusing on quality, value and sustainable best practice. In recent years we have established Hitches & Glitches as a tech-led, innovative company – this is an area will focus on as we move forward to cement our reputation as a market leader in the home maintenance industry.”

Hitches & Glitches recently launched a groundbreaking home maintenance app in the region, enabling owners and tenants to follow the progress of their home maintenance service requests from reporting the issue to job completion. The platform tracks the exact arrival time of the technician live on google maps, it also allows customers online approval for the cost of materials to complete their home repair.

“This new innovative platform underscores our unique, customer-focused offering while highlighting our tech credentials,” added Varghese.

As well as providing home maintenance tracking, the app also allows customers to browse H&G’s wide range of maintenance packages before subscribing to a suitable package, or indeed customising their own package specific to their individual needs.

Farnek first FM firm to receive Dubai Chamber Advanced CSR Label

Farnek recognised for their commitment to CSR through a range of programs and activities focused on the workplace, marketplace, community and environment

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 15th March: Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has been awarded the Dubai Chamber Advanced CSR Label, the first FM company to achieve the accolade, during a ceremony at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry headquarters.

To achieve advanced status, Farnek’s approach to CSR and sustainability was assessed across seven areas, including workplace, marketplace, community and environment, in addition to stakeholders’ involvement, steering and governance.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, His Excellency Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry applauded companies for enhancing their image and reputation in the market and setting an example for others to follow.

He added that the Dubai Chamber had created four specialised categories, in an effort to recognise a wider range of organisations that were excelling in adopting best CSR practice in line with international standards, focusing on four areas, namely, workplace, marketplace, community and environment.

The range of activities and programs Farnek implemented in these areas was recognised by the Dubai Chamber with assessors providing particular praise for Farnek’s employee retention strategy, staff development and leadership program, as well as employee wellbeing and happiness thanks to a proactive ‘Employee Happiness Committee’.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said, “Sustainability and safety as well as employee welfare and development, are fundamental to our business and it is gratifying to be the first FM company to be recognised with the Dubai Chamber Advanced CSR Label.

“Our CSR strategy has contributed significantly to four decades of business accomplishment in the UAE and will undoubtedly underpin our corporate strategy through the next forty years,” he added.

Farnek’s corporate integrity, service quality and safety through ISO 9001 (quality management), energy efficiency and waste reduction were other areas of the business that were highly commended.

Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Consultancy at Farnek, commented, “We will now be widely recognised as having the highest metric for assessing our own performance and compliance with quality standards and international best practice.”

The Label serves as an assessment and development tool, enabling companies to implement CSR best practices and analyse their strategies and regulations in their efforts to curb the effects of their commercial activities on the environment and the community. It can also be used in internal audits to evaluate and develop CSR policies.

Founded in 2004, the Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) is the first institution of its kind in the UAE that plays a leading role in promoting corporate social responsibility. The Centre encourages member companies of the Chamber to adopt responsible business practices, which ultimately enhance their performance and competitiveness.

Farnek buys Certis in major UAE security services acquisition

  • Farnek to integrate 1,800 Certis staff making the total FM company a top ten player in UAE manned security market  
  • Middle East commercial security market expects over 16% annual growth and will be worth more than $5.6 billion by 2022

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 1st March: Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek has completed the acquisition of Certis Guarding Services LLC.

Singapore headquartered Certis, has been operating in the UAE for over a decade and has offices in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The company employs more than 1,800 staff and Certis is considered one of the top ten companies in the security services sector in the UAE.

“We estimate that there will be increased demand for commercial security, particularly manned security detail, over the next four to five years, throughout the UAE. We have been growing our security services division steadily and recently expanded our operation into Abu Dhabi,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“However, to become a major player in the UAE security services market, we needed a substantial presence, to compete for major contracts that require substantial manpower which on occasions can come with short term mobilisation. Acquiring Certis now affords us that presence and flexibility, as well as a competent and experienced security workforce.

“We have also inherited a very impressive portfolio of blue-chip customers, which gives us the opportunity to present our unique smartwatch security system, as well a broader range of sustainable and innovative of FM solutions,” he added.  

