A Premier Magazine Dedicated to the Management of the Built Environment

The Expo has opened up new avenues for growth

 

As part of the ‘Expo Experience’ series, CM today talks to Jamal Abdulla Lootah, GCEO, Imdaad on the measures they took to get ready for the big event!

 


November 1, 2021
 
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The Expo has opened up new avenues for growth
 

The Expo Village holds special significance as the official residential community to accommodate the participants of Expo 2020 Dubai. Imdaad was awarded a five-year contract to provide Total Facilities Management (TFM) services. Their dedicated team of 165 highly-trained and experienced technical and cleaning staff will deliver a wide range of Soft and Hard FM services across the residential, commercial, and community facilities of Expo Village. Talking about their experience to CM today is Jamal Abdulla Lootah, GCEO, Imdaad.  

Imdaad is managing the Expo Village, the official residential community of Expo 2020. Can you shed light on the focus areas of this contract and the importance of maintaining this facility? 

Expo Village holds special significance as the official residential community to accommodate the participants of Expo 2020 Dubai. With a total area of around 4,892,040 sq. ft., the gated community features several clusters of residential units, ranging from studios to 4-bedroom apartments with podium parking, in addition to a wide range of retail outlets and community amenities. Dubai needs to ensure that the guests of the world’s greatest show have a delightful experience complete with a comfortable stay.

Imdaad was awarded a five-year contract to provide Total Facilities Management (TFM) services here considering our industry-leading capabilities and our outstanding track record in delivering exceptional services to the fullest satisfaction of our customers. Our dedicated team of 165 highly-trained and experienced technical and cleaning staff will deliver a wide range of Soft and Hard FM services across the residential, commercial, and community facilities of Expo Village. The long-term contract will enable us to contribute to the sustained operations of the Expo Village, which will transition post Expo 2020 to meet the anticipated future demand of District 2020.

The pandemic is still amongst us and the last two years have been instrumental in raising the overall standards in the industry. We have learned many lessons along the way. What are some of them that will be adapted for the EXPO? 

The pandemic has spotlighted the importance of employee safety, sustainability, technology, skills, and customer experience across industries, and facilities management is no exception. With people at the heart of Imdaad’s business, we will prioritize worker health, safety, and welfare at all our offices and sites including Expo Village. Sustainability is already a key consideration for us in our operations and offerings, and Expo 2020 Dubai’s special emphasis on that will inspire us to continue embracing sustainable practices including the modernization of tools and equipment and ensuring the eco-friendliness of raw materials such as cleaning solutions.

Similarly, we will harness emerging technologies and take full advantage of the endless possibilities they offer to innovate our products and services and deliver superior customer experiences to the participants of the event. Further, we recognize that the enhancement of our human resource capabilities will be crucial to our future resilience and success. We will not miss an opportunity to invest in upskilling and re-skilling our people to enable them to deliver on our mandates efficiently.

Can you elaborate on any additional training provided for the staff?   

At Imdaad, we have been providing our employees with world-class job-related training and development programs to empower them to achieve excellence in their personal and professional lives. But the unprecedented health and safety risks posed by the pandemic led us to embark on a new comprehensive training program to raise awareness of COVID-19 among our staff and educate them on the precautionary measures. It was important to ensure that our teams understand not only the cleaning and disinfection protocols but also the health and safety precautions that must be followed.

Our Environment, Health, Safety, and Quality (EHSQ) department conducted a total of 14,200 sessions of toolbox talks covering 170,350 training hours in 2020 besides 2341 awareness/prevention programs spanning 30,845 hours. The COVID-19 awareness training covered 1,938 employees across 110 locations. These pieces of training complemented 50 modules available at our Imtiaz Academy, which offers both academic learning sessions and hands-on practical training delivered by British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) certified assessors.

How important is it for the industry to think beyond the Expo?

There is no doubt that Expo 2020 Dubai has played a pivotal role in the advancement and evolution of almost all industries and businesses in Dubai over the past several years. It has opened up new avenues for growth and enabled us to broaden our horizons. In the run-up to the mega event, we have been provided with opportunities for industry collaboration and product innovation.

While we continue to explore opportunities emerging from Expo 2020 Dubai with the event currently underway, we must set our sights on what the future built on the success of this six-month world fair holds. We hope that District 2020 will continue to deliver on the legacy of this extraordinary world fair inspiring us to create and embrace possibilities.