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Google Makes Products More Helpful in Arabic

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Google made a series of announcements today, at its largest event in the region, in a commitment to make its products more helpful to the Arab world. The announcements are new features on Google Search, the launch of Google Assistant in 15 new countries, a new safety feature on Maps and one million USD grant to scale digital skills programs next year.

Lino Cattaruzzi, Managing Director for Google in the Middle East and North Africa, said: “Every day, people in the Middle East and North Africa turn to Google for help, to get things done and to learn new things. Over the years, we’ve improved how our products work for in Arabic, whether that was on Search, Assistant, Maps or YouTube. We are committed to making our products more helpful to people in the Middle East and North Africa, and to scale our digital skills program to open opportunities for more people.”

The announcements include:

A richer, more visual Search experience in Arabic: A new display of information in a simple one-box related to movie timings, music, and sports – three of the top things people search for in Arabic.  

Cameos: A new feature that allows public personalities, actors, and artists to post videos on the Search homepage where they answer popular questions addressed to them.

Google Assistant in 15 Arab countries: Google’s virtual assistant, designed to help people get things done  like making calls, playing music and navigate traffic, will be available in Arabic and will understand the local dialects in 15 countries – United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Mauritania. The Assistant was launched earlier in 2019 in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Updates on Google Maps – Stay Safe: A feature that gives users an “off-route alert” when a driver has deviated from the suggested route by more than 500 meters, with an option to share live trip update with friends and family.

Motorcycle  mode in Egypt: A feature to help Egyptian motorcyclists navigate traffic and avoid congested routes

$1 million grant in digital skills: Google.org is regranting Injaz, an NGO that specializes in youth training, $1 million to scale digital skills trainings in Arabic, to reach a further 100,000 people in 2020.

The Google for MENA event was attended by hundreds of people representing government, business leaders, developers and entrepreneurs. In 2018, Google launched an Arabic digital skills program, “Maharat min Google,” which has reached more than 500,000 young people, women and underprivileged students in the MENA region. 130,000 of those were able to find jobs, grow their careers and their businesses.  

A 2019 research by Public First research company estimates that 89% of people in the UAE and Saudi Arabia use Search once a month to learn a new skill, and 80% of online Egyptians use Google Search because it provides new information not available by other means.

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Events

NVIDIA to Host NVIDIA Studio Nights in Partnership with Microsoft

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NVIDIA, in partnership with Microsoft, has announced the second edition of NVIDIA Studio Nights – a regional event to focus on content creators who are designing with the power of the NVIDIA Studio platform and RTX GPUs. NVIDIA Studio Nights will be held on 15 February 2024 at the twofour54 Community Hub in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. This year, the event will feature six creative categories, including the previously featured 3D Design, Digital Art, Videography and Photography, with a special emphasis on the newly introduced CGI and NVIDIA Canvas Art categories.

Creators will have the opportunity to enter their work for consideration in each category before the event, with the best in each walking away with coveted prizes and trophies courtesy of NVIDIA Middle East. The free-to-attend event will offer opportunities for networking with NVIDIA experts and learning through interactive presentations on content creation and workflow optimization.

Chantelle Tavid – Head of Marketing, NVIDIA MENAT said, “Our inaugural NVIDIA Studio Nights was very successful last year, and we are extremely excited to be doing it again to support local content creators. NVIDIA Studio Nights is the perfect opportunity to see the limitless creativity that is possible when designing with NVIDIA Studio, and we know that the community appreciates a space such as this to interact with each other. We can’t wait to see the entries in this year’s competition go even bolder and more creative than what we received last year. NVIDIA Studio Nights embodies our commitment to hosting artists, fostering community, and celebrating the incredible talent of local artists, all while showcasing the transformative power of the NVIDIA Studio platform and RTX GPUs.”

NVIDIA Studio Nights will offer visitors the opportunity to get a hands-on experience with how the industry-leading RTX GPUs paired with NVIDIA Studio drivers can dramatically improve and accelerate challenging tasks in leading design applications, having the newly launched Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 devices introduced and available to test. From AI-driven object removal to smoother 4K video playback, NVIDIA Studio drivers are designed to let you truly create at the speed of your imagination.

NVIDIA Studio is much more than just a GPU – one of the advanced features that comes with RTX GPUs is the fact that all top creative apps are accelerated by AI which results in artists being able to create faster and better. There are over 75 creative apps that are accelerated by AI on RTX GPUs, which include top apps for photography, videography, rendering and broadcasting such as Adobe Premier Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Blender, and Adobe Photoshop.

