A panel discussion in progress during the event in Dubai.
Dubai: Dubai’s quest to become the world’s smartest city by 2021 has seen its thirst for technology innovations break new ground in nearly every sector. Added to that, a focus on sustainable sustainability and digital competitiveness is highlighting the importance of embracing digital practices and data-led decision making for a smart future.
Actively advocating the adoption of AI as part of its UAE AI Strategy 2031 and pushing for an interconnected, smart and happy city under the aegis of Smart Dubai, the government is encouraging tech-led innovation across industries. The UAE’s built environment is a critical component of its Smart and Sustainable Vision. Recognizing this need and the gaps in the awareness surrounding tech adoption in UAE’s built environment, Facilio, a US and UAE-based leading facilities optimisation provider, recently brought together UAE’s top industry leaders to share best practices and experiences of tech–led transformation in the built environment.
Future Proof, organised recently at the Palace downtown, was the first of its kind conference that united leading commercial real estate owners, ESCO’s, facilities managers leaders and customers to candidly shared experiences, challenges and pain-points of technology enabled transformation. The objective was two-fold - to discuss how technology is disrupting the way built environments are managed and operated; as well as create a knowledge platform for the community to interact, inspire and grow together.
“As many of the conference delegates affirmed, integrating technology in real estate is no longer an option, it is an imperative. And what we realised was that while there is a lot of disruption in the built space, players are at two ends of the spectrum – some that are still using excel and paper-based systems and wanting to join the tech wave, while others are already using automation and technology extensively. And this is where we felt the ecosystem has a crucial role to play. With Future Proof, we wanted to bridge this gap by creating a platform for progressive industry leaders to share their experiences, thereby helping create an innovation playbook to guide the new entrants wanting to adopt technology, and mitigating their fears associated with technology adoption. At the same time learning from each others experiences”, said Prabhu Ramachnadran, Founder & CEO, Facilio Inc.
The format of the event was unconventional with no product presentations. Interactive panel discussions led by industry leaders from companies like Emaar, Al Fajer FM, Qurum Business Group (QBG), Concordia, Deyaar, Eltizam, Emrill, Smart AE, Marriott, Tecom and Smart IoT, helped identify how technology has disrupted other sectors and the need and benefits of connected and smart buildings. Informative slides, open discussions, incisive debates and a platform that encouraged audience engagement made for a robust and insightful conference.
Another highlight of the event was the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority success story presented by Khalid Al Shiaban, Director – Facilities Management, on managing 44 projects across Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) centrally and how they mastered scaling with technology, while creating value as an FM. “For facilities management to become a partner, and not remain a cost-centre, it needs to bring “added value” to business. Technology has helped us with that across our mixed-use properties at Dubai Silicon Oasis. It has enabled us to centralize and unify building operations, set clear KPI’s, empowered us with data and integrated insights with our systems to enable predictive action”, said Shiaban.
From change makers who have spearheaded technology disruption to unlock unprecedented efficiency in their building portfolios, to new players sharing their fears and struggles with technology adoption, Future Proof was a learning experience for delegates and speakers alike. “Future Proof was a great platform for us to share our success story to inspire others to embrace the technology revolution. Such knowledge sharing initiatives are necessary to bring the FM & Commercial Real Estate (CRE) community closer to benefit from each other’s best practices and experience”, added Shiaban.
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