Amazon Connect launches generative AI

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an, Inc. company, has announced new generative AI capabilities in Amazon Connect, its cloud contact center service. The enhancements include the addition of Amazon Q in Connect, which provides agents with recommended responses and actions based on real-time customer questions; Amazon Connect Contact Lens, which adds AI-generated summaries of customer conversations for quality management purposes; Amazon Lex in Amazon Connect, which uses generative AI to make it easier to build effective self-service experiences for customers; and Amazon Connect Customer Profiles, which aggregates customer data from popular software-as-a-service applications. Customers using the service include Choice Hotels, NatWest Group, NeuraFlash, Traeger Grills and USAN.Generative AI offers an unprecedented opportunity for contact center leaders to redefine how they create and measure their customers’ experiences. Amazon Connect removes the challenges of building and deploying models in contact centers by allowing non-technical business leaders to set up a cloud contact center with generative AI capabilities within minutes.The new generative AI capabilities of Amazon Connect include:Amazon Q in Connect: Assists agents with recommended responses and actions for faster customer support. Amazon Q in Connect helps understand customer intents and uses relevant sources of information to deliver accurate responses and actions for the agent to communicate and resolve unique customer needs, all in real time.Amazon Connect Contact Lens: Generates concise customer contact summaries after each interaction to provide supervisors with context-rich details. Amazon Connect Contact Lens now generates concise customer contact summaries after each interaction to provide supervisors with those context-rich details.Amazon Lex in Amazon Connect: Simplifies bot building and creates improved self-service experiences. From the Amazon Lex administrator console, contact center administrators can create robust chatbots and IVRs by simply describing in natural language what they want the self-service system to accomplish.Amazon Connect Customer Profiles: Automatically creates unified customer profiles for personalized customer experiences. With just a few clicks, managers can review, make any necessary edits, and complete the setup of customer profiles so contact center teams can begin providing personalized customer service that improves customer satisfaction and agent productivity.“The contact center industry is poised to be fundamentally transformed by generative AI, offering customer service agents, contact center supervisors, and contact center administrators new ways to deliver personalized customer experiences even more effectively," said Pasquale DeMaio, vice president, Amazon Connect, AWS Applications.In addition to these new generative AI enhancements, Amazon Connect has extended omnichannel capabilities to include out-of-the-box support for two-way SMS messaging, as well as in-app and web voice calling with support for video. These new omnichannel communications—as well as the generative AI enhancements to Amazon Lex, Amazon Q in Connect, and Amazon Connect Customer profiles—are generally available. New generative AI capabilities in Amazon Connect Contact Lens are available in preview.

Dubai Corporate Games celebrates 17th year with record-breaking turnout

The Dubai Corporate Games returns for its 17th edition, promising the largest event to date with an impressive lineup of participants and activities.A total of 55 esteemed companies, including industry giants such as Google, Amazon, Chalhoub Group, and Nakheel, among others, have rallied over 7000 individuals for a two-day extravaganza of sports and camaraderie.Attendees will indulge in a diverse array of activities, spanning from classic favourites like football, tennis, and basketball to more unique offerings such as padel, dragon boat racing, and gaming competitions. Notably, the event boasts 68 football teams, engaging in a staggering 116 games, with a commendable representation of 5 women’s teams. Additionally, 48 men’s and ladies' basketball teams will vie for victory, alongside a remarkable 360 entries for padel enthusiasts.This year's event is generously supported by esteemed headline sponsors, including Transmed, Emirates Snack Food, IFFCO Group, and Oasis Water, underscoring the significance of corporate engagement and community spirit. Other notable sponsors include ITP, American Hospital Dubai, RECAPP, and Channel 4.The action-packed festivities will unfold on February 24th and 25th at ISD Dubai Sports City, commencing at 8 am and concluding at 9 pm. Spectators are warmly invited to join in the excitement and cheer on their favourite teams as they vie for glory in this celebration of athleticism and teamwork.

