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CBNME FM Power 30: Jamal Abdullah Lootah, Group CEO at IMDAAD, Ranks 1

An award-winning visionary leader and innovation and sustainability advocate, Jamal Abdulla Lootah is the Group CEO of Imdaad, a Dubai-based group of companies that provides integrated, sustainable facilities management services that enhance operational efficiencies of physical assets.

Named the most influential individual in the Middle East’s FM industry for the 11 times in a row by FMME, Lootah led the phenomenal rise of Imdaad to become a leading FM company in the Middle East. It has carved out a stellar reputation for itself as a benchmark of excellence and success, constantly innovating and expanding the scope of its services and dramatically growing its prestigious client base and market footprint.

Under his distinguished leadership, Imdaad experienced a highly favorable year in 2022, despite various global macroeconomic challenges. The company has been able to take advantage of the positive momentum from previous years to achieve its business growth objectives. Imdaad overachieved its revenue target, primarily due to a significant increase in new contracts and renewals. The company signed new contracts worth nearly AED 500 million and achieved an impressive customer retention rate of 83%. It has also been able to make significant cost savings through various initiatives including outsourcing employee transportation which resulted in 25% efficiency.

Imdaad’s nine specialized business lines furthered their success last year by launching new initiatives to enable clients to reduce costs, improve efficiency, stay compliant, and enhance customer satisfaction. Imdaad’s innovative and cost-effective integrated FM solutions have brought it closer to its clients who consider it a partner rather than a service provider.

Environmental Solutions introduced new eco-friendly methods for pest control and launched monitoring and wastewater management projects for high-profile clients. Meanwhile, Farz, a state-of-the-art automated materials recovery facility, continued to divert municipal solid waste from landfills including construction waste to the Al Bayda landfill. It achieved a highly efficient recovery rate of 58% in 2022, compared to 30% in 2021. Farz also signed an MoU for a waste-to-fuel project.

Nigma expanded its operations in Abu Dhabi and achieved a revenue increase of 16% in 2022. Vision Safety, meanwhile, signed an agreement with Turkey’s Alfamax to launch a new product offering in the UAE and wider GCC markets and secured a license from Fujairah Civil Defense for its further expansion in the Northern Emirates region. Imdaad Al Batinah, on the other hand, conducted its operations in an area of 9,698 sq km spread across 10 wilayats in North Al Batinah and Musandam and secured a variation order worth AED 16.5 million.

On the people front, Imdaad strengthened its reputation as an employer of choice through its continued focus on employee welfare, development and satisfaction. It achieved a ‘Best Employer” mark score of 81% and a 3% reduction in attrition rates in comparison to 2021. The company, which has a workforce of over 9,000 employees, completed the digitalization of more than 90% of people-related processes.

As part of its commitment to supporting the UAE’s endeavors to fulfill the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Imdaad continued to introduce sustainability-focused operational improvements and many environmental protection initiatives. These are guided by the company’s sustainability framework, Istidamah, which is built on the thoughtful pillars of Public and Places, Planet, People and Prosperity.

An unrelenting focus on the adoption of technological innovations and best practices in sustainability has been the most important underlying element of Imdaad’s continued success. The company adopted new technology for FMS to improve energy and reduce costs for clients, introduced energy audits for clients and rolled out the most advanced Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) solution, in addition to implementing automation across its operations.

Over the past 16 years, Imdaad has grown to become the partner of choice for customers in the home market of the UAE where it has established an unequaled footprint. Through Imdaad Al Batinah, Imdaad built up a significant presence in neighboring Oman’s North Al Batinah and Musandam Governorates. To solidify its position as a regional leader in the FM industry, the company entered Egypt last year by launching Imdaad Misr, and has plans to establish its presence in other Middle Eastern markets with a special focus on Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Cementing its reputation for excellence, Imdaad won 14 awards and recognition from prestigious organizations in 2022, including a five-star rating at the Taqdeer Awards for the third consecutive year.

A co-founder and the President of the Middle East Facilities Management Association (MEFMA), Lootah has been central to Imdaad’s shining journey from strength to strength. Lootah was a recipient of the ‘Industry Personality of The Year’ at the 2021 Smart Built Environment Awards. He ranked first in CBNME’s FM Power 30, was awarded ‘Visionary CEO Leader’ by CEO ME and has been Presented with the FMME Lifetime Achievement Award. Lootah was named ‘FM CEO of the Year’ by CEO Middle East in 2019 and was recently listed among the World’s Most Powerful Arabs by Arabian Business for the second time. He was also recognized as ‘Visionary Leader of the Year’ at the Innovation in Construction and FM Awards 2020.