Turning to the practicalities of the acquisition, the Certis trademark will be rebranded as Farnek with personnel from Certis’ offices already relocated to Farnek’s head office in Dubai and office in Abu Dhabi.

Certis employees will stay in their current housing complex, before moving into Farnek’s $41 million, state-of-the-art, staff accommodation centre in Dubai Investments Park. The facility, which has been fast tracked and already has the shell construction completed, will be ready for employees to move in by October, and will provide the smartest and the most energy, water and waste-efficient facility of its kind in the region.

Farnek has invested well over one million dollars into research and development to advance, amongst other tech-driven initiatives, its multifunctional smartwatch technology.

The Android watch is programmed, coded and developed in-house and provides attendance and incident reporting as well as call facilities. All watches are connected to Farnek’s state-of-the-art command centre, to pinpoint the exact location of guards and provide them with real-time updates.

Recent market figures from research outfit, Frost & Sullivan, have estimated that the Middle East commercial security market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% to $5.6 billion by 2022.

The research indicated that demand for IP-based video surveillance systems, access control and intrusion detectors would continue to drive the market, which is supported by increased government spending on infrastructure projects and the introduction of new and more stringent regulations, creating additional market opportunities.

“Offering a well-trained and tech savvy workforce is essential, new age surveillance is all about automation, intelligence, and resource efficiency. We are currently focusing on command and control room solutions, body cameras and Mobile DVRs, time & attendance solutions with Cloud management and video door phone systems,” added Oberlin.

For more information, log on to www.farnek.com

Hitches & Glitches launches regions’ first Uber style Home Maintenance Service App

UAE home maintenance specialist’s new app will allow homeowners and tenants to track the entire journey of their service request from reporting the issue, live tracking of the technician on google maps, through to job completion

Dubai-based sustainable and technology-driven home maintenance specialist Hitches & Glitches (H&G), part of the Farnek Group, has launched an Uber-style home maintenance tracking app.

The smart technology platform, which is the first of its kind in the region in the home maintenance industry, will enable owners and tenants to follow the progress of their home maintenance service requests from reporting the issue to job completion. The platform tracks the exact arrival time of the technician live on google maps, it also allows customers online approval for the cost of materials to complete their home repair.

With an experienced and professional team of over 100 technicians, H&G’s new app will cover all forms of maintenance and repairs from electrical and plumbing works, to water tank cleaning, air conditioning and swimming pool maintenance, smart home product repairs and updates, gardening, cleaning and general handyman jobs.

Javeria Aijaz, Information and Communications Technology, Farnek, said: “Gone are the days of taking full days off work or giving up your weekend to wait at home for technicians arriving to take care of your home repairs. With a real-time tracking system which is linked to Google Maps, our customers will be able to track the location of their technician and their exact arrival time through the app.

“With this app, convenience combined with quality, reliable and value for money services for our customers is key. Not only does this innovative platform further extend our unique, customer-focused offering but it also reinforces our position as the leading technology-driven home maintenance specialist in the UAE.”

As well as providing home maintenance tracking, the app also allows customers to browse H&G’s wide range of maintenance packages before subscribing to a suitable package, or indeed customising their own package specific to their individual needs.

App-users can also make payments via the smart platform through Google and Apple Pay for any parts or works carried out in their home, offering a fast and simple way to pay online and further adding to the convenience credentials of the app. Users will also be able to keep up to date with H&G’s latest products and offers.

Not only does this new platform provide an innovative service offering for customers, but it will also provide an effective and efficient dashboard for H&G’s technicians, with all jobs now assigned electronically through the app.

Aijaz, added: “On accepting a job, technicians will receive a full brief of the work required. Through the app they will be able to prepare and send work estimates to customers as well as our operations team, place orders for materials from a detailed inventory list and provide a full update on the status of the works, and indeed, completion of the job once the customer is satisfied.

“The platform is now live and the perfect way to connect clients with a high-quality, seamless and convenient customer journey while negating the need for tedious amounts of administration work from a Hitches & Glitches perspective” she added.

The app is now available on Android and IoS.

