Booming infrastructure growth in the Middle East needs to be supported by effective asset management to avoid “unpleasant surprises” that could impede economic development, an industry expert warned in Dubai today.
The warning was given on the opening day of the Government and Enterprise Asset Management Congress taking place at The Address Hotel, Dubai Mall by Dr Najib Dandachi, Asset Management Director at TRANSCO, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority
“Although, there is an encouraging growing interest in proper asset management in the Middle East, the relatively high annual growth is developing a ‘risky’ focus on execution and timely delivery of infrastructure assets without sufficient attention to medium to long term impact,” said Dr Dandachi.
“I believe the (asset management) discipline is essential to ensure sustainability of the infrastructure services and to prevent unpleasant surprises that could hinder economic growth.”
Participating in the leaders panel on driving strategic asset management, he added: “With the increasing infrastructure growth in the region and its challenging timescale, the case for asset management becomes a greater necessity for infrastructure organisations.
“Asset Management principles are built on the need to optimally balance the performance, risk and cost – assets can only be properly deployed, maintained and managed through a multi-dimensional holistic approach.”
Opening keynote speaker, Yousuf Bastaki, Senior Vice President of Major Projects at Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA), one of the world’s largest entity in aluminum production, delivered his speech on aligning asset management capabilities to support the regional infrastructure boom.
Yousuf Bastaki is among a broad line-up of industry experts addressing the third edition of the four-day Government and Enterprise Asset Management Congress, which is sponsored by Gold Sponsors, CH2MHill, with asset management consultants QASR as a strategic solutions partner and run in association with the Institute of Asset Management (IAM)
TRANSCO, which is responsible for developing, operating and maintaining the high voltage power transmission and bulk water transmission networks within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, has been working continuously for a number of years on improving its Asset Management practice.
“We are pleased with the way this is developing and maturing to become the organisational culture,” said Dr Dandachi, who outlined key measures needed for asset management practice in the region to be improved.
“Asset Management organisations looking to improve their practices need to develop internally their key ‘translators’ in various junctions of the organisation who understand its core business, believe in its vision then ‘write’ through practice the appropriate procedures,” he said. “Those translators should customise the processes and lead its review periodically.”
Among the other speakers addressing issues such as developing and integrating an infrastructure asset management framework to sustain growth within a city was Eng. Suhail Thani Mohammed Suhail Al Muhairi, Acting Executive Director, Municipal Infrastructure & Assets Sector, Al Ain City Municipality.
He said: “There is a great need to have an effective in-house asset management system to develop a comprehensive maintenance plan, to proactively manage deterioration and to implement sustainability in road management.”
Offering an international insight into how the increasing infrastructure growth will affect asset management in the region, Matthew Hannaway, Head of Project Risk and Value at Network Rail, UK said: “The increasing infrastructure growth within the region will only intensify the profile and importance of asset management.
“With the growing infrastructure, additional strains and demands will be placed on the existing infrastructure – an understanding of the effects that this will have will be vitally important.”
Hoda Abdelhay, Conference Director at Informa, organisers of the Government Asset and Enterprise Management Congress, said: “The Congress is designed to support government and enterprise asset owners as they adopt strategic asset management capabilities in their organizations.”
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