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Clean Middle East’s Soft FM Power List - 2024


From seasoned veterans with decades of experience to emerging talents driving change and disruption, our list encompasses a diverse array of voices and perspectives shaping the industry's trajectory.


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Facilities Management
June 6, 2024
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Clean Middle East’s Soft FM Power List - 2024

Clean Middle East's highly anticipated Soft FM Power List for 2024 shines a spotlight on the industry's most influential leaders and innovators. 

In an era marked by unprecedented challenges and rapid transformation, the importance of Soft FM has never been more pronounced. From ensuring the cleanliness and safety of spaces to enhancing occupant experience and environmental sustainability, Soft FM professionals play a pivotal role in shaping the future of facilities management across the Middle East.

This year's Power List celebrates individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership, innovation, and dedication in navigating the complexities of the Soft FM landscape. From seasoned veterans with decades of experience to emerging talents driving change and disruption, our list encompasses a diverse array of voices and perspectives shaping the industry's trajectory (in alphabetical order)

Andrea Yoko, SVP – Technical Support for AGFS

Andrea Yoko is a multifaceted individual with a rich tapestry of experiences that span continents and disciplines. She is an industry veteran with a vast experience of 44 years dedicated to working in the housekeeping /Soft Service industry covering both five-star hospitality and Facilities Management. 

Her Middle East experience started as Executive Housekeeper in 1987 and her journey into Facilities Management started in 2007 has expanded and developed into additional responsibilities covering accommodation and transport functions. She has been working in the UAE for 34 years which has led her to manage the role of SVP – Technical Support for AGFS.

Andrea is an MECHF multiple award winner and is considered to be one of the region’s leading facilities management soft executives who revolutionized the soft services landscape; resulting in being listed in 2022, 2023 and 2024 Clean Middle East Women’s Power List. 

David Nice, Associate Director, Emrill

David Nice is a seasoned facilities management professional with over 20 years of experience in technical, operational, and senior business roles. As an Associate Director at Emrill, he oversees prominent contracts in sectors across the UAE, including commercial, residential, hospitality, aviation, and logistics. 

David’s teams are responsible for delivering integrated facilities management services encompassing proactive and preventative maintenance, as well as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) services, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, and fire safety solutions. His teams deliver soft services to notable sites such as key airport terminals, large-scale retail complexes, residential communities, high-profile exhibitions, mega events, and numerous automotive showrooms and service centres.

Leading a workforce of around 5,000, David spearheads health and safety, quality, and manpower management initiatives. He has led Emrill’s award-winning health and safety programmes such as 'Don’t Walk By' and 'Safer Together with Emrill'. David has also been pivotal in Emrill's digital transformation, championing the use of robotics and geofencing to boost efficiency and collaborating with the IT team to develop an in-house digital platform.

Dorothee Stein, Advisor Head Service Hospitality Performance Management, Dubai Airports

Dorothee Stein stands out through her strategic approach and performance. Her impact spans diverse domains, showcasing her proficiency in change management, contract management, commercial viability, operational readiness and efficiency, to name a few.

She has played a pivotal role in elevating customer and guest experiences at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports globally.

The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic called for innovative solutions, and she has been spearheading the ACI Health Accreditation for Dubai Airports. Her drive in implementing robust disinfection protocols ensured a safe environment for passengers and staff alike, showcasing her commitment to public health and safety.

In 2023, with her dedication to environmental responsibility, she achieved a remarkable milestone in sustainability by diverting 60% waste from landfill at Dubai Airports through strategic waste management initiatives with service providers and stakeholders. 

In summary, Dorothee Stein is leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Her journey exemplifies resilience, innovation and a relentless pursuit of excellence, setting a standard for aspiring leaders in the field.

Dr. Mohamed Hesham, Operation Director, EHFS

Dr. Mohamed boasts over 18 years of expertise in Soft FM operations, currently leading the charge as Group Director of Facilities and Operations at EFS Facilities Services, Egypt. His background encompasses optimizing Soft FM Operations like. Prior to EFS, he honed his leadership at Andalusia Medical Group, American University in Cairo and even cultivated international experience at London's Four Seasons Hotel Ten Trinity.

A strong advocate for knowledge sharing, he's a certified Facility Management Professional FMP-IFMA, and prioritizes safety with certifications like IOSH, OSHA, and NEBOSH.

He extends his expertise as a co-founder and Managing Director of Soft FM Experts, offering a comprehensive suite of services to optimize Soft FM operations, encompassing process optimization, training, quality assurance, and cost optimization strategies. 

