Airbnb today announced that its global accommodation and experiences platform will be available in Arabic to enable its growing community across the Middle East and North-Africa region to access an even more seamless travel experience. The localized web platform and iOS and Android apps are part of Airbnb’s ongoing commitment to the region and will further Airbnb’s mission to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.
All of the popular features of the Airbnb platform will be accessible in Arabic: listing pages with thousands of homes bookable for great stays, Experiences around the world and lots of content on how to travel or host with Airbnb. Airbnb has a strong and growing presence in Dubai and beyond: Hosts and guests across the Middle East and North-Africa region have been using the platform since it was founded 10 years ago to book accommodation globally or list their homes to welcome guests.
Airbnb has also released new data to show that across the Middle East and North-Africa region more than 70,000 listings are now available to book on the Airbnb platform. As of 1 January 2019 in the UAE, 10,000 listings were available on the Airbnb platform and hosts in the UAE welcomed more than 145,000 guests from around the world – showing more than 63% year-on-year growth.
In 2017, Airbnb also launched the Experiences platform in Dubai. Experiences on Airbnb are tours and activities, led by passionate locals, which enable travelers to the Emirates to enjoy the famed Arab hospitality first hand. Across the Middle East and North-Africa region, there are currently more than 750 Experiences on Airbnb active in Jordan, Morocco, UAE, Egypt – with more than 120 Experiences in the UAE.
As part of its commitment to the region, Airbnb signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Tourism (DTCM) in 2016 and with Ras al Khaimah in 2018 to encourage responsible hosting within the emirates as well as promote tourism diversification. Last year Airbnb partnered with DCT Abu Dhabi to promote Emirati Experiences that allow guests from around the world to live like a local.
Hadi Moussa, Regional Manager Middle East & Africa, at Airbnb said: “The Middle East and North-Africa region is extremely important to us, so we are delighted to launch Airbnb in Arabic today. People from across the region have been using Airbnb since it was founded ten years ago to book magical travel experiences. We want to create a true sense of belonging for them by ensuring they can do so in their native language going forward. We want to inspire more Arabic speaking travelers to explore their favourite destinations through authentic, local stays and Experiences on the Airbnb platform.”
“Arab hospitality is famous around the world. Airbnb wants to encourage more people in the region to host and share this warm welcome with guests from around the world.” Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: “The continued success of Dubai as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations relies heavily on a collaborative and cohesive framework between the government and private sectors, helping democratise the local travel industry in line with evolving traveller needs. As such, our ongoing partnership with Airbnb helps Dubai maintain its global competitiveness in a highly digitised marketplace by showcasing the city’s multi-dimensional accommodation portfolio in a safe, secure and transparent manner. The latest updates to the platform help us to deliver additional convenience and ease of accessibility to digitally connected consumers, driving demand-led innovation, and advancing the city’s appeal to diverse audience segments around the globe.”
Samsung Internet is Now Available for Download on Windows PCs
Samsung’s default browser, Samsung Internet, has expanded its reach to desktop computers and laptops, now available for download on the Microsoft Store. One notable feature is the ability for users to sync their browsing data between their Galaxy devices and computers.
Upon launching the browser, users can import their browsing history, bookmarks, and search engines from other applications like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge by signing into their Samsung Cloud account. The browser also supports add-ons and extensions from Chrome and Edge, accessible through the Chrome Web Store.
Samsung Internet for Windows offers familiar features such as incognito mode, light and dark modes, and ad-blocker support. The design elements show similarities to both Chrome and Edge, providing a sense of familiarity for users of those browsers. A useful security feature allows users to delete bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and other data upon signing out, catering to those who share computers.
Despite its promising features, the browser’s PC debut is marred by a lack of complete sync support. Currently, only browsing history, bookmarks, and search engines can be imported, with no support for transferring saved passwords from Galaxy devices to computers. This omission may be addressed in future updates.
