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Tourists Can Now Use Their Home E-Wallets In The UAE

A new partnership between Ant Group, Astra Tech and G42 enables seamless transactions for visitors without the hassle of currency conversions.



tourists can now use their home e-wallets in the uae

Dubai-based technology investment company Astra Tech, backed by Abu Dhabi AI company G42, has partnered with Alibaba’s payment platform Ant Group to enable tourists in the United Arab Emirates to pay for goods and services using their home e-wallets.

The new service will help to avoid the hassle of currency conversion, integrating the Alipay cross-border payment platform with Astra Tech’s PayBy merchant network.

When the system goes live later this month, over 1.4 billion wallet users will be able to make seamless transactions in their home currencies in 3,000 retail establishments and make speedy payments for trips in Abu Dhabi’s fleet of 7,000 taxis.

“Our milestone collaboration with Alipay aligns perfectly with the UAE’s commitment to enhancing the payment ecosystem and fostering a commerce-friendly environment,” explained Abdallah Abu Sheikh, co-founder of Astra Tech and chief executive of Botim.

The new service will primarily cater to tourists from China, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Italy. However, anyone who signs up for an Alipay, MPay, Kakao Pay, GCash, TrueMoney, and Tinaba e-wallet can enjoy the service.

The Astra Tech and Ant Group partnership will facilitate speedy settlement processes and smooth mobile-based transactions through Alipay in physical and online settings. Meanwhile, both Alipay and PayBy plan to expand the service to further boost spending from Asian and European visitors.

Also Read: A Guide To Digital Payment Methods In The Middle East

“Our alliance with Astra Tech not only opens the doors to a seamless and integrated digital payment experience at physical stores in the Middle East, but also propels us towards a new era of strategic collaboration,” said Guoming Cheng, Ant Group’s general manager of Europe and the Middle East.

The UAE is the Middle East’s second-largest economy and has begun investing heavily to expand its tourism sector. In May, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced that tourism sector spending had risen 70% to Dh121 billion ($33 billion) in 2022 — the highest in the region.


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Adobe Teases New AI Editing Tools And Updates In Premiere Pro

The video editing app will be enhanced with a generative extend tool, text-to-video, improved timeline waveforms, and more.



adobe teases new ai editing tools and updates in premiere pro

After launching the generative AI model Firefly last year, Adobe is now showcasing how the technology will be used in upcoming versions of the editing app Premiere Pro. In an early sneak peek, the company demonstrated several new features, including Object Addition and Removal, Generative Extend, and Text to Video.

The first new feature, Generative Extend, targets a common video editing problem by using AI to “Seamlessly add frames to make clips longer, so it’s easier to perfectly time edits and add smooth transitions”.

Meanwhile, Premiere Pro’s Object Addition & Removal tool will leverage Firefly’s generative AI to “Simply select and track objects, then replace them. Remove unwanted items, change an actor’s wardrobe or quickly add set dressings such as a painting or photorealistic flowers on a desk,” Adobe states.

Adobe also showcased another new feature that can automatically generate new film clips using a text prompt. To use the content creation tool, editors can “Simply type text into a prompt or upload reference images. These clips can be used to ideate and create storyboards, or to create B-roll for augmenting live action footage,” Adobe explained. The company seems to be commercializing this particular feature extremely quickly, considering generative AI video only appeared a few months ago.

Also Read: UGREEN Unveils Nexode RG 65W Charger For Middle East

The new additions to Premiere Pro will be added later this year, but Adobe is also introducing smaller improvements to the editing app in May. The changes include interactive fade handles to enable easier transitions, an Essential Sound badge that uses AI to “automatically tag audio clips as dialogue, music, sound effects or ambience, and add a new icon so editors get one-click, instant access to the right controls for the job”, along with effect badges and a new look for waveforms in the timeline.

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