UAE 'youngster' integrates, innovates to succeed

 "Integrated facilities management" might sound like a complex and complicated term, but its purpose is just the opposite: to simplify. Just ask Imdaad, an innovative United Arab Emirates company that, at only 10 years old, is showing the region that simplifying can be synonymous with success.

The Dubai-based Imdaad puts all of its many arms -- waste and environmental management, pest control, sewage treatment services, energy solutions and more -- into one main body, and in doing so is creating jobs and growing in a highly competitive arena.

At the end of January, Imdaad announced that it was acquiring a local for-profit fire department and all of its infrastructure under a $16 million investment plan.
It is also structuring new partnership contracts to help it manage its significant holdings, including mosques, parks and hospitality facilities. The company now has an agreement with the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai (IACAD) and other partners.

The company's announcements coincide with significant growth in the facilities management (FM) industry. Experts estimates that the GCC spent nearly $900 billion in facilities management in the past quarter-century.

Imdaad CEO Jamal Abdullah Lootah said the opportunity is there to become a leader in the region, as the UAE's facilities management industry lags far behind those in Europe and North America, even though it is accelerating quickly.

“To capitalize on considerable opportunities in the local and regional FM sectors, we at Imdaad are intensifying our efforts to keep up with the latest trends and developments in these markets, especially in terms of technological innovations,” Lootah said. “For 2017, we have laid out an all-encompassing road map that will ensure both exceptional delivery of services to our clientele and significant contributions to the Emirates’ socioeconomic prosperity in line with the goals of UAE Vision 2021.”

Lootah recently discussed the company’s multifaceted growth with the Gulf News Journal, citing the firefighting acquisition as well as an initiative called “TATWIR,” which is intended to support the personal and professional growth of Imdaad’s staff. The word “Tatwir” means development in Arabic. The initiative's goal is to find, develop and keep employees with high-potential talent to help solidify Imdaad's role in the future.

“We posted revenues of more than $136 million during the same period (2016), generating more new business to boost profit margins and enhance our overall revenue growth,” Lootah said.

Lootah also talked about efforts to pursue research and development, along with a major investment plan that’s meant to take Imdaad to the next level.

“All of these are but new strategic additions to our unwavering efforts to maintain our market leadership and introduce pioneering solutions and innovative services to our target markets,” Lootah said. “Additionally, as part of our mission, we will always emphasize deploying eco-friendly equipment and sustainable technologies to contribute to the UAE’s sustainable development.”

The use of eco-friendly and sustainable strategies that Lootah mentioned dovetails with a national policy of diversifying the economy away from oil and pursuing new opportunities around renewable energy sources. A February 10 article in The National details just a few of the big changes that UAE leaders are making not only to save the planet but also to add vitality to the nation’s economic output.

In today’s world, growth and innovation are what keep companies like Imdaad, and nations like the UAE, on top.