FM Expo Saudi 2017, which kicked off in Jeddah on 15 January, will shed focus on the role of technology in facilities management (FM) today, the show's organisers announced.

Sessions commencing at 4.30pm local time will also focus on FM in the healthcare sector. 

Workshops that explore the current role of FM in Saudi Arabia, and how it must evolve to cope with future demand, have also been slated for the day. 

Remarking on the state of the FM industry in the kingdom, Alistair Stranack, partner at Credo Business Consulting and presenter of today's opening session, said: "With the current quality of FM provision find it very hard to maintain the kind of new building stock being built in Saudi Arabia without a significant change in approach. 

"Technology can improve how buildings are maintained, but the challenge is that the prevalent contract structures in Saudi are very much input-based and focused on cost per person.

"The overall economics of the whole building cycle can be handled much more cost effectively if you have a proper maintenance programme," Stranack added. 

FM Expo Saudi and Saudi Clean Expo, co-located with HVAC R Expo Saudi, all run until 17 January at the Jeddah Centre for Forum and Events.

The events as well as their accompanying workshops are free to attend, with Advanced Facilities Management acting as headline sponsor of FM Expo Saudi 2017.