ENDS

About Hitches and Glitches

Hitches & Glitches is a technology led office and home maintenance business, and its vision statement is to become the ultimate provider of sustainable and technology-driven home maintenance services throughout the UAE. It strives to deliver excellence in home maintenance services with a focus on quality, value and sustainable best practice while being led by innovative technology, which exceeds the expectations of our customers.

To find out more, call 800 42634 or visit www.hitchesglitches.com

Farnek CEO lists top five FM industry trends for 2020

Markus Oberlin, CEO of UAE-based Farnek, shares his top five industry trends to watch out for in 2020

Markus Oberlin, CEO of UAE-based Farnek, which was placed at number 4 in FM Middle East’s 2019 FM Power 50, shares his top five industry trends to watch out for in 2020. 

1. Long term partnerships

As the demand for buildings to become smarter by employing advanced technology, whether new build or retrofit, FM companies will more than ever need to start developing strategic partnerships with their customers.
It will be essential to understand the mechanics of their customers’ business and be prepared to invest in technology and infrastructure, hand-in-hand with the customer to achieve common goals.

2. Sustainability 

Being a Swiss-owned company Farnek has been an advocate of sustainability for 40 years now, long before it was mainstream opinion. As more extreme and erratic weather patterns develop across the globe – you only have to look at Australia currently in the grip of devastating bushfires, exacerbated by record high temperatures and months of drought – it is critical we all try to reduce our carbon footprint.
Through energy and water conservation, recycling as well as waste management, our intent in the short term is to reduce our carbon footprint, but the ultimate aim must be to operate in a carbon neutral environment.

3. Employee welfare 

Happy, motivated and dedicated employees make an average company into a great company. In a labour-intensive industry such as FM, (Farnek currently has over 8,000 employees), it is vital that management puts staff welfare right at the top of their agenda.
Quality staff accommodation, with a variety of recreational facilities; good healthcare amenities; comfortable and reliable transportation; educational support and development and tangible career prospects. But most of all it should be about respect and celebration of cultural diversity throughout the workforce.

4. Data driven decision making 

Building Management Systems (BMS), the Internet of Things (IoT) and other smart technologies will, through the implementation of a 5G Network, reach a heightened real time level where more precise, accurate and faster decisions can be made. This will also have a major impact on predictive maintenance.

This will be one of the most exciting areas of progressive deployment in our industry today, it will accelerate the use of technology with limitless possibilities and will without doubt radically change the way that we operate as FM professionals. This brings me neatly onto my fifth point.

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) /Augmented Reality (AR) / Robotic or Machine learning

Much has been made of the technological or fourth industrial revolution, especially the challenge of training technicians as well as keeping them up to date, as technological advances inevitably accelerate. Ironically, technology will provide the solution to this problem and here are a few examples.

By simulating certain work environments in the classroom, through the utilisation of smart glasses, field technicians can be given relevant and bespoke training; Smart Washroom technology in high traffic venues such as shopping malls, will allow management to measure footfall for smarter allocation of cleaning staff as well as consumables, providing invaluable historical records for procurement departments as well as qualified customer satisfaction surveys about their washroom experience.

Finally, the use of AI will optimise the performance of helpdesks with predictive peak calls, intelligent routing and a user sentiment analysis. In addition, it can be used to provide online and real time tracking of service teams which will improve the customer experience as well as 3D printing of spare parts required for maintenance or repairs.

https://www.fm-middleeast.com/people/75911-farnek-ceo-lists-top-five-fm-industry-trends-for-2020

Farnek in the fast lane

Farnek is proud to be working with Yas Marina Circuit on a long term contract to provide mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), cleaning, landscaping, pest control, waste management, specialist services, logistics and additional civil works.

We’re proud to be working with Yas Marina as we approach the final race of the Grand Prix calendar.

Farnek adopts Disney quality standards for customer service

Leading UAE-based FM company, learns how leadership excellence determines exceptional customer service from Disney experts in US

The head of talent development from leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has just returned from a training course and fact-finding mission, at the Disney Institute, Lake Buena Vista, near Orlando, in the US state of Florida.

