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Dubai Gives Go Ahead For $35 Billion Al Maktoum Airport Expansion

The project will include a new passenger terminal, helping the emirate achieve its goal of operating the world’s largest airport by 2050.

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dubai gives go ahead for $35 billion al maktoum airport expansion
Dubai Media Office

On Sunday, April 28th, Dubai’s HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum gave the go-ahead to a major expansion project for Al Maktoum Airport (DWC).

The development will add a new passenger terminal to DWC, marking a major step in the emirate’s goal to transform the global transport hub into the world’s largest airport by 2050.

The construction project is valued at a massive $34.8 billion (AED128 billion), and is necessary to accommodate the projected surge in air travel over the coming years.

The DWC expansion plans were reportedly shelved in 2019. However, the project regained traction under the airport operating company Dubai Airports, who manage both Dubai International Airport (DXB) and DWC.

dubai al maktoum airport expansion

“HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed the strategic plan of the #Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects and approved designs for the new passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport, which will be the largest in the world when fully operational,” announced the Dubai government on X, noting that the new terminal will increase annual capacity to over 260 million passengers.

Under the comprehensive development plans, Al Maktoum Airport will surpass the scale of Dubai International Airport by fivefold. Eventually, all of Dubai International’s operations will be moved to the new site.

Also Read: Abu Dhabi Developer To Build World’s First Healthy Living Island

Dubai Airport CEO Paul Griffiths has emphasized the need for a new facility as DXB airport approaches its maximum annual capacity of 120 million passengers, explaining that the new development will transform airport operations.

“We are not planning an airport that has terminals. We’re going to completely change the business model for airports, make them far more intimate, and get rid of all the legacy processes that we’ve had to subject our customers to for far too long,” Griffiths stated.

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Truecaller To Use Microsoft Azure AI Speech For Call Answering

The new service features a powerful speech generation tool to allow users to create AI versions of their voices.

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truecaller to use microsoft azure ai speech for call answering
Truecaller

Truecaller, a well-known app for identifying and blocking spam calls, is enhancing its services by allowing users to create AI versions of their voices. The new feature, available to those with access to Truecaller’s AI Assistant, stems from a partnership with Microsoft and its Azure AI Speech tool, allowing the generation of realistic AI voices that accurately mimic users’ speech patterns and tone.

“This groundbreaking capability not only adds a touch of familiarity and comfort for the users but also showcases the power of AI in transforming the way we interact with our digital assistants,” explained Truecaller product director and general manager Raphael Mimoun in a recent blog post.

The AI Assistant in Truecaller screens incoming calls, informing recipients of a caller’s purpose. Based on this information, users can decide whether to answer the call themselves or let the AI Assistant handle it.

When the feature was introduced in 2022, users could only choose from a collection of preset voices. The ability to record one’s own voice represents a significant step towards the complete personalization of the service.

Also Read: Getting Started With Google Gemini: A Beginner’s Guide

Azure AI Speech, showcased during the last Build conference, only recently added a personal voice feature that lets people record and replicate voices. Microsoft explained in a blog post, however, that Personal Voice is available on a limited basis and only for specific use cases like voice assistants.

To maintain ethical standards, Microsoft’s Azure AI Speech automatically adds watermarks to AI-generated voices. Additionally, a code of conduct requires companies to obtain full consent from individuals being recorded and prohibits impersonation.

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