In March 2016, Khansaheb Facilities Management (Khansaheb FM) took over the facilities management (FM) of Al Ghadeer Village, a master community located on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi that comprises 2,132 units.
Since that time, Khansaheb FM has been responsible for maintaining Al Ghadeer Village’s 241,656m2 area, which includes significant landscaping, various water features such as ponds, and kids’ play areas and parks. “There is also a vast road network, and circumnavigating the entire master community is more than a 10-minute drive,” says FM director at Khansaheb FM, Jennifer Peltenburg.
Peltenburg and her team traverse the walkways of the master community, surveying the area with eagle-eye attention to detail. “There are a lot of different things to take care of, whether it’s the aspects visible to residents, or not,” she says.
“Landscaping and the overall cleanliness is generally the most [noticeable] aspect of a master community. People want to see that these are looked after when they return home from work or explore the community during the day,” she adds.
The importance of these outdoor elements of the master community means that special attention is required when it comes to the water features, roads, and kids’ play areas, as well as to maintaining the overall health and safety of the staff. “There are three or four different zones in this master community, with regards to the types of villas. Each zone has differently styled lakes, ponds, and parks,” Peltenburg says.
She identifies the challenges that Khansaheb FM initially faced when it took over the project three years ago. “We were involved right from the hand-over period, and had to work with the construction company when we mobilised our staff on site. The most notable challenge we had was on the landscaping side of things, as not all the zones were open to the public yet, owing to construction work that was going on. Channelling irrigation for the landscaped area was a challenge, as well. Over the last three years, we have managed to see the situation through, and while the landscaping has matured, we have been able to develop other aspects of our service delivery.”
A total of 167 employees work on-site at Al Ghadeer Village. This includes sub-contracted staff and Khansaheb FM’s own employees. Together, they manage all hard and soft services for the infrastructural elements of the master community, which is home to more than 4,200 residents, according to its developer, Aldar Properties.
From a capital expenditure perspective, Khansaheb FM has invested $28,000 (AED102,000) in the entire project, a significant proportion of which was during the initial period, when the firm had to acquire equipment such as road sweepers and transportation buggies.
Looking to the future, Peltenburg is confident that Aldar Properties will extend its contract. “In my view, our contract will continue and extend [beyond March 2019], as that tends to happen in FM when you are doing a good job. Partnering with Aldar to deliver new things such as automatic [swimming] pool testing [is also on the cards]. So, moving forwards, we are looking at introducing new aspects to this project and building on our existing efforts.”
She continues: “We have a good relationship with [Aldar], and we regularly enjoy good key performance indicator scores — which are anywhere from 95–100%. The idea is to do this property well, which will set us in good stead with Aldar for future tenders.”
This is not the only master development that Khasaheb FM manages. Elsewhere in its portfolio, the company is involved with TECOM in Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City — a partnership that Peltenburg says has proven fruitful. Like the Ghadeer Village development, TECOM’s business parks also have water features and parks. “Ultimately, it’s taking [things we have learnt in] one master community and applying the best practices elsewhere,” Peltenburg says.
Khansaheb FM’s business outlook for 2018 is promising, Peltenburg continues. Revenue targets have been set at $34m (AED124m), an increase of $3.9m (AED14m) against 2017. The firm also expects a 2–3% year-on-year jump in profitability. And there are the new contracts that Khansaheb FM has signed for 2018. The firm will be working on more than 800 retail outlets for Kuwaiti conglomerate Alshaya’s UAE operations. Peltenburg adds: “We are also working with Palma Holdings and Serenia Residences to offer them total facility management solutions.”