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.