VICE Media Group appoints Rafael Lavor as Head of Strategy

Rafael Lavor has been appointed as the new Head of Strategy at VICE Media Group, emphasizing the company's dedication to fostering innovation and delivering cutting-edge content to its global audience.With over 18 years of experience, Lavor has developed expertise in creative strategy, in-depth qualitative research, consumer studies, service innovation, digital communication, and brand management and development.His extensive portfolio includes work with local innovation consultancies and global creative agencies, contributing to the success of brands such as du, NEOM, Nissan, KFC, Peugeot, Nokia, Mastercard, Smirnoff, Volkswagen, Ford, Chevrolet, Embraer, Stella Artois, Tang, Uber, Deezer, Amazon, McVitie’s, Hilton, Abu Dhabi Investment Office, and more.Lavor's leadership on various teams and projects has garnered recognition at prestigious marketing awards such as the Brazil Effies, LATAM Effies, and MENA Effies. Tarek Khalil, Managing Director of MEA for VICE, expresses enthusiasm about Lavor's addition to the team, citing his extensive regional experience and ability to tackle complex brand challenges. Khalil is confident that Lavor's leadership will contribute to the creation of even more impactful content for VICE's clients and audiences across the Middle East and Africa.

Elon Musk's xAI seeks $6 billion to challenge OpenAI

Elon Musk's AI ambitions take a bold leap forward as his AI start-up xAI aims to raise a staggering $6 billion from global investors. This move positions xAI as a major contender in the burgeoning generative AI arena, with OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, as its key target.The fundraising push spans continents, with xAI courting wealthy individuals and investors worldwide. Whispers of talks with family offices in Hong Kong, despite the territory's complex ties with Beijing, highlight the intensifying global AI race.Musk's vision for xAI is ambitious. He seeks a $20 billion valuation, fueled by the $6 billion capital injection. This hefty sum reflects the colossal resources needed to develop cutting-edge generative AI models, demanding vast computing power, data, and specialized chips.However, negotiations are in a flux, and Musk's target raise might shift. He's reportedly explored additional avenues, including sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and potential investors in Japan and South Korea.Meanwhile, xAI has already taken its first steps. In December, it launched Grok, a chatbot trained on social media data, touted to offer more current and comprehensive responses than rivals.The pressure is on, as OpenAI boasts a sizable $13 billion war chest injected by Microsoft alone. Additionally, Anthropic and Cohere, fueled by tech giants like Google and Amazon, join the competition.Musk's past connection to OpenAI adds an intriguing layer. He co-founded the company but later disagreed with its direction, particularly its perceived lack of safety measures and alleged censorship tendencies. This fueled his decision to launch xAI in July 2023.Financial details of xAI's past funding remain murky. Public filings reveal a $1 billion fundraising goal through equity investors, with $135 million already secured. A reported $500 million raise in January further adds to the uncertainty.Despite the complexities surrounding xAI's financial state, one thing is clear: Musk's AI ambitions are not to be underestimated. Whether xAI secures the coveted $6 billion and dethrones OpenAI remains to be seen, but one thing is certain - the battle for AI supremacy has just entered a new, high-stakes chapter.

