Saudi Arabia pavilion ... a key FM contract for Farnek.

Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek has secured contracts for eight national pavilions, worth AED16.7 million ($4.55 million) at the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

These countries include China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Switzerland, Singapore, The Philippines, Morocco and Pakistan.

The largest contract of the eight is for the Saudi Arabian pavilion, says Farnek.Spanning at over 13,000 sq m, it is the second largest pavilion at Expo 2020, after that of the UAE.

More than 130 staff will be deployed to provide cleaning, pest control, operational support and facility integration services.

Oberlin ... unique challenge.

Oberlin ... unique challenge.

CEO Markus Oberlin says: “The Saudi Arabian pavilion presents us with a unique challenge which, simply put, is its sheer scale. During the six-month Expo 2020, it will be open to the public for up to 16 hours per day, which will require a dedicated team of over 130 technical and cleaning staff, working shifts throughout the show.”

The China pavilion is also another major contract win, that will require over 80 staff covering security, cleaning and pest control.

“The China Pavilion will also be one of the largest at Expo 2020 Dubai, measuring over 4,600 sq m.  Symbolising hope and a bright future, it is modelled on a traditional lantern with architecture that references ancient Chinese innovations – like a wall inspired by fluent printing technology, which turns into a dazzling digital light show at night,” he explains.

Images of the pavilion reveal an impressive rectangular, reflective structure that will stand at an angle and will cover a space larger than two football pitches. Soaring 27 m into the sky, the facade opens like a gigantic window into the future, reflecting a society deeply rooted in its culture with unlimited ambitions.

“This is a complex and intelligent structure,” remarks Khaldun Aburok, Farnek’s Director of Business Development. “And the Chinese officials were confident that we understood how smart buildings worked and more importantly how to maintain, clean and secure them.”

“We are currently working closely with Huawei, developing smart security solutions tailored to our specific requirements, at our new AED200-million staff accommodation centre – Farnek Village,” adds Aburok.

Considering that Farnek is 100 per cent Swiss owned and managed, it will come as no surprise to learn that the company has also won the FM contract for the Swiss pavilion.

Based on tradition and innovation, this is another technically advanced marquee, where visitors can take a virtual hike through the Swiss countryside, it has a restaurant serving Swiss specialties and it’s expecting 15,000 visitors per day.

“The challenge with the Swiss pavilion was high footfall, understanding their technology and managing the highest standards of cleanliness for the restaurant as well as the high traffic areas,” says Oberlin.  “Switzerland is in our DNA – quite literally in many cases and so we had an in-depth understanding of their requirements and we have allocated more than 30 technicians to manage this diverse and innovative pavilion.”

Sustainability was another key feature of the Bahrain, Pakistan, Morocco, Singapore and Philippines pavilions. In the case of Singapore, under their theme of ‘Nature, Nurture, Future’ visitors will go through an immersive 3D experience and witness a net-zero energy rainforest powered by a self-sustaining ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the Philippines pavilion, which was inspired by an island nation, a coral reef will be brought to life in a sustainable space, where nature and technology are one.

“Time and again, we came across like-minded country officials who shared our passion for a future that is both smart and green and I believe that our clearly-defined proposition enabled us to obtain these contracts,” says Aburok.

Elsewhere at the Expo 2020 site, Farnek is also responsible for the hard and soft services FM of the entire ‘Opportunity District’ and Farnek Hospitality was recently chosen to manage the 2,273 new apartments in Expo Village. Its scope of work includes managing the reservation services, concierge, front office services and housekeeping.

Among other developments at Farnek, the company has launched Hitek solution 4.0 at its new 24/7 command and control room, located in Farnek Village, the company’s new staff accommodation centre in Jebel Ali.

The firm estimates that its Hitek solution 4.0 will save its customers up to 17 per cent in manpower costs after traditional FM operational management has been transferred to Hitek’s smart management.

Through its 5G and Wi-Fi 6-enabled, operational ‘nerve centre’, Farnek will be able to take advantage of increased bandwidth, ultra-low latency and enhanced security, to connect assets from multiple sites, so that they can be centrally monitored and managed, the company says.  

This will allow Farnek to roll out connected and transformative applications of technology that not only uplift the face of FM digitalisation, but also offer enhanced efficiency, it adds.

This is achieved through the concept of a digitally connected workforce and customers, to its in-house stream of technically advanced and cost-effective solutions, utilising the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies, amongst others.

In addition, through IoT sensors, there is also the massive benefit of predictive and proactive maintenance, which can reduce downtime and improve the lifecycle of assets, facilitating remote monitoring with a fully connected and mobile workforce, the company says.