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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.

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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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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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