Uzair Bhamji, who manages the personal and professional development of Farnek’s 8,000 employees, commented: “Disney has been at the forefront of customer service excellence, since it opened its first theme park in Anaheim, California in 1955 and has managed to stay relevant, by defining leadership through actions rather than by title. These leaders create shared values and propose a compelling vision within a framework of effective leadership practice.

“Disney firmly believes that a strong, clear and well-defined customer service strategy coupled with employee empowerment, tends to drive stronger employee performance, which leads to exceptional customer service and ultimately, improved business results,” he said.

“Disney’s customer strategy defines how every employee is expected to behave in every situation and how to make decisions using the D-think mentality. This means that there is no need to improvise at the point of service delivery,” added Bhamji.     

During his week-long visit, Bhamji was taken through the ways in which to better foster leadership at Farnek and to understand how to intentionally demonstrate the behaviours that uphold Farnek’s vision and organisational values, in a parallel fashion to how Disney operates.

“Disney’s consistent business results are driven by superior customer service and this is how it sets itself apart from other organisations,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.  

“One of the most compelling propositions about Disney is that although it has over 8,000 cleaning and maintenance staff at Disney locations around the world, many of whom are earning a modest salary, it still offers some of the highest service standards in the world, proving that motivation is not merely confined to money,” he added.

Bhamji also made a number of interesting observations at Disney World, especially how Disney has created a culture of happiness (comparable in many ways to the UAE Ministry of Happiness) by referring to all team members as leaders; there are no employee numbers, merely partner numbers, cleaners are called custodians; empowerment was highly evident and finally there were no warning signs or negative symbols.

“It was also very interesting to notice that the ‘custodians’ were empowered to enhance the customer experience whenever necessary,” commented Bhamji.

Farnek is now making preparations to demonstrate the benefits of Disney’s customer service quality standards, to all of its workforce, through its state-of-the-art, in-house training centre, by October 2020, allowing Farnek’s customers to experience its new and enhanced levels of quality, emulating Farnek’s peers in the ‘magic kingdom’.

In terms of quality, Farnek was the first FM company in the UAE to comply with ISO 41001:2018 last year and is also certified by the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc). In addition, earlier this year, Farnek successfully achieved the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard Green Building (CIMS-GB) certification.

Farnek wins five-year Dubai Airports contract

Farnek wins five-year Dubai Airports contract

UAE-based facilities management company to mobilise 800 staff to provide cleaning services in Terminals 1 & 2, Concourse D, DXB Cargo & Logistics as well as DWC

Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has been awarded a five-year contract by Dubai Airports.

Farnek, who will mobilise in excess of 800 cleaning staff to fulfil the contract, will be responsible for Terminals 1 & 2, Concourse D, Cargo & Logistics at Dubai International (DXB), as well as Dubai World Central (DWC).

“As the gateway to a global destination for tourism and trade, and as the world’s number one airport for international passengers, we have very specific requirements in terms of the quality and standard of cleaning required at DXB. Farnek has been a preferred partner since 2014 and has a very clear understanding of our requirements. Farnek also shares our vision for sustainability in their day to day operations and we value that greatly,” said Dorothee Stein, Head of Facility Care, Dubai Airports.

The contract includes the cleaning services management of landside and airside facilities, including all passenger and stakeholder areas. In addition, at DWC, Farnek will also be responsible for managing the passenger baggage trolley services.

“Being awarded this contract in the face of intense competition, speaks volumes for our innovative approach to utilising technology and sustainability in our day to day service offering,” commented Julian Khalil, Director Soft FM, Farnek.

“We will be using our smart watch technology for example, to service remote areas more efficiently and we were the first company in the UAE to be certified to the cleaning industry management standard for green buildings (CIMS-GB), which effectively endorses our ability to deliver sustainable, high quality, customer focused cleaning services,” added Khalil.

The CIMS-GB standard is also tailored to provide Farnek’s customers with precisely what they need to secure points under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings; Operations and Maintenance (LEED EB: O&M) Green Building Rating System.

The LEED programme aims to encourage and support building owners and operators to become more environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently, an issue that is becoming increasingly important as Dubai aims to achieve smart, sustainable city status by 2021.

Farnek’s proposals always clearly demonstrate its compliance with six core principles – quality systems, service delivery, human resources, health, safety, environmental stewardship and management commitment.