Dr. Suma Velakat, CEO, Azzurro Facilities Management

Dr. Suma Velakat emerges as a notable figure, holding the position of CEO at Azzurro Facilities Management, a leading integrated facilities management company based in the UAE. Her impactful leadership has been instrumental in enhancing the reputation and standing of the organization.

Founded in 1993, Azzurro Facilities Management has established itself as a key player in the industry, catering to various governmental and private entities in the region. Velakat family embarked on their entrepreneurial journey with a small team of seven members, which has since grown into an organization of over 5,000 employees.

Dr. Suma Velakat's, throughout her distinguished career, has earned widespread recognition from her peers and the broader industry.

Central to her approach is a profound concern for her team's well-being, coupled with a commitment to effecting positive change. She prioritizes the reduction of harmful chemicals in operations and selectively partners with clients who share her values. Her contributions have not only propelled the success of Azzurro Facilities Management but have also garnered her numerous awards and accolades.

Fady Samir, Head of Soft Services, CFM, Egypt

Fady Samir’s contributions have been instrumental in shaping the industry market.

Establishing a Training Academy to educate individuals on concepts, theories, and best practices of FM demonstrates a commitment to not only personal growth but also to advancement of the field. By equipping professionals with necessary skills/knowledge, he has not only elevated calibers of talent within his company but contributed to raising industry standards.

Furthermore, introducing a diverse range of services, from CFM soft services like cleaning and pest control to more specialized areas such as waste management and asset management, showcases a comprehensive approach to FM. 

Additionally, proactive approach to incorporating the latest technology into the facilities management sector in Egypt through CFM is truly commendable. Participating in the transition phase of digitization and automation within the industry demonstrates foresight and adaptability as embracing technology is essential for staying competitive in today's fast-paced world.

Iskandar Mrad, Soft Services Manager, FMM

Iskandar is an esteemed professional with two decades of expertise in Facility Management. As FMM’s Project Manager handling the soft services operation of Msheireb Downtown Doha, he oversees the cleaning activities of more than 150 staff widespread throughout the public areas, residential buildings, basements, common areas, and museums of this iconic urban development.

Iskandar's career is distinguished by his commitment to innovation and efficiency in service delivery.  This dedication goes through the deployment of street waste bin sensors optimizing collection time and effort as well as the usage of green chemicals certified European Ecolabel diluted thanks to smart dispensing devices. Finally the mobile cleaning process implemented by Iskandar has allowed to optimize staffing quantity without impacting cleaning performance and thus by ensuring the schedule of efficient cleaning routes for regular tasks back-up by regular deep cleaning program in every part of the city.

Iskandar's transformative initiatives have set a new standard for cleanliness and operational excellence in Qatar's dynamic urban landscape.

Joseph John, Founder & CEO, Rons EnviroCare

RONS Enviro Care LLC was established in 1997 offering specialized cleaning solutions and has since grown into a market leader and sector award-winner in providing specialized cleaning and FM solutions to a large array of clients across the U.A.E.

RONS Enviro Care has the capacity and capability to execute a wide assortment of client requirements to professional standards under the leadership of Mr. Joseph. 

Joseph John, Founder and CEO states: “strong focus and attention to client needs are at the forefront of

what we do at RONS. We see ourselves as a solution provider and thus must act fast to diagnose and remedy situations for customers”.

Expanding on this statement, the company has made investments with acquisitions of new equipment over Q1 2024 with the introduction of a new fleet of service vehicles and specialist manufacturing tools to enable the support of services, drive production and increase the standards of service clients expect.

Looking to the future, the company plans to increase capabilities and operations with a new production facility dedicated to the manufacture of complex fabrication and installation projects, it is hoped the facility will be operational from Q2 2024.

Julian Khalil, Senior VP Operations, Farnek Services

Julian Khalil is the Senior VP Operations  - at Farnek Services, the leading sustainability and technology driven FM Company in the UAE. Julian has over 19 years of experience in the FM industry in Germany and the Middle East. His role involves the strategic, financial and operational development of Security & Soft Services across the UAE as well as the implementation of smart and green solutions to improve Service excellence and customer satisfaction. 

Julian is a change agent and growth-focused executive driving sustainable green solutions for a competitive edge. He has collaborated on reputable projects such as Expo City, The Dubai Mall, Dubai Airports, RAK Bank, EITC, & many more.

He is a globally experienced leader with a track record in driving business goals, cost control, and efficient project management. Julian is known for his prowess in designing scalable systems and processes supporting rapid corporate growth.

Latheesh Kuttapan, Head Of Soft Services, Berkeley

Mr. Latheesh Kuttapan embarked on his remarkable journey with Berkeley Services Group 29 years ago. For the past 40 years, Berkeley has been a leading FM organization in the UAE, employing over 9,000+ staff and managing more than 3,000+ projects across the UAE region. 

Starting his career by managing a team of 200 staff at one of Berkeley's esteemed long-standing projects, Mr. Latheesh's leadership and dedication have propelled him to the role of Director/Head of Soft Services. He now oversees extensive soft service operations, managing a diverse portfolio of projects with exceptional efficiency and expertise, and delivering unparalleled service to a vast array of clients.

His strategic vision has consistently kept Berkeley at the forefront of the market, providing unparalleled quality and value to its clients.

Looking ahead, Mr. Latheesh is enthusiastic about the future, particularly in leveraging technological advancements to  enhance service efficiency and effectiveness. His forward- thinking approach ensures that Berkeley Services will continue to set benchmarks in the industry, adapting to evolving client needs and technological innovations.

Maisara Mohamed,

General Manager,

Marakez Facilities Management

Maisara Mohamed is a facility management specialist with two decades of hands-on expertise in both Soft and Hard services. Seasoned in the art of facility management, having overseen diverse commercial and residential properties while mentoring technical teams across the spectrum of facility operations. Since 2013, a driving force in Qatar's dynamic markets, collaborating with top-tier organizations, currently the General Manager at Marakez Facility Management.

Mick Dalton MSc, FIWFM, MIFMA, ACIBSE, MIFMA, AIOSH, Executive Director FM Confidential Organisation Riyadh KSA, Board Member Riyadh British Business Group

Mick was a past chairman of the British Institute of Facilities Management, founding board member of Global FM and a corporate members council board member of IFMA. 

Mick is :-

A Fellow of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management 

IFMA Corporate Members Council Board director  

Member of IFMA

Member   of the Institute of Asset Management

Member of the Chartered institute of Building services CIBSE

Member IOSH

Key Roles Held In Middle East:

Executive Director TMO a Royal Court company

Managing Director FM for Diriyah Gate Development Authority in KSA. 

Director of FM for Meraas Holdings, and Middle East Liaison for IFMA Foundation. 

Senior Director of Property and Asset Management with Emaar PJSC.

Managing Director of Marafeq FM, 

Managing Director of Musanadah FM, 

Mick has provided Best Practice FM training (IFMA CFM) to a number of large clients both in GCC and in Europe.

As Chairman of BIFM Mick Dalton was on the founding board of Global FM

Mick has written books including best practice cleaning and maintenance published by Butterworth press.

Mohamad Abou Laban, Managing Director, OCS UAE

Mohamad's illustrious career in facilities management is a testament to his strategic vision and unwavering commitment to excellence. With over twenty years of experience, he has been instrumental in expanding business frontiers and capitalizing on new opportunities, ensuring that these advancements align with the overarching corporate objectives. His leadership is characterized by a strong adherence to core values and a strategic approach to growth, which has significantly contributed to the companies' success and financial prosperity. As a mentor, Mohamad is deeply invested in the professional growth of his team, fostering an environment where innovation thrives. 

Mohamad's leadership style is a blend of visionary strategy and practical execution. His ability to balance these facets of business has earned him respect and admiration from peers and colleagues alike. 

His current role as the Managing Director for OCS in the UAE sees him steering transformative projects, indicative of a career marked by prestigious positions and a profound impact on the industry. Mohamad's journey through various leadership roles, including CEO and Board Member at Deyaar Facilities Management, General Manager at bfm, and General Manager at Cushman & Wakefield, highlights his exceptional ability to drive progress and enact meaningful change.

Mohammed Aleemuddin, Head of Learning & Development – El-Seif Group, Riyadh, KSA

Mohammed is an accomplished and highly skilled Management Professional with over 20 years of diverse international experience in leading global hospitality giants like InterContinental Hotels Group and Hyatt International Hotels. He has spearheaded nationwide initiatives for people development and Saudization in his roles.

Recognized for his contributions, he has been part of award-winning teams.

With over 5 years in the FM industry, his previous role at Saudi Services Company Ltd. (SBG Group) as Global Head of Training & Development and Quality of Operations-Soft Services involved overseeing 15,000 employees across 80+ projects, including prestigious locations like Royal Palaces, Two Holy Mosques, Makkah Clock Tower, and Airports. He established a training academy to equip Soft FM employees with the necessary skills for success.

Currently, he serves as the Head of Learning & Development at El-Seif Group,  leading a team of over 9000 employees across 60 quality projects in various cities of Saudi Arabia.

Mohamed Saadeh, General Manager, Darwish Interserve FM

As a seasoned General Manager with an impressive 24-year track record in the Facilities Management industry, Mohamed has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional building management services. His career journey in Qatar began in 2004, he then ascended to the role of General Manager for Gulf Tandeel Properties and Facility Management in both Qatar and Bahrain, where he served for 11 years before taking on the position of General Manager at Darwish Interserve Facility Management.

Mohamed Saadeh’s academic achievements underscore his commitment to continuous learning and professional development. 

As a distinguished Certified Facility Manager, Mohamed is an active member of the esteemed CFA community and holds an Associate Membership with MEFMA, further highlighting his commitment to professional excellence.

Recognition of Mohamed’s outstanding contributions is exemplified by his consecutive honors as the Highly Commended FM Executive of the Year in 2022 and 2023.

Rekha Harikumar, Former Senior FM Manager, Global Village

In her career trajectory spanning over 18 years in Facilities Management , Rekha has had the privilege of witnessing Facilities Management being redefined by Digital transformation and getting uplifted from traditional asset maintenance to the strategic function of the organization which plays a key role in improving the quality of life of the people and productivity of the core business. 

With her experience spanning across a diverse range of facilities including retail spaces, residential communities, commercial buildings, and theme parks, Rekha has come to appreciate the multifaceted nature and criticality of both soft and hard FM. From ensuring guest satisfaction to upholding safety standards and fulfilling corporate social responsibility commitments, each FM aspect carries its own significance and requires relevant attention.

Leading a multicultural team of over 400 members, with varying technical expertise and amidst the dynamic demands of our industry , Rekha has always adhered to the principle of leading by example. 

Samer Hani, General Manager, CleanCo

Samer Hani, a dynamic and results-oriented General Manager with extensive experience leading Soft Services Companies in the Facilities Management Industry. With a career spanning over 30 years across the UAE and Saudi Arabia, he has established a track record of success in driving operational excellence and business growth.

As the General Manager of Cleanco Trading, Importing & Services LLC, he have overseen all aspects of Soft Services Operations, including Housekeeping, Landscaping, Pest Control, Waste Management, Hospitality, and Hygiene Services, with a commitment to delivering exceptional service quality, operational efficiency, and achieve client satisfaction.

He is dedicated to upholding industry standards, ensuring compliance, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement within Cleanco Trading, Importing & Services LLC.

His latest achievement reflected in the success of managing a mobilizing newly awarded projects for prestigious clients such as ADNOC Distribution, the Ministry of Justice, and Tawazun Industrial Park LLC.

In addition, he recently succeeded in Holding A Guinness World Record for “The Largest Hazardous Waste Management Lesson”.

With a passion for excellence and a commitment to driving business success, and in cooperation with the Board of Directors of the company, he plays a pivotal role in positioning Cleanco Trading, Importing & Services LLC as a leader in the Soft Services Sector.

Silke Scheel Joypaul, Senior Manager of Cleaning Services, Dubai Airports

Silke Scheel Joypaul is the Senior Manager of Cleaning Services within the Service and Hospitality Performance Management division at Dubai Airports. With over 35 years of professional expertise, Silke spearheads the management of outsourced services and performance-based cleaning contracts for the Emirates Terminal and Concourses at Dubai International Airport.

Leading a dedicated team of 5 in-house professionals, Silke ensures the seamless execution of service standards, aligning with business objectives and stakeholder expectations to deliver an exceptional guest experience. Her journey in the hospitality industry has taken her across continents, from the United States to Germany, Switzerland, Bahrain, and finally to Dubai, where she has resided for the past 26 years.

Silke's academic foundation includes a Diploma in Domestic Science from Germany, complementing her extensive practical experience in Soft Services across diverse sectors such as Hospitality, Healthcare, and Aviation. With her wealth of knowledge and global perspective, Silke remains committed to elevating service excellence within the world's busiest airport.

Vijayshankar Kavasseri, Operations Director, Musanadah Facilities Management, KSA

Vijayshankar is an experienced Facilities professional with over 29 years’ experience across KSA & UAE having exposure to contract management, transition management support, Multiple site management managing some of the most prestigious Retail, Residential and Cultural Projects, (Dubai Airports, Alula Heritage sites, KAEC etc.)

He is a:

Member of IFMA – International Facility Management Association

Fellow- IWFM- Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management 

NEBOSH- National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health

INSEAD- Management Acceleration Leadership Programme

His key skills and strengths include:

  • Stakeholder management and influencing  
  • Team working and management  
  • Collaborative working  
  • Mobilization management  
  • Employee Engagement 

He is an impact-driven professional with an innate ability to drive strategic and business planning practices, evaluate risks, and spearhead special projects across the company.

Vijayshankar skillset is instrumental in overseeing the management of operational processes and practices as well as building a seamless flow between departments and management initiatives, while establishing and managing continuous improvement practices and quality assurance standards.