GULF STATES| ECONOMICS & FINANCE
Phone scam warning for UAE residents
Scammers and fraudsters have become bolder and are now using scare tactics to extract money from unsuspecting people. Many gullible residents have lost hundreds of thousands of dirhams, authorities said.
Phone fraudsters now call people directly or send them a WhatsApp message to tell them that their ATM or credit cards are blocked and they need to call a certain number to fix the problem, Abdullah Buali, information security analyst at UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said on Thursday.
The podcast was part of the social media campaign by TRA and KT on digital awareness and cybersecurity. Buali said one of the reasons given by scammers is the failure to update information on the card. Many residents fall victim to this scam and give out sensitive information, including the fail-safe one-time password (OTP) sent to bank customers.
“The numbers are not toll free and usually from places that are off-the-grid. The caller is charged instantly so it is very impor-tant not to call them back,” Buali said.
“Residents can block the number but, more importantly, they should report any fraudulent calls to the authorities,” noted Buali, adding that the TRA is working closely with authorities to crack down the scammers.
The TRA official said people should report any suspicious calls by dialling the non-emergency toll free number 901 or registering complaints online at www.ecrime.ae. He also pointed out that banks do not ask for updates or such information through the phone by calling customers.
“Report it (fraudulent call) to authorities. If the authorities don’t receive any complaints, how can they be aware and act on them,” he said.
Police recently arrested 25 suspects who were members of different gangs involved in phone call fraud operating in Sharjah and Ajman.
Also in April this year, the police carried out a major bust of phone scammers who promised residents cash prizes. The victims were asked to transfer their telephone recharge credit in exchange for receiving the prize money that never existed.
UAE’s AI minister to inaugurate artelligence forum
Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar Sultan Al Olama will be inaugurating Artelligence Forum 2019 in Dubai next month.
In the keynote address, the minister will share his insights on the UAE AI Strategy, outlining UAE’s ambition to be at the forefront of technological revolution, highlighting the Ministry’s contribution to UAE, along with its initiatives to make lives easier for the residents and citizens of the country. Prior to his appointment, the minister worked on developing the UAE’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy, making it the first such strategy of its kind globally.
Omar Sultan Al Olama is currently the managing director of the World Government Summit. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation and deputy managing director of the foundation. In November 2017, the UAE government announced selecting Omar Sultan Al Olama as a member of the Future of Digital Economy and Society Council at the World Economic Forum. During his work in the Future Department at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Al Olama participated in developing the UAE Centennial 2071 strategy that aims to position the UAE as the best country in the world.
Taking place on the 4th and 5th of September 2019, at Address Dubai Mall, the forum will gather over 300 government, business and technology leaders together under one roof to understand how AI will impact their business models and help them prepare an AI strategy at the board level. The biggest names from across the globe will show how far they have reached in AI implementation and what the future looks like for their industry with AI at the centre.
“Two in every three companies invested in AI are yet to generate any tangible value. And of those companies that have turned the corner, almost half are still at sub-scale level. The good news is that value is not elusive. Companies such as Google and Amazon generate over 50 percent of their profits using AI. How can your company cross the chasm? How can you crack the code to conquer those AI riches?” Abhijit Akerkar, head of Applied Sciences Business Integration at Lloyds Banking Group, UK, will provide answers to these questions in his presentation at the event.
In response to how AI will change the future of business operations Martin Treder, MD of Data Management at FedEx, The Netherlands, shared his thoughts: “RPA (