As a part of Farnek’s sustainability strategy, management focus on plans to conserve natural resources, as well as analysing the environmental impact of its operational impact. Staff are then trained choose the most efficient cleaning techniques using minimal water and electricity, as well as producing less waste.

Farnek boosts executive team with new head of sustainability

Farnek boosts executive team with new head of sustainability

Nadia Ibrahim to drive environmental strategy at total FM company, including carbon and energy management, waste management and water saving initiatives

Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek has boosted its executive team, promoting Nadia Ibrahim to Head of Consultancy, responsible for driving Farnek’s sustainability strategy.

Having previously worked in Farnek’s waste management department, Ibrahim will now be managing Farnek’s award-winning consultancy division, responsible for all activities related to sustainability, such as auditing energy efficiency, water-saving, and recycling initiatives, as well as waste management schemes, using a number of tools including Farnek’s own Optimizer software programme.

Ibrahim has over 12 years’ experience, throughout the Middle East and India and has a master’s degree in environmental management, is an ISO Lead Auditor with NEBOSH certifications and is a Green Globe Accredited auditor.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “Nadia has been working with us for almost two years now and besides corporate knowhow, brings a wealth of experience in multidisciplinary sustainable planning and design projects and unparalleled knowledge of health, safety and quality programmes, audits and inspections.

“A key element of the role will be showcasing to our clients, not only the latest technology and techniques to reduce energy, water and waste and the positive impact that has on their carbon emissions, but it is essential that we show businesses how much money they can save – it really is a win-win situation,” he added.

Ibrahim will direct a team of energy efficiency engineers, auditors and sustainability performance consultants who are working across a number of industry sectors in the UAE including hotels and hospitality, retail, commercial offices and residential properties. 

“I have been a sustainability specialist for over a decade now and I am particularly keen to generate even greater awareness of Farnek’s consultancy and our capabilities and of course our unrivalled credentials

“In terms of energy output and water consumption, we can carry out audits, monitor, measure, manage and benchmark, using our Optimizer software. Based on these results we can then also calculate levels of carbon emissions and create a reduction and management programme.

“We also have a range of sustainable products from solar technology to energy and water saving modules and devices.

“Waste management is also a major concern for many businesses, especially the food and beverage departments within hotels. Simply following a strategy of reduce, reuse and recycle, many hotels are now learning how to dramatically lower their food costs,” added Ibrahim.

Earlier this year, Farnek celebrated a decade of achievement with international sustainability certification body Green Globe – having audited and certified 100 hotels and leisure facilities from 24 different hotel chains, in 38 cities across 14 countries in the MENA region.

With Farnek’s support, the process of Green Globe certification has enabled members to save over 180 million kWh of energy, worth over US$20 million and nearly two million cubic metres of water which would have cost almost US$5 million dollars over the last 10 years.

AI-driven Smart Washroom to provide light relief for Dubai residents

AI-driven Smart Washroom to provide light relief for Dubai residents

UAE-based facilities management company utilising IoT and AI Smart Washroom technology as part of revolutionary pilot scheme in Dubai; estimated manpower cost savings of over 20% during low footfall

Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has launched the Middle East’s first digitally monitored washroom to maximise customer satisfaction and promote cost efficiencies.

Using the most advanced and innovative technologies, IoT sensors, machine learning, AI and cloud architecture to promote air quality, identify water spillages, and monitor washroom usage and consumable levels, to ensure the highest customer satisfaction standards. The system collects statistical data digitally, analyses and reveals customer trends and patterns, to offer the best possible customer experience, a win-win for shopping mall tenants and landlords.

“By using a digitalised solution, we’re harnessing big data and transforming the service offering to be more customer experience-driven and cost-effective. Our pilot project installed in a major shopping mall in Dubai is already at an advanced stage, and we estimate we can make manpower cost savings of over 20% during low footfall,” said Farnek CEO, Markus Oberlin.

Unique to Farnek, the system can not only be retrofitted into existing washrooms and implemented for all industries, it also features several sensors and processes unmatched by any other product on the market. Maximising the use of IoT, sensors are located strategically to detect and identify peak times, monitor safety and determine when a cleaner is required.

