Facilities management covers a range of activities, from cleaning services to pest control, office services, landscaping, waste management and building management systems.

In the UAE, these services are big business. The outsourced facilities management industry really only took off ten years ago, when the shift form doing everything in-house truly begin to take hold.

And while many large firms (especially those in property management, both residential and commercial) may have locked-in contracts with the bigger name providers, there is still plenty of room for SME players both to break into the market and to increase market share.

The on-going delivery of new commercial and residential buildings, coupled with an increasing demand for ever-higher levels of service provision, should see a healthy growth of the industry into the next decade.

Size and growth

In 2012, around $21.8 billion was spent on facilities management in the GCC. The bulk of this was in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. (Source: Middle East Facility Management Association)
However, the UAE Facilities Management sector alone is now estimated to be worth in excess of AED 20bn a year. (Source: G4S)
60 per cent of most industries in the UAE outsource their Facilities Management requirements. (Source: G4S)
The key need is for end-to-end providers. (Source: Etisalat Facilities Management).

Risks and barriers

  • The sector is largely dependent on construction. While the UAE property market goes from strength to strength, the Facilities Management sector grows with it. However this could also work in the opposite direction: should property slump, so could Facilities Management.
  • Arguably, not all companies entering the UAE Facilities Management market are sufficiently equipped to meet the global benchmarks that exist here. In particular, smaller companies may not be adequately capitalised, may have insufficient expertise or limited staffing ability.


  • “The single, most important critical improvement we are seeing in the UAE market is the sophistication of the contracting. Facilities Management contracts are becoming more integrated, more metric-based, and crucially, longer in duration. The combined effect of these improvements is better service for customers and of course, improved cost-efficiencies for all parties. The UAE is the GCC’s leader in this respect.” (Source: G4S)
  • “The recurring theme around the globe today is sustainable development. The objective is to make buildings greener, proactively conserve and recycle resources, reduce wear and tear, and bring down maintenance expenses. With a combination of good Facilities Management and an efficient energy and water management programme, buildings can cut consumption of these resources by as much as 30 per cent.” (Source: Etisalat)
  • “Consolidation may also be on the cards, as smaller players who face the option of either teaming up with bigger players or going bust. Such factors may re-arrange the UAE’s Facilities Management landscape. An equally vital influencer would be Dubai’s push towards being a smart city. Facilities Management companies will need to keep up with automation technology that may be used within the facilities, which may change the job profile of strategic Facilities Management personnel.” (Source: Emirates Facilities Management.)


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