Viewers open to ads on streaming platforms: Hub study

Viewers are open to and tolerant of advertising on streaming platforms – especially when ad loads are reasonable, when users’ bills are lower, and when they have the option to choose a premium ad-free options if they so desire, according to Hub Entertainment Research’s TV Advertising: Fact vs Fiction study.As more and more streaming services adopt an ad-supported model, the importance of understanding advertising’s role in the TV ecosystem – and in viewer’s subscription and viewing decisions – has never been more important. While Netflix, Disney+, and Max work to draw subs to their new ad tiers, Amazon and AMC+ recently announced their push to ad commercials to their streams. Soon there may be few truly ad-free streamers left – if any.Time and again consumers are seen choosing content first – whether or not they can watch it ad-free.The sixth wave of the study continues to track use, viewing behaviors, and perceptions of ad-supported TV, exploring the interplay between advertising, cost, and content.Consumers, who were intolerant to ads in 2023, are now open opt to ad-supported services to save money.Contrary to popular belief, consumers' patience for advertising has its limits. In a level playing field, nearly four out of ten viewers would opt for a streaming service with fewer ads. Additionally, advertisers benefit from reduced ad loads, as almost half of consumers pay more attention when ad breaks are shorter. A streaming service with a more reasonable ad load tends to elevate the perceived quality of its advertisers.The consensus among viewers is that two standard-length ads per break constitute a reasonable amount of advertising. Viewers generally find ad breaks acceptable if they last one minute or less, but the tipping point occurs at ninety seconds, beyond which most viewers deem the break unreasonable.There remains substantial potential for streaming platforms to expand their ad-supported offerings. A significant proportion of consumers remain unaware of the lower-cost ad-supported options provided by most streaming services.Consumer acceptance of advertising in streaming video is on the rise, presenting growth opportunities for ad-supported offerings. The Hub TV Advertising: Fact vs. Fiction survey consistently indicates that a majority of viewers prefer an ad-supported video subscription if it costs less than an ad-free one over the past two years. In the latest survey, this preference is notably higher than it was in June 2023.The acceptance of advertising in streaming video is widespread, and there is still untapped potential to attract new subscribers. Many consumers are unaware that streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Max have introduced more affordable ad-supported tiers. Aggressively marketing these economical options can draw in viewers who have not subscribed due to perceived high costs.

The role of AI in transforming experiential retail

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become so seamlessly integrated into our day to day lives, you may not even notice when you’re using it. From asking Siri for a song to following Waze on your way to work, AI is redefining the way we communicate, work and play. The retail sector is one industry that has been transformed by the rise in AI technology. The e-commerce industry achieved a record USD 5.7 trillion in sales in 2022, accounting for 20 per cent of all retail sales around the world.And while some of the AI functionality has become ingrained in the way we shop, such as online chatbots offering purchasing support, or the behind-the-scenes roles of inventory management and supply chain networks, the really thrilling transformations are taking place in the form of experiential retail. Here are some of the key ways AI is transforming the way we shop.Personalising the processLeading the AI charge are major online marketplaces Amazon and Alibaba, whose use of AI has contributed to a massive market share – Amazon clocked up 5.9 billion direct visits in April 2023 alone. Both retailers use predictive analytics to help personalise the customer experience, analysing previous purchases, popularity and user search patterns to sift through the millions of products available on their marketplaces. Amazon draws on usage pattern analysis to accurately predict when a regular shopper will need to restock on household necessities, such as diapers, laundry detergent or their morning coffee, giving the user a nudge when it’s time to stock up. The Sephora app personalises the experience by customising suggested products within the shopper’s expected budget, delivering a better overall user experience and a higher conversion rate.Virtual reality fitting roomsOne of the exciting transformations we’re seeing is the creation of virtual reality fitting rooms. This form of blended reality allows shoppers to ‘try on’ clothing, shoes and cosmetics from the comfort of their living rooms using AI and augmented reality (AR) – think Adidas sneakers, ASOS clothing, and Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. Early adopters Walmart and Macy’s have been more recently joined by luxury brands such as Gucci and Hugo Boss, with the global virtual fitting room market now predicted to grow from USD 4.03 billion in 2022 to USD 14.87 billion by 2029.   Visual search technologySee something you like, but aren’t sure of the brand? Visual search technology such as ASOS’s Style Match feature allows users to upload an image of a style they’re looking for, and then offer personalised recommendations of similar items to buy. The tool uses machine learning and AI computer vision technology to analyse the image and then share suggestions based on colours, shapes, and patterns.Gamification of shoppingYou may not have realised at the time, but eBay was one of the first retailers to ‘gamify’ retail, with its virtual bidding system adding a new level of thrill to the shopping experience. From that initial dopamine rush, the gamification of shopping has evolved into the interactive experiences and experiential retail we have today – from Pepsi’s QR codes featuring AR football stars to digital avatars from the likes of Roblox, Prada, and Balenciaga – all designed to keep users on retail sites for longer, building brand loyalty and conversions. According to Boston Retail Partners, 87 per cent of retailers plan to implement gamification within the next five years, making it a key area of development for experiential retail. Behind the scenesSome of AI’s other roles in experiential retail are less obvious but no less impactful. From the chatbot that helps you locate your missing order, to the prompt telling you when stock is running low on that pair of sneakers in your wish list, AI technology streamlines the online shopping process from the moment you start browsing until the time it lands in your hands.AI can even make the retail experience more sustainable. Personalisation and virtual try-ons have been shown to reduce the number of returns a shopper makes, cutting back on transport and packaging – a win for shoppers, retailers and the environment.