A dedicated people counter monitors all in and out movement; an air quality monitor identifies gasses such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds; a moisture detector identifies spillages on the floor; while a consumables monitor measures the level of dispensers such as paper towels, toilet rolls and soap solutions. This fosters accurate predictions on stock replenishment and eliminates downtime by 100%.

“But essentially, it boils down to the intrinsic correlation between footfall, air quality and customer experience. Using multiple sensors, we can determine the air quality index (AQI) during periods of elevated footfall, evaluated against recognised international standards.

“AQI works like a thermometer that operates from zero to 500 degrees, but instead of measuring temperature, the AQI will identify any changes in the amount of impurities in the air. To counter any negative readings, say during peak footfall, we can adjust the airflow to ensure more fresh air is circulated, which subsequently increases the level of customer satisfaction,” added Oberlin.

The system also supports real-time customer feedback allowing facility managers to re-evaluate service delivery – further enhancing the customer experience. Back

Smart technology key to Farnek’s increased share of Abu Dhabi manned security market

Smart technology key to Farnek’s increased share of Abu Dhabi manned security market

  • FM company invests AED 5 million into R&D with ME commercial security market estimated to be worth AED 20.6 billion by 2022
  • Smartwatch technology to spearhead firm’s advanced market proposition

Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek is to benefit from the increased demand for commercial security, particularly manned security detail, over the next four to five years, in the UAE capital.

Farnek’s security division, based at its office in Abu Dhabi, has gained significant market share during the past 12 months, thanks primarily to the introduction of its unique smartwatch system and a highly trained workforce able to maximise the benefits this new technology affords.

With an existing customer base including hotels, residential real estate and industrial premises, Farnek has seen unprecedented growth in its manned security division in Abu Dhabi. Having launched initially with just 72 guards in 2017, Farnek is now outperforming the market with a current growth rate of eight per cent per month and now employs over 170 guards.

Discussing Farnek’s market position and the growth of the security industry in Abu Dhabi, Saeed Tamimi, Farnek’s Abu Dhabi Security Manager, said that he expects Farnek’s headcount in Abu Dhabi, to more than double within the next few years, as the infrastructure becomes more sophisticated and demand for technology-led security and surveillance increases.

“Security in Abu Dhabi has witnessed incredible growth over the last decade, in parallel with the UAE capital’s economic performance and the rapid growth of its infrastructure.

“Naturally, across all vertical industry sectors including tourism, real estate, leisure and banking, end-to-end mobile, digitally led, full protection services, are in high demand. This is where Farnek has been able to capitalise on and expedite its market offering.”   

In order to satisfy the technology demand, Farnek has invested AED 5 million into research and development to advance, amongst other tech-driven initiatives, its multifunctional smartwatch technology.

Unique to Farnek’s security offering, the Android watch is programmed, coded and developed in-house and provides attendance and incident reporting as well as call facilities. All watches are connected to Farnek’s state-of-the-art command centre, to pinpoint the exact location of guards and provide them with real-time updates.

“Through embarking on the digital transformation of our services, we’ve seen a large uptick in enquiries for our unique security service offering. Businesses like the technology, they’re encouraged by Farnek’s near 40-year pedigree, and they’re also reassured by the fact every one of our security guards has either a police or military background,” added Tamimi.

According to Gartner, the leading research and advisory company, spending on information security technology and services in the MENA region topped AED6.6 billion in 2017, an 11% increase on the previous year.

Recent market figures from research outfit, Frost & Sullivan, have estimated that the Middle East commercial security market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% to AED20.6 billion by 2022.

The research indicated that demand for IP-based video surveillance systems, access control and intrusion detectors would continue to drive the market, which is supported by increased government spending on infrastructure projects and the introduction of new and more stringent regulations, creating additional market opportunities.

According to Tamimi, offering a well trained and tech savvy workforce is essential if clients are going to realise the full potential of their investment in secure technology. And there are add on benefits and niche market openings.

“These opportunities are not only confined to security companies supplying hi-tech equipment and more locally-based manned security details, this sophisticated equipment will need to be installed and maintained, particularly with the UAE’s abrasive summer climate. So, we see additional prospects for more sophisticated maintenance as this fast-paced vertical market inevitably grows,” added Tamimi.

