Qatar is close to our hearts because it is a land that brims with opportunity for the cleaning industry. Upcoming events like the FIFA world cup 2022 make it even more promising for the stakeholders of the cleaning industry - manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, service providers and end users alike. And hence, we dedicated the first edition of the Synergy Series to the land of Qatar. The event explored the Transitions in the Qatar Landscape and how commercial cleaning has changed in this country. We also explored the opportunities and challenges that surround the cleaning and soft FM market in Qatar with our panel comprising of Mr. Prabhat Shukla, Director of Rooms & Quality (Acting) at InterContinental Doha The City, Mr. Shahed Khan, Country Manager - Qatar, Reza Hygiene, Ms. Zakiyya Karimzada, Hygiene and Qatar Clean Manager, Grand Hyatt, Qatar, Mr.Haroon Rashid, Soft Services Manager, The Maintainers, Qatar and Ms. Sidrah Riaz, Marketing Unit Head for Fine Solutions.
Before we share a brief excerpt from the session, we’d like to take a moment to thank our diamond sponsor Reza Hygiene, Gold sponsors AlBariq Equipment and Fine Solutions, Silver sponsor TCL and supporting associations, MEFMA and Qatar Housekeepers association.
Commercial cleaning: Changes in the past 2 years
Qatar is getting ready for the FIFA World Cup 2022 which is a very large scale event. Other than that, a lot of events and visions are coming. As a result, the construction side is booming. Due to this construction, we are getting to see a lot of new designs, interesting architectures and buildings. It becomes important to determine how to maintain these buildings and how to keep them sparkling clean all the time. Here, you require the help of specialized people. This demand for skilled people is going to spike up in Qatar in the coming time.
A lot of multinational companies and big players are trying to enter the Qatar market and existing players are also gearing up to compete with them. End users like housekeepers have a lot of options to choose from - be it facade cleaning or other types of specialized cleaning services. “We used to choose from a maximum of 3 to 4 companies for specialized cleaning of our properties, now we have around 20 options. Competition is becoming tough, big and healthier,” says Prabhat Shukla, Director of Rooms & Quality (Acting) at InterContinental Doha The City.
Sidrah Riaz, Marketing Unit Head for Fine Solutions adds that over the past 2 years, the entire perception of cleaning has changed for every business. For Fine Solutions, cleaning is more about hygiene and wellness. “Every business today is focussing on smart cleaning solutions such as robotics and drones. The technological advancements are playing a pivotal role in revolutionising the cleaning industry,” she says. Sidrah highlights the three main drivers for the cleaning industry - visibility, the frequency of cleaning and sustainability.
Zakiyya Karimzada, Hygiene and Qatar Clean Manager, Grand Hyatt, Qatar believes that Qatar has been extremely meticulous when it comes to cleaning. The Qatar Clean program happens to be a prime example of this. A part of this program is to encourage the proper use of PPE and the proper implementation of cleaning. You can see this being implemented strictly in any Qatar hotel or even residences. This is because the safety of the customer has assumed prime importance in the present circumstances.
Mr. Shahed Khan, Country Manager - Qatar, Reza Hygiene discusses how COVID-19 has affected everyone’s life. “We’ve had lockdowns, we’ve had businesses closing, we’ve had disruption in offices - a lot has happened over the last 2 years. Qatar has seen a huge transition. We all are at a heightened hygiene level and that’s something I hope we keep up,” he says.
FIFA 2022 World Cup – The impact
A lot of changes are coming up in wake of the FIFA World Cup 2022. What is also coming are a lot of requirements for the cleaning industry. With new styles, designs and even new chandeliers, the demand for cleaning services is surging up. The existing players already have their hands full with ongoing projects. So new companies and new technologies (especially those that promote sustainability) are being welcomed more than ever.
“End users are also constantly on the look-out for cleaning solutions which can be delivered easily by the supplier because we cannot depend on somebody who puts up a one time show. We need consistency,” say Prabhat. He adds that more manpower is required to cater to such a large-scale event. In fact, the cleaning industry is going to witness more and more contracts in Qatar in the coming time.
Sidrah reiterates the importance of maintaining consistent supplies and adds that from a guest or customer perspective, visibility will play a key role in adding credibility to the cleaning and hygiene processes. There are also a lot of certifications being rolled out which add credibility to a facility’s cleaning operations and ensures that the safety of the guests and staff has taken precedence.
The FIFA world cup, which comes once in 4 years, is being hosted in our home next year and we are expecting a mass inflow of people in Qatar. It is a great opportunity for Qatar to leave a legacy that can last for years to come. Yes the cleaning industry will face challenges and in my opinion, planning will be the strongest asset we will have. The industry will need to have partnerships with manpower companies to make sure they have enough staff. They will also need to be partnered with hygiene companies. They will need to think about supply chain, they will also need to think about storage.” says Shahed. Shahid, as an example, has already preplanned for the storage of Reza Hygiene products for the year of 2022.. He also quotes the example of Russia hosting the world cup. “Russia is a huge country and the world cup was all over it. We are going to host the world cup within a city. The congestion of people, the amount of work within hotels, restaurants and all public facilities is going to be massive,” he adds, reiterating the importance of preplanning in the entire process.
The panel further discussed the highlights of the Qatar Clean program, the anticipated challenges in the Qatar market and what lies ahead for the cleaning industry in Qatar. To view the entire session, please scan the QRcode