Facilities Management, MENA
From setting award-winning best practices in public parks, to ensuring daily operational performance for technology clients, Abdessalem’s dedication to the industry and years of experience across a range of sectors has propelled him into his role as facilities management portfolio director for Mace in the Middle East.
- How did you get into what you do?
I still remember the day back in 2009 when I decided to join the FM industry and had the opportunity to work with a large real estate company in Dubai, managing services across 3,500 residential and commercial units. Following that first experience, I enrolled in several post graduate FM modules and training courses and my passion for FM kept growing.
I took another step on the ladder and joined a public services provider managing a significant leisure project in Abu Dhabi, before finally I found what feels like home when I joined Mace in 2015. My father owns a contracting company delivering mains water pipelines and maintenance services in Tunisia, and I feel that somehow, I have always belonged to the FM industry.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
I joined Mace as a project manager, managing what was Mushrif Central Park, now called Umm Al Emarat Park; considered one of the most prestigious public spaces in MENA region. The scope at the park was covering all aspects of FM including public relations, events and crisis management, which often led me to some extremely interesting days! I always felt proud whenever we had the chance to showcase the success stories of the park on national TV.
In 2018, I was given the opportunity to take on the role of portfolio director, overseeing the daily performance and client relationship management of projects across a range of sectors within the MENA region. I’m now responsible for a team of brilliant account leads, who deliver high quality facilities management every day to clients in the leisure, sports, arts and culture, public bodies and estates, and technology industries.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
Working with a diverse team overseeing a number of sites for our clients, spanning a range of sectors and industries. We provide an extensive service to our clients and that’s something I enjoy about working at Mace, as it makes us different to our competitors in the market and positions us strongly with clients.
I really enjoy being surrounded by so many talents upon whom I can lean whenever I need advice, and the mind-set of people towards the pursuit of a better way and their enthusiasm to make a positive impact every day.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
- Setting best practices in managing public spaces in UAE during our four year tenure at Umm Al Emarat Park and being recognised as leaders in park’s management through consecutive Green Flag Awards and client testimonials. That level of recognition really demonstrated the work that goes on behind the scenes in facilities management, and the tireless dedication the teams provide to deliver customer satisfaction.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- Transparency is the best way to engage both the client and the team. Don’t shy away from constructive criticism and offer praise to your team members and colleagues. Facilities management needs an out of the box thinker and there is always a better, more innovative solution to a problem, no matter how big or small.
- What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years?
- With my role, I’m well positioned to support the growth of both our contracts and the wider business. I hope to be doing my part to nurture the business in the next few years, supporting business development across the regions and retaining our clients by cultivating strong relationships and continuing to deliver high quality services for years to come.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
- From October to April, just fishing. I can drive for hours any day of the week just to enjoy catching a kingfish before sunrise.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
- I cook the best Italian spaghetti - although my wife and my daughter would never admit it!
“Facilities management needs an out of the box thinker and there is always a better, more innovative solution to a problem, no matter how big or small.”