“This new age surveillance is all about automation, intelligence, and resource efficiency, commented Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“We are currently focusing on command and control room solutions, body cameras and Mobile DVRs, time & attendance solutions with Cloud management and video door phone systems,” added Oberlin.Back

Farnek – Green Globe sustainability partnership, saves MENA hotels $25 million in energy and water bills over 10 years

FFarnek – Green Globe sustainability partnership, saves MENA hotels $25 million in energy and water bills over 10 years

Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek is celebrating a decade of achievement with international sustainability certification body Green Globe.

Having signed their original partnership agreement in 2009, over the past decade Farnek, working together with Green Globe, has audited and certified 100 hotels and leisure facilities from 24 different hotel chains throughout the MENA region in 38 cities across 14 countries.

Farnek has also coached over 2,900 hotel heads of departments about the process of certification, the wider environment and cost benefits of sustainability. As such 85,000 members of hotel staff, responsible for servicing approximately 28,000 rooms, will have received direct training.

“With Farnek’s support, the process of Green Globe certification, has enabled members to save over 180 million kWh of energy, worth over $20 million and nearly two million cubic metres of water which would have cost almost $5 million dollars over the last 10 years,” said Sandrine Le Biavant, Director – Consultancy, at Farnek.  

“A facility can save energy and water consumption by between 5% and 20% and subsequently make significant savings on utility costs, according to Farnek’s Hotel Optimizer benchmarking data – thanks to the guidelines and precise no cost, or low-cost recommendations provided.

“Potentially an average sized, five-star city hotel can save as much as $100,000 per year and in addition, waste recycling can also achieve up to 51% diversion, generating additional income from waste rebates,” added Le Biavant.

Farnek and Green Globe have worked in tandem with a range of four and five-star properties, as well as local independent and international chain hotels such as, Moevenpick, Jumeirah, Anantara, TIME Hotels, JA Resorts and Emaar Hospitality, as well as hotel owners for whom sustainability standards and audits encourage a strong team focus on savings.

Green Globe is the leading sustainability certification for tourism facilities and businesses, providing them with a detailed framework (per department) on how to implement sustainability, practically.

The Green Globe Standard includes 44 core criteria supported by over 385 compliance indicators related to environmental, social, cultural and organisational initiatives.  

“To motivate compliance to the highest international standards, Farnek’s role as an independent consultant and auditor over the past decade has been of paramount importance,” commented Guido Bauer, CEO – Green Globe.

“With increasing interest in sustainability in the MENA region from governments, corporate customers and also individuals, including the scale of leisure facilities, I am confident that in Farnek I have an innovative and trusted partner who strongly drives the agenda of sustainability. Green Globe will continue to evolve in partnership with its members, to address the challenges and opportunities that the next decade will bring,” added Bauer.

Out of the 19 requirements from Dubai Sustainable Tourism integrated in the Hotel Licensing standards, 15 are already included in Green Globe certification requirements, while other standards are related to Dubai Government’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing tourism programmes.

Many Green Globe certified hotels have subsequently been recognised for their efforts through programmes such as Green Hotelier Awards, Dubai Quality Awards, Dubai Sustainability Awards and other internal green awards, organised by their own management companies.

“However, it is not just about cost-savings and awards,” stated Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

“Green Globe certification is a powerful program that can initiate a paradigm shift in corporate culture, that is not only positive for the environment and the communities in which they operate, but also fulfilling for all of the stakeholders involved, because of the depth of the programme and the stringent auditing process, members that are certified can be considered as true leaders in sustainability,” said Oberlin.

Plastic feels fantastic on Dubai Eye’s, the agenda

Plastic feels fantastic on Dubai Eye’s, the agenda

Listen to our director of sustainability, Sandrine Le Biavant, talk all things Plastic Feels Fantastic on Dubai Eye’s, The Agenda, with Tom Urqhart.

Why we choose to provide our staff with sustainable clothing, the PET recycling process and our plans to divert more PET from the UAE’s landfills.

Listen here to find out more: