Dubai based Farnek Avireal, one of the region’s foremost sustainability and facilities management companies, has appointed Markus Oberlin as its new Chief Executive Officer.

A facilities management (FM) professional with over 20 years’ international experience, including seven years in the Middle East, Oberlin was previously Farnek’s general manager. In his expanded role, the will take on broader strategic responsibilities with a mandate to take the company forward as regional market leader through both its FM and sustainability programme capabilities.

“In my new role I’m keen to continue our corporate focus on the development and implementation of practical and cost-effective sustainability solutions, in conjunction with our partners Green Globe and myclimate, as well as utilising our own internet-based energy benchmarking tools,” said Oberlin

According to a forecast by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, total outsourced facilities management within the UAE is expected to generate up to US$8 billion before the end of next year.

“As utility costs rise and the environmental lobby becomes ever more vocal, water and energy-saving will be critical to reducing not only the operating costs of buildings, but improving the image of its owners and management,” added Oberlin.

Under his leadership so far the Farnek Avireal team has also notched up a number of other significant milestones including the launch of its own internet-based Hotel Optimizer energy benchmarking tool into the region in 2007, with the company also winning the Emirates Environmental Award in the same year.

The Middle East partner of world-renowned carbon offset foundation myclimate –Farnek launched the Middle East’s first ever carbon neutral vehicle in 2010. In 2011, the company was the initiator and lead consultant turned educator by consulting for and awarding the region’s first carbon neutral school – Dubai-based kindergarten, Blossoms Nursery.

“Markus has been the driving force behind the company’s successful growth in the UAE, as well as championing carbon reduction and management initiatives to Farnek’s growing portfolio of high profile clients and the local community,” said Remo Stoffel, Chairman Avireal Switzerland.

“Besides FM contract wins including the world’s tallest tower – Burj Khalifa – and a sustainable initiative involving all Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts’ properties, located in the Middle East, Markus also directed the expansion of the group’s UAE-wide operation with six branch office openings, which has seen headcount grow from 1,000 to over 1,700 employees. The board felt that it was appropriate for Markus to be recognised for his achievements,” added Stoffel.

A well-respected and popular speaker on the regional conference circuit, Oberlin will also continue to be the primary spokesperson for Farnek Avireal and oversee day-to-day operations as well as act in an advisory capacity to the board, providing expert insight and recommendations on industry sector opportunity and government directives.
“The UAE is an extremely dynamic business environment and the FM sector needs to grow in tandem with the demands of an increasingly diverse client base for whom cutting edge technological solutions are a major market differentiator, with sustainability positioning a key component,” said Oberlin.

Farnek Avireal has also promoted Deputy General Manager, Lukas Eigenmann to the role of COO. An industry veteran with over 20 years’ experience, and six years with the company in Switzerland, Eigenmann will continue to work closely alongside Oberlin to drive the company’s growth.