Amazon trains massive AI model 'Olympus' to rival OpenAI, Alphabet

Amazon has formed a dedicated team to train a massive AI model called "Olympus," according to a Reuters report.Amazon is making a significant financial investment in this large language model (LLM) with the hope that it can compete with leading models developed by OpenAI and Alphabet, according to insider information.The "Olympus" model is said to possess a staggering 2 trillion parameters, potentially making it one of the largest models under development. In comparison, OpenAI's renowned GPT-4 model is reported to have one trillion parameters.Rohit Prasad, the former head of Alexa, is leading the team responsible for "Olympus" and now reports directly to CEO Andy Jassy. In his role as the head scientist for general artificial intelligence (AGI) at Amazon, Prasad has brought in researchers who were previously engaged with Alexa AI and the Amazon science team to collaborate on model training, thus consolidating AI efforts across the company with dedicated resources.Already Amazon has trained smaller models, such as Titan, and has also established partnerships with AI model startups like Anthropic and AI21 Labs, making these models available to users of Amazon Web Services (AWS).The insiders indicate that there is no specific timeline for the release of the new model.LLMs serve as the foundational technology for AI tools that learn from extensive datasets to generate responses akin to those of humans. Training larger AI models is a costly endeavor due to the substantial computing power required. In an earnings call in April, Amazon executives expressed their intention to increase investments in LLMs and generative AI while reducing expenditures in their retail business related to fulfillment and transportation.

Saudi Exports and Amazon collaborate to launch ‘Saudi Made’ storefront on Amazon

Amazon Saudi Arabia today launched a 'Saudi Made' storefront on, featuring thousands of local products certified by the ‘Made in Saudi’ (MIS) program. Aligning with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the dedicated storefront promotes locally manufactured products to millions of Amazon customers, accelerating the development of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia.The launch was announced following the signing of a Co-operation Agreement between Eng. Abdulrahman Althukair, CEO of Saudi Exports Development Authority and Abdo Chlala, Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, in the presence of His Excellency Bandar bin Ibrahim Alkhorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia. The signing ceremony was held at the ‘Made in Saudi’ Exhibition 2023, an annual event that aims to bring Saudi products closer to consumers and businesses.Amazon’s new ‘Saudi Made’ store is a curation of thousands of locally manufactured products across a range of categories including health and personal care, grocery, home care, baby care, and beauty, offering a wide selection to customers. The store encourages shoppers to support local businesses and makes it easier for customers to find, explore, and purchase local products from across the Kingdom.Eng. Abdulrahman Althukair, CEO of Saudi Exports Development Authority, said: “Our ‘Made in Saudi’ program is much more than a certification; it places local businesses at the heart of a collaborative community. The program plays a key role in promoting Saudi products under one unified, trusted brand, while helping them expand their reach and increase their competitiveness on the global stage. Our partnership with Amazon bolsters our commitment to enabling more brands to expand their local manufacturing, while positioning Saudi products and services as the preferred choice for domestic and international consumers.”Thousands of local businesses have been endorsed by the MIS program’s logo and certification, representing quality and authenticity. These businesses now have the opportunity to reach Amazon customers around the world through the recently launched Global Registration Program on The program makes it easier and more seamless than ever for local businesses to sell on Amazon stores globally.Abdo Chlala, Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, said: “Today, we are very proud to be launching our dedicated Saudi Made store on in partnership with the Made in Saudi program, supporting sellers of all sizes, including SMBs, within the Kingdom and further contributing to the country’s path towards a thriving digital economy. The store supports these local sellers as they expand their operations online, while endorsing thousands of local products and showcasing some of the nation’s most interesting and unique items for customers to discover. Launching the Saudi Made store is the first step towards a long-term partnership with Saudi Exports that reiterates our commitment to invest in local businesses and SMBs, providing them with the tools and services they need to succeed.”Since the launch of in 2020, the company has continued to invest in Saudi Arabia, launching services and tools to support local businesses. The company has been coordinating with Monsha’at, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, to empower this segment of the economy, with an aim to host 40,000 Saudi sellers by 2025 on Saudi sellers can take advantage of the Amazon Seller Mobile App to conduct business with more speed, ease and flexibility. Local selling partners can also select from a wide range of shipping options suited to their business needs and goals, including Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), where Amazon stores, packs, and ships products to customers, allowing businesses to reach customers faster and more efficiently.

Disney the most talked about stock on social media

Disney is the most talked about stock on social media, new research has revealed. The entertainment giant has the highest number of videos published and viewed, and the most hashtags used across TikTok and Instagram.  The findings come from a new study by online trading provider City Index, which analysed every company in the S&P 500 based on how much content on their stocks and shares had been created and viewed on TikTok and Instagram. The study revealed that there have been 80 million views of videos with the hashtag of #disneystock, #disneystocks, or #disneyshares, the highest amount out of all the 500 companies that were included in the in-depth analysis. Those views have come from 6,151 videos – also the largest amount in the study – as creators discuss the company’s financial performance, and whether it is a good time to invest in the stock.  In total there are 44,177 hashtags related to Disney stocks and shares, and the company’s share price has been around $85 in recent weeks. It is down more than $100 from its all-time high above $200 in March 2021, which came after California health officials confirmed theme parks would be allowed to reopen as COVID restrictions eased. The second most popular stock on social media is Netflix, which has more than 13 million video views on TikTok and Instagram. The global streaming service is the subject of 1,384 videos about its financial performance, with 4,635 hashtags mentioning #netflixstock, #netflixstocks or #netflixshares. Netflix shuttered its mail order DVD business at the end of September, and its most recent earnings report revealed it had added 5.9 million new subscribers in the second quarter of 2023. The company’s stock price is currently around $380, which is down from its all-time high in November 2021, when it peaked just above $690. Amazon places third in the ranking with more than 5.9 million video views about its stocks and shares, along with 17,278 hashtags, and 725 published videos. The company reported that for the second quarter of 2023, ended 30 June, it had net sales of $134.4 billion, while its share price has steadily risen this year, and is currently around $128. Social media’s fourth most popular stock is Tesla, which has 739 videos dedicated to it on TikTok and Instagram. They have received more than two million views, while there are 1,898 hashtags related to the electric car company’s stocks and shares. Tesla’s share price is around $260 and it has a market capitaliszation of $813 billion, which is the second highest out of the companies in the top five, behind Amazon on $1.32 trillion. Fifth in the social media stocks ranking goes to Walmart, with more than 4.7 million views of videos discussing its financial performance, along with 2,570 dedicated hashtags. The top ten is rounded out by Costco in sixth, Microsoft in seventh, 3M in eighth, Nike in ninth and Starbucks in tenth.  Commenting on the figures, a spokesperson for City Index said: “This data paints a fascinating picture of which companies’ financial performance attracts the most interest, excitement and discussion on social media. The companies at the top of the list are some of the biggest brands in the world, which highlights how the general public are most comfortable approaching the complex world of the stock market through the businesses and brands with which they are most familiar.  “The strong appetite for advice and guidance on trading is demonstrated by the fact that videos on the top ten companies in the list have more than 117 million views in total. As trading continues to become more accessible to people who aren’t working in the finance industry, and following the rise of so called ‘meme stocks’ over the past two years, it will be interesting to see how the discussion of the best trading and investment opportunities continues to develop on social media.” The study was conducted by City Index, an award-winning, multi-asset financial services provider with 40 years' experience in supporting clients – providing instant and secure access to global markets.

Amazon's $20.6 Billion Media Account in Global Pitch

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, is putting its massive media account up for pitch after spending $20.6 billion on advertising and promotional costs in 2022. This figure marked a significant increase from the previous year's $16.9 billion. Procter & Gamble, once considered the world's biggest advertising spender, has fallen behind with advertising costs of $8 billion in 2023, compared to $7.9 billion in 2022 and $8.2 billion in 2021, according to its financial filings.IPG Mediabrands has held Amazon's media buying account since 2017, but the company has decided to review its options. Amazon stated, "We routinely review existing business relationships with third-party vendors and partners, and based on those reviews, may decide to solicit proposals from vendors interested in working with us." The retail giant uses a variety of advertising channels, including sponsored search, social and online advertising, third-party customer referrals, and television advertising, to attract buyers to its platforms. Amazon is also a significant player in the ad space, ranking as the world's third-largest digital advertising platform, behind Google and Meta. In the June quarter, its advertising services grew by 22% to reach $10.68 billion.

Amazon collaborates with The Rashid Centre for People of Determination

Designed by gifted students from the Rashid Centre, the Eid Electronic Gift Cards collection represents a modern interpretation of the “Eiddeyyah”, the traditional gift-giving customCustomers can gift ‘Eiddeyyah’ to families and friends with Eid eGift Cards, giving them the chance to choose from a selection of millions of local and international products available across categories such as beauty, fashion, and home The Eid collection is now available on or through the Amazon app, giving customers the chance to choose from balance amounts between AED 1 up to AED 6,000 DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: In preparation for Eid al-Fitr, is announcing its collaboration with the Rashid Centre for People of Determination to create this year’s special edition Eid Electronic Gift Cards (eGift Cards) for customers in the UAE. The newly launched collection features colourful artwork designed exclusively by gifted students from the Rashid Centre, a Dubai-based humanitarian organization providing integrated education services and therapies for children of determination. The Eid eGift Cards are now available for purchase at a variety of balance amounts on or through the Amazon app.Ronaldo Mouchawar, Vice President for Amazon Middle East and North Africa (MENA), said: “At Amazon, we are committed to bringing varying backgrounds, ideas, and points of views together, as we continue to invent on behalf of our customers. This year, we are thrilled to have collaborated with the Rashid Centre, witnessing the incredible talent their students possess, and working with them to showcase their art to our millions of customers through the Eid eGift Cards. This collaboration forms part of our continued effort to bring joy to our customers, offering them more ways to gift each other during Eid, while raising awareness around the homegrown, diverse, incredible, and inspiring talent that resides in the UAE.”

Amazon and Eta’am partner to donate and deliver Iftar meals across Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: Amazon Saudi Arabia today announced the launch of ‘Iftar on Wheels,’ a meal donation program that will support thousands of families at Ramadan community iftars, leveraging the company’s delivery network across both central and remote locations within Saudi Arabia. Amazon will utilize its scale, logistics and technology to reach people in need across the entire country, from Makkah in the west to Dammam in the east, and from Abha to Al Qassim, to spread the joy of the season among local communities.In partnership with the Saudi Food Bank (Eta’am), the ‘Iftar on Wheels’ program continues Amazon’s tradition of helping underprivileged families through a combination of monetary donations, delivery services and volunteer support. Hundreds of Amazon employees across Saudi Arabia will engage in event organization, packing and delivering food and sharing in the iftar events.Faisal Al Shoshan, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Food Bank (Eta’am), said, “We are pleased to partner with Amazon once again to make the Holy Month just a little easier and spread the spirit of giving to thousands of families in need. Leveraging the power of Amazon’s technology, people and the company’s vast delivery network, ‘Iftar on Wheels’ will help us reach even more families not just in central but also in remote locations across the country. Amazon’s operations and delivery support are invaluable in delivering meals directly to those in need.”Since its launch in the region four years ago, Amazon has delivered millions of meals to underserved communities in the Middle East and North Africa region, laddering up to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 to achieve ‘Zero Hunger.’Abdo Chlala, Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, said, “Amazon is committed to finding practical solutions to immediate community needs, such as hunger and natural disasters. This commitment takes on even greater significance during the Holy Month of Ramadan. As we continue to serve customers during this busy season, we are also leveraging our scale as a force for good. ‘Iftar on Wheels’ will utilize our logistics, delivery and people networks to deliver meals to families who need them the most. We continue to invest in programs that nurture a meaningful work environment where our teams have the opportunity to give back to the communities where they live and work.”‘Iftar on Wheels’ is a part of Amazon’s global community engagement pillar, ‘Right Now Needs,’ that seeks to eliminate the impossible choices posed by poverty, homelessness, hunger, and natural disasters. This pillar is one of many in Amazon’s community engagement program.Mohammad Badokhon, Operations Supervisor at Amazon Saudi Arabia, said, “Ramadan is a very important time of the year for me, and I do my best to embody its values of generosity, sharing and giving. This year, the ‘Iftar on Wheels’ program gives me yet another opportunity to give back to my community.”Amazon’s operations network in Saudi Arabia is powered by a combination of innovative technology, optimised transportation services, dedicated employees, and partners. Amazon’s transportation network consists of over twenty-five owned and third-party delivery stations across Saudi Arabia. The company continues to invest in scaling its network in the country and enhancing the customer experience, while focusing on the safety, well-being, and career advancement of the people across the operations network who make it all possible.

