Amazon brings Alexa, compatible with English and Arabic, to UAE

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Amazon has confirmed that Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that powers the company’s Echo devices, is coming to the United Arab Emirates.

It will provide clients with a localized language experience in Khaleeji Arabic as well as English.

Echo devices are voice activated speakers while Alexa runs in the cloud. Alexa can, for example, answer questions, play music, read the news, recite the Quran, set timers and alarms, provide sports scores, and more.

Echo devices can also be used to control lights in the home, to turn on a lamp, or to dim the lights. Its home security feature, Ring, incorporates cameras, video doorbells and alarm systems to help secure homes. Alexa also works with other compatible smart home devices like smart lights and plugs from brands like Philips Hue, Xiaomi, TP-Link, among others.

In the United Arab Emirates, Alexa’s services include verbal interaction in local pronunciations and intonations.

“We are incredibly excited to bring Alexa and the Echo family of devices to the United Arab Emirates,” said Tom Taylor, senior vice president of Amazon Alexa. “The team has worked hard to create a whole new Khaleeji Arabic experience designed from the ground up for Arabic speaking customers and to optimize the Alexa English experience for English speakers to enjoy.”

At launch, customers will be able to take advantage of nearly 200 skills available in the UAE. They can, for example, find out all about Expo 2020, book a Careem ride, get recipes and cook with Fatafeat, or order food through Domino’s and even listen to an audiobook with the Storytel.

Manal Al Bayat, Engagement Manager at Dubai Expo 2020, added, “Not only is Alexa coming to the region with Arab capabilities, but Expo 2020 Dubai content is an integral part of its introduction. It has been an amazing experience working with Amazon on this topic and creating new and inspiring ways to deliver the Expo message to the world.

Amazon has also worked with Anghami for the deployment of Alexa in the region. “We are excited to team up with Alexa, providing customers with access to millions of international and Arabic songs and podcasts,” said Elie Habib, Co-Founder and CTO of Anghami.

The voice-activated, hands-free Echo device with built-in speaker features a 3-inch woofer, dual-trigger tweeters, and Dolby processing.

All Echo devices are designed with multiple layers of privacy protection, including physical microphone and camera controls. Customers can choose to delete their Alexa voice recordings in several ways, by voice or through the Alexa app, or they can use the Alexa app to delete their voice recordings all at once, or have their voice recordings automatically deleted after three or 18 months, or even choose not to save them at all.

At launch, customers will be able to take advantage of nearly 200 skills available in the UAE. They can, for example, find out all about Expo 2020, book a Careem ride, get recipes and cook with Fatafeat, or order food through Domino’s and even listen to an audiobook with the Storytel.

Echo devices, including Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock, Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, and Echo Show 10, will start shipping on December 14.


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