‘Alexa, Ya Hala!’ Amazon introduces Alexa in Khaleeji Arabic and English and Launches Echo Devices in the United Arab Emirates

Based on your language setting, Alexa now understands Khaleeji Arabic dialects, Modern Standard Arabic (Fus’ha) or English.

Amazon announced that Alexa, the brain that powers the Echo device family, is coming to the United Arab Emirates, offering customers an all-new, localized language experience in Khaleeji Arabic as well as in English, new features built with Gulf customers in mind, new smart home integrations with many compatible devices, and nearly 200 Alexa skills.

Echo devices are voice-controlled speakers designed entirely around your voice—they are always ready, hands-free, and fast. Alexa runs in the cloud, receives new feature updates on an ongoing basis, and is therefore always getting smarter. Just ask, and Alexa will answer questions, play music, read the news, recite the Quran, set timers and alarms, provide sports scores, control lights at home, and much more. With Echo’s far-field voice control, you can do all this from across the room, using just your voice.

In the United Arab Emirates, Alexa delivers a localized experience, including a Khaleeji Arabic voice with a personality that will surprise and delight customers—local pronunciations and intonation; local knowledge; and nearly 200 Alexa skills from regional developers and brands including skills from Etisalat, Expo 2020, Domino’s, Fatafeat, Careem, Emirates NBD, DEWA, and more. Customers can also use Alexa in English and enjoy popular features such as setting timers, adding reminders, creating To-Do-Lists, sharing announcements, and more.

“We’re incredibly excited to bring Alexa and the Echo family of devices to the United Arab Emirates,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “The team has worked hard to create an all-new Khaleeji Arabic experience designed from the ground up for Arabic-speaking customers and to optimize the Alexa experience in English for English-speakers to enjoy.”

“On our way to becoming a world leader in Artificial Intelligence, we welcome Alexa to the United Arab Emirates”, said His Excellency Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications. “Much like AI is at the core of Alexa’s personality, we are working on doing the same for the entire nation-building an AI-driven economy that contributes significantly to education, government development, and the happiness of our community.”

Manal Al Bayat, Chief Engagement Officer at Dubai Expo 2020, said: “Not only is Alexa coming to the region with Arabic capabilities but Expo 2020 Dubai content is very much part of its introduction. It has been an amazing experience to work with Amazon on this, and to create new and inspiring ways of delivering Expo’s message to the world. This kind of innovation and cutting-edge technology is in the spirit of Expo 2020 and its themes, and we hope Alexa users have fun discovering even more about this once-in-a-lifetime event.”

“As the region’s leading digital music platform, we’re thrilled to team up with Alexa, providing customers with access to millions of international and Arabic songs and podcasts”, said Elie Habib, Co-founder and CTO of Anghami. “Only by using their voice, customers can ask Alexa to play any song from the region’s largest music catalog in Arabic – this adds a new dimension to our customer experience.”

Amazon Echo—Spherical Design, Dolby Stereo Sound, Built-in Zigbee Hub

As a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a built-in speaker, Echo combines premium sound, and a built-in Zigbee smart home hub. Featuring a 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby processing, Echo delivers clear highs, dynamic mids and deep bass for rich and can automatically adapt to your room by sensing the acoustics of your space.

Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock—Compact design and crisp, full sound

Echo Dot is our most popular speaker globally and features a compact, spherical design that produces crisp vocals and balanced bass for full sound with a powerful 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker. Echo Dot with clock comes with the same features as Echo Dot, plus a simple LED display so you can glance at the time, timers, and alarms. With a tap-to-snooze feature, these devices are the perfect addition to any bedside table. Echo Dot is available in Charcoal, White and Blue, Echo Dot with clock is available in White and Blue. Echo Dot (Gen3): The most affordable Echo device in our line-up is simple to set up and use—plug in, open the Alexa app, and get started in minutes. With four far-field microphones, Alexa hears you from across the room. And with compatible Echo devices in different rooms, you can fill your whole home with sound.

Echo Show 5 — Compact smart display with Alexa

Echo Show 5 has a smart display with a 2MP HD camera. Customize your morning routine to wake up with lights and an alarm that plays your favourite song. Glance at a to-do list or see the news, set timers, and stream music or videos—all using just your voice.

Echo Show 8 — See your day clearly

Echo Show 8 features a 13-MP wide-angle camera and an 8” HD touchscreen with adaptive colour. The device has built-in dual speakers to deliver a great experience, whether that’s listening to music or podcasts from Anghami or Spotify or audiobooks from Storytel, or watching TV shows and movies from Netflix or Prime Video.