Amazon continues to invest in the UAE, opens Fulfillment Center in Dubai

HE Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South; HE Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET); HE Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs; and Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District - Dubai South and Mohamed Shael Alsaadi, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Consumer Protection and Fair Trade today witnessed the inauguration of Amazon’s latest Fulfillment Center in the UAE. Following the inauguration, the dignitaries were given a tour of the facility by Ronaldo Mouchawar, Vice President of Amazon Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Prashant Saran, Director of Operations for Amazon MENA and Zeina El Kaissi, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Amazon MENA.The new Fulfillment Center has a storage capacity of 2.1 million cubic feet, which will increase Amazon’s total storage capacity in the UAE by 70%. As the company gears up for increased customer demand during the Holy month of Ramadan, the investment will enable Amazon to delight customers with a wider selection of products across electronics, appliances, groceries, fashion, books and more. Amazon brings 25+ years of logistics technology and innovation to support the country’s ecommerce ecosystem. The new facility will house innovative solutions for its operations, close to three kilometers of conveyance equipment, spread across five floors and covering an area of more than 350,000 sqft.Supporting Dubai and UAE’s agenda for a digital economy, the enhanced capacity will provide entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) access to Amazon’s fulfillment capabilities and world-class logistics expertise. In order to reach a wider customer base faster and more efficiently, SMBs can take advantage of the Fulfilled by Amazon offering that allows them to store, pick, pack and ship customer orders through Amazon. The company recently announced its commitment to host products from 100,000 businesses, including local SMBs, on its UAE website by 2026, in support of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to make Dubai a global digital economy.The facility is located in Dubai South’s Logistics District, enabling efficient services, speed, operations, and uninterrupted access to Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC). The district comprises of multiple zones that facilitate distribution, including a Freight Forwarding Zone; EZDubai, a fully dedicated e-commerce free zone strategically located in the heart of the district; and a Contract Logistics Zone.H.E. Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South, commented: “At Dubai South, our mandate is to support the government’s economic diversification efforts through the different services and solutions that we provide to local and international companies. We have created a world-class logistics, supply chain and warehousing infrastructure ecosystem, making it an ideal location for Amazon’s new facility. We are thrilled to welcome the company’s second Fulfillment Centre in our Logistics District, as hosting a global e-commerce company like Amazon expanding its investment in the UAE brings us closer to our mission to catalyze the UAE’s economic growth.”Speaking at the inauguration, H.E. Helal Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) said: “Dubai’s leadership has outlined a clear economic growth roadmap for the coming decade that capitalizes on the emirate’s business enabling infrastructure and highly developed global logistic network to deliver accelerated expansion opportunities for both international and local companies, whilst offering a strong competitive advantage to those choosing Dubai. In line with our Economic Agenda 2033’s (D33) strategic objectives, we welcome the ongoing expansion of Amazon here and its catalyzing role in the wider development of an economy centered on innovation and technology that enables talent.”According to H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation: “Dubai has transformed into a significant hub for the world's largest e-commerce companies. The city's exceptional infrastructure and logistics capabilities have propelled it to become a launchpad for e-commerce worldwide. The launch of Amazon's new shipping center in Dubai South is a testament to Dubai's unwavering commitment to achieving global leadership in cross-border e-commerce. This achievement adds another remarkable milestone to Dubai's already impressive record of accomplishments in the field.Ronaldo Mouchawar, Vice President of Amazon MENA, said, “At Amazon, we continue to emphasize our focus on providing the best and fastest selection of products to our customers in the UAE. Fulfillment Centers have a ripple effect across the economy, contributing significantly to the growth of ecommerce sales, building capacity and accelerating entrepreneurship by allowing sellers and start-ups to leverage Amazon’s world class fulfillment offerings to reach more customers with a wider selection of products. At the same time, we continue to invest in building the UAE’s talent capabilities, creating diverse career paths in an industry-leading workplace.”As a responsible employer, Amazon nurtures a diverse and inclusive workplace where every individual is encouraged to grow and advance their careers. Many of the leadership roles in the new Fulfillment Center are held by women. With access to a variety of roles ranging from operations, analytics, to health and safety and supply chain, all employees have access to training, upskilling and mentoring programs that benefit the country’s wider talent pool and equip them for the evolving labor market.Prashant Saran, Director of Operations for Amazon MENA, said, “We are excited to partner with Dubai South once again. With the opening of this facility, we are geared up to offer even more products to more customers during the busy time of Ramadan. The new Fulfilment Center will be equipped with Amazon’s latest global innovations to ensure speed, safety and reliability with every order. As a good corporate citizen, we always strive to create opportunities for employees, partners and the community while growing sustainably and responsibly.”Amazon is committed to embedding sustainable practices across all its operations as it expands its presence across the UAE. The new facility incorporates carbon-friendly design concepts, efficient control systems, data and analytics to improve energy efficiency. Amazon continues its relentless focus on the safety and well-being of its employees, deploying cutting-edge technology to assist employees and keep them safe while delivering for customers.Since its launch in the UAE, Amazon has been investing in strengthening its presence and launching various service offerings to enhance the order fulfilment experience for customers in the UAE. Today, Amazon Operations’ network across the UAE comprises of three Fulfillment Centres, three sort centres, eight delivery stations and a network of small and medium businesses working as Delivery Service Partners.