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:

Hitches & Glitches Launches 100% Recycled Uniform Polo Shirts

Hitches & Glitches Launches 100% Recycled Uniform Polo Shirts

Hitches & Glitches, part of the Farnek Group, is taking sustainability to a new level, introducing a brand new, 100% recycled uniform polo shirt for its employees.  Made purely from recycled plastic bottles (containing ‘rPET’ or ‘recycled PET’), Hitches & Glitches’ employees will start wearing the innovative new shirts from today – each one putting six old water bottles to good use.

PET is best known as the clear plastic used for water and soda bottle containers, and is 100% recyclable.  The polo shirts will be manufactured by DGrade, which supplies the highest quality eco-friendly products that are made from recycled plastic bottles (rPET).

For Hitches & Glitches, plastic bottles that are collected from new recycling bins in the Al Quoz Head Office and employee accommodation blocks are turned into yarn, which is then used to manufacture each of the shirts.  According to DGrade, producing yarn from recycled plastic uses 50% less energy compared to manufacturing virgin polyester yarn, and results in 55% less carbon emissions.

Markus Oberlin, CEO of Farnek, said: “With sustainability at the core of our business strategy, we are proud to unveil the new 100% rPET Hitches & Glitches employee polo shirt, which has taken our team a great deal of time and effort to conceptualise, design and produce. Working with DGrade has been pivotal in the implementation of this initiative, as we are aware that every bit of conservation is important.  By putting plastic waste generated by our own employees to good use, Hitches & Glitches is leading the way in sustainable clothing in the home and office maintenance industry.”

To date, Hitches & Glitches has diverted nearly 4,000 rPET bottles from the UAE’s landfills and turned them into its pioneering sustainable clothing range. It plans to roll out the uniforms across its whole business, including Farnek, helping to further reduce the amount of plastic diverted to landfill.

“Throughout this process, our aim was to ensure we were producing something that was both sustainable and functional.  The unique shirt is a performance fabric that whisks away moisture, ensuring our staff are kept cool and dry while attending to customers’ needs, and at the same time helps us to reach our sustainability goals,” added Oberlin.

The amount of plastic present within the UAE is increasing at an alarming rate, and takes thousands of years to decompose in a landfill.  DGrade’s research shows that the UAE has the fourth highest consumption rate of bottled water per person in the world, and that the country produces more than 2.75 billion rPET water bottles every year.  Currently, less than 6% of plastic is recycled in the UAE, and 50% of camel deaths in the country are attributed as a result of plastic ingestion.

Founder of DGrade, Kris Barber, said: “We’re thrilled to support Hitches & Glitches in working towards achieving its sustainability goals. By sourcing its uniform from DGrade, Hitches & Glitches is participating in a closed-loop supply chain; reusing used water bottles to produce uniforms that would otherwise be made using virgin polyester fabrics derived from oil. A closed-loop supply chain is pivotal in establishing a sustainable economy in the UAE and can only be achieved with the commitment from organisations like Hitches & Glitches.”  

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Farnek breaks ground on AED 150 million state-of-the-art staff accommodation

FarnFarnek breaks ground on AED 150 million state-of-the-art staff accommodation

New intelligent and environmentally-friendly 800 room facility in Dubai South, will be completed in summer 2020 and home to 5,000 employees

Leading UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management (FM) company Farnek, has broken ground on its new AED 150 million state-of-the-art staff accommodation in Dubai Investments Park.

The 100,000 square feet facility, which will become home to some 5,000 Farnek employees, will be completed by the summer of 2020. The low-rise (basement, G+5) building 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.

Farnek has worked extremely closely with an architectural team on the building design, to ensure that it would operate as efficiently as possible rather than having to do that retroactively.

“That is what typically happens when competent FM companies are not consulted about design,” commented Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

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

Three areas of design that Farnek paid particular attention to, were energy, water efficiency and waste management.

“Designing a sustainable home for 5,000 people, will come with certain operational challenges, such as waste and sewage management. We have designed a unique solution that will reduce the volume of waste generated that would ordinarily go to landfill,” said Oberlin.

Some of the other design highlights include solar panels on the roof of the building covering 150 square metres, which will meet all hot water requirements. Over 4,000 LED-lights are to be 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 energy-efficient features include reflective glazing which reflects and absorbs the sun’s rays, reflective exterior paint, wall and roof insulation, energy recovery ventilation and energy-efficient air-conditioning.

The facility’s 800 rooms will be managed by a bespoke software solution, so that new employees can be welcomed 24/7 at a dedicated reception lobby, sign in and be shown to their rooms in minutes. Other features include, a prayer room, medical clinic, restaurant, library, gym, and a barber shop.

“Connectivity is essential for staff welfare today, so free Wi-Fi will be made available to all staff throughout the entire complex,” said Oberlin.  

Dubai South will invest AED1 billion in the development of facilities and infrastructure with key focus on logistics in the next few years, with the sector in Dubai South recording double-digit growth year-on-year. And Dubai World Central (DWC) has quickly ascended the global rankings for international freight volumes and is now ranked in the top 20.

“Having up to 5,000 technicians just minutes away from the Expo 2020 site and DWC, will certainly afford us a competitive edge, in the short and longer term,” said Oberlin.