In May, Samsung Internet received an optimisation update for Galaxy tablet users. Toggleable features were introduced, allowing users to control the placement of the browser’s address, bookmark, and tab bars. The update also included a warning for users with a high number of open tabs, informing them that opening another tab would result in the deletion of the oldest tab.
Google Clarifies the Cause of Missing Google Drive Files
Many Google Drive users recently experienced the unsettling disappearance of their files, prompting concerns. Google has now identified the root cause, attributing the issue specifically to the Google Drive for Desktop app. While assuring that only a limited subset of users is affected, the tech giant is actively investigating the matter and promises timely updates.
To prevent inadvertent file deletion, Google provides the following recommendations:
- Avoid clicking “Disconnect account” within Drive for desktop.
- Refrain from deleting or moving the app data folder, located at:
- Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\DriveFS
- macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS
- Optionally, create a copy of the app data folder if there is sufficient space on your hard drive.
Before Google officially addressed the issue, distressed users took to the company’s support forum to report deleted files. One user from South Korea highlighted a particularly severe case where their account reverted to May 2023, resulting in the loss of anything uploaded or created after that date. Additionally, the user emphasised that they had not synced or shared their files or drive with anyone else.
As Google delves deeper into resolving this matter, affected users are advised to heed the provided precautions. The company’s commitment to ongoing updates reflects its dedication to swiftly addressing and rectifying the situation. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of proactive measures to safeguard digital data, especially as users navigate cloud-based platforms such as Google Drive.
Is Apple’s New ‘NameDrop’ Feature a Cause for Parental Concern?
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Apple’s new iOS 17 update has introduced a feature that’s sparking a mix of curiosity and concern: NameDrop. This functionality allows users to share contact information with others seamlessly, but it’s not without its set of caveats and considerations.
At the core of the apprehension is the proximity-based nature of NameDrop. For the feature to work, both devices must have iOS 17 installed, be unlocked, and be in close physical proximity – a touch is required to initiate the contact transfer. The user experience involves a swift interaction, prompting a screen at the top of the device with options to “receive only” or “share.”
The need for consent is emphasised in this process. Both users must actively participate in the transfer, acknowledging and approving the exchange of contact information. This deliberate approach is aimed at ensuring that the sharing of personal data is a conscious and intentional act.
However, the rollout of NameDrop has not been without its share of concerns, particularly among parents and law enforcement agencies. Police departments across the United States have issued warnings, urging parents to manually disable the feature on their children’s devices. The fear, it seems, is rooted in the potential for unintended consequences, especially considering the close physical interaction required.
Is it wise to err on the side of caution and turn off NameDrop? Perhaps. Is it time to hit the panic button? Not necessarily, according to experts in the field. In a report by The Washington Post, Chester Wisniewski, a digital security expert at Sophos, dismisses the concerns surrounding NameDrop as “hysteria” and “nonsense.” He suggests that Apple has implemented safeguards to prevent inadvertent information sharing.
One key aspect that should offer reassurance is the need for mutual consent and the deliberate physical proximity required for the feature to activate. The intentionality of this process is to eliminate the risk of accidental data exchanges, putting control firmly in the hands of the users.
As with any technological advancement, understanding and awareness play pivotal roles in ensuring a positive user experience. Educating users, especially parents and guardians, about the intricacies of NameDrop can empower them to make informed decisions about its use. Apple, being at the forefront of user privacy and security, is likely to continue refining and enhancing the feature based on user feedback and evolving security standards.
While the warnings from law enforcement underscore the importance of vigilance, it is crucial to approach the situation with a balanced perspective. The benefits of a feature like NameDrop, enabling seamless contact sharing in a world where connectivity is key, should not be overshadowed by fear.
Apple’s NameDrop feature introduces a novel way of sharing contact information, but its success hinges on user awareness and responsible usage. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the safeguards and features aimed at ensuring a secure and positive user experience. By staying informed and engaged, users can navigate the landscape of advancements like NameDrop with confidence.
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