Echo Show 10—Designed to Move with You

Echo Show 10 is designed to move with you—the brilliant 10” HD screen will automatically turn toward your direction so you can keep your eyes on the screen, focused on what you’re watching. Glance at the weather, news, stream music and videos, follow recipes, play games, see compatible cameras, and more.

Alexa—The Brain Behind Amazon Echo

Built in the cloud, and with tens of thousands of third party developers around the world creating skills, the Alexa service is always getting smarter. With Alexa, you can use just your voice to:

Hear the News

Alexa can read the news and give customized updates based on your preferences. You can choose your favourite outlets to provide the news or sports results, including Al Arabiya, CNBC Arabia, Sport360, SkyNews, ARNradio, and more. Just say, “Alexa, what’s the news?”. At launch, the following radio stations will be available: Al Arabiya FM, Al Khaleejia FM, Dubai eye 103.8, Virgin Radio Dubai, Hits 96.7, Radio Shoma, Aloula Radio, Dubai Holy Quran.

Set prayer times and recite the Quran

Alexa is able to recite the Quran from the surah or juz’u of your choice, all by voice. Just say, “Alexa, play surah Al Kahaf.” Coming soon, customers can also set prayer times by saying “Alexa, wake me up when it is time for Fajr” and will also be able to check the Hijri calendar by asking Alexa to remind them to get the aydiya before the last ten days of Ramdan.

Listen to Music Everywhere

Alexa offers a seamless music experience with premium services including Anghami, Spotify, and more. In addition, listen to radio from your favourite stations like MBC, Panorama, and more. Control music and play millions of songs by saying, “Alexa, play pop music” or “Alexa, skip this song.” You can also group multiple Echo devices and synchronize them to stream the same music in every room. Wake up to your favourite songs each morning by saying “Alexa, wake me up to Top hits”.

Control your Smart Home

Use any Echo device to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie. Also enjoy hands-free home security with Ring, whose cameras, video doorbells, and alarm systems are all compatible with Alexa, helping secure your home and bring peace of mind. Just say, “Alexa, show me the nursery” to see your camera feed on your Echo Show device. Alexa also works with other compatible smart home devices such as smart lights and plugs from brands including Philips Hue, Xiaomi, TP-Link, and more.

Ask Questions

Ask Alexa questions about famous people, dates, places, calculations, conversions, spelling, and much more. For example, “Alexa, what time is maghrib in Abu Dhabi?”, “Alexa, when is Eid Al Adha?”, “Alexa, when was the Burj Khalifa built?”, or ask Alexa for a joke by saying “Alexa, tell me a joke.”

Follow your Favorite Sports Teams

Ask Alexa for live scores or scores for completed games, find out when your favourite team plays their next game, and more. Just ask “Alexa, what is the al-Ahly score?”, “Alexa, when is al-Ain’s next match?”

Built with Privacy in Mind        
All Echo devices are designed with multiple layers of privacy protection, including physical microphone and camera controls. You can choose to delete your Alexa voice recordings in multiple ways, by voice or through the Alexa app. Just say, “Alexa, delete what I just said”. Or you can use the Alexa app to delete your voice recordings all at once, have your voice recordings automatically deleted after three or 18 months on an ongoing basis, or choose not to have them saved in the first place. Echo Show devices also offer accessibility features that benefit all customers, including the ability to interact with Alexa using touch instead of voice, to see captions for Alexa’s responses on the device screen, and more.

Third Party Skills

At launch, customers will be able to enjoy nearly 200 skills available in the United Arab Emirates. Learn all about Expo 2020 with the official Expo skill, book a ride using the Careem skill, get recipes and cook along instructions with the Fatafeat skill, order food through the Domino’s skill, learn what movies play with the Reel Cinema skill, meditate with the Tawazon skill, listen to an audiobook with the Storytel skill, and more.

Pricing and Availability

All devices announced today are available on Amazon.ae. Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot with clock, Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 10 will start shipping on December 14. To celebrate Alexa’s arrival in the region and as an introductory offer, any Echo device is available at a reduced price for a limited period of time.

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen): 189,99 AED, introductory offer 109,99 AED, Charcoal

Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen): 229,99 AED, introductory offer 149,99 AED, Charcoal, White and Blue

Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) with clock: 279,99 AED, introductory offer 239,99 AED, White and Blue

Amazon Echo (4th gen): 449,99 AED, introductory offer 299,99 AED, Charcoal, White and Blue

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd gen 349,99 AED, introductory offer 219,99 AED, Charcoal, White and Blue

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd gen): 549,99 AED, introductory offer 399,99 AED, Charcoal and White

Amazon Echo Show 10 (2nd gen): 1099,99 AED, introductory offer 999,99 AED, Charcoal and White