“Created by Microsoft, Surface devices are thoughtfully designed with you at the centre, adapting in versatile ways to how you work, learn and create. In collaboration with NVIDIA Studio Nights, we are proudly bringing Surface Laptop Studio 2 – our most powerful laptop ever – to the creative minds of UAE, and can’t wait to see, what you do with it,” said Adam Labancz, Surface Category Lead, Middle East and Africa at Microsoft.

Winners will each receive a Microsoft Laptop Studio 2, along with a Surface Slim Pen 2. Through the power of 13th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA RTX GPUs, drawing, sketching, and designing on the Microsoft Laptop Studio 2 is natural and exciting, with a seamless transition from a canvas for drawing to a powerful touchscreen laptop. The ultra-versatile design with multiple form factors and input options allows creators to work smarter with AI tools in Windows 11 and Microsoft 365 apps

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Events

Dubai Police Esports Tournament Conducted in Partnership with ZOWIE and eXTREMESLAND 2023

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The Dubai Police General Headquarters accomplished a significant milestone in their continuous commitment to building a safe and inclusive digital environment, with the successful conclusion of their 3rd eSports Tournament. This event was much more than just a gaming platform, it acted as a venture to engage the esports gaming community, promote digital literacy and security, and raise awareness about online safety.

The eXTREMESLAND 2023 Counter-Strike 2 Middle East Championship, which was held on December 10 at the esteemed Dubai Police Officers Club, was one of the event’s main attractions. Several teams from throughout the Middle East competed in this esports event, and the winning team will get to represent the prestigious Dubai Police in the grand finals in China on January 26–28, 2024.

Ever since the inaugural eXTREMESLAND CS: GO Asia Cup took place in 2016, eXTREMESLAND has been hosting successful gaming events and aiming for annual excellence. It covers more than 32 nations in the Middle East, Asia, and Pacific areas. With an enduring impact on the competitive gaming scene, eXTREMESLAND has emerged as a key player in the development of esports in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Initiating the competition was a big deal since it gave emerging players a chance to show their gaming skills in front of local and global audiences.

The forward-thinking strategy of eXTREMESLAND has been instrumental in elevating gaming skills in these areas as well as driving the expansion of esports overall. Players now have the chance to compete at the top levels of professional gaming thanks to eXTREMESLAND’s tournaments, which have emerged as a catalyst for the identification and advancement of up-and-coming talent. The Middle East and Asia Pacific esports scenes are thriving as a result of eXTREMESLAND, with individuals and teams finding newfound success on the international gaming stage.

eXTREMESLAND has made a big contribution to the global esports narrative by offering a platform that surpasses geographical boundaries and embraces diversity. This has elevated the status of esports in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East in the global arena. Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East, expressed his enthusiasm about the event with great fervour. “We’re incredibly excited to be part of this platform and hosting eXTREMESLAND 2023. Dubai Police has shown a progressive approach that values the wide range of interests and emotions of its community by embracing the eXTREMESLAND 2023. This gesture not only demonstrates Dubai Police’s modern outlook and excellent support for the gaming community but also their dedication to building a robust gaming community in the heart of UAE.”

Twelve elite teams competed in the Counter-Strike 2 event, showcasing their distinct tactics and gameplay abilities. The winners will now have the privilege of competing in the eXTREMESLAND 2023 CS2 Asia Cup on behalf of Dubai Police. The Four04 Esports staff oversaw and assisted in the tournaments. First Lieutenant Saeed Adel Al Suwaidi, from Dubai Police General Headquarters, commented on the partnership with BenQ Middle East, “Our collaboration is not just about hosting an Esports Tournament. It’s about creating an interactive platform where we can engage with our youth, educate them about the potential pitfalls of the digital world, and equip them with the knowledge they need to navigate it safely. This initiative reflects our commitment to leveraging popular platforms to drive meaningful conversations around online safety.”

 

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Creator Tools

Sony MEA to Host Creators Convention in Dubai Tomorrow

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Sony Middle East and Africa will roll out the red carpet on 16 December for content creators and photographers from UAE to an electrifying day at the Creators Convention. At this event hosted at Garage Studio in Dubai’s buzzing Al Quoz neighbourhood, Sony Middle East and Africa will not only celebrate creativity but take it to newer heights.

What can one expect at the event?

  • Inspiring sessions by industry experts and top content creators
  • Hands-on workshops where you can dive into the latest techniques with some of the coolest digital imaging devices and accessories
  • Thought-provoking keynote addresses and networking opportunities to connect with fellow creators

The event will kick-start tomorrow (16th December, 2023) at 2:00 PM. You will need to bring your SD cards along for the event. Registration for the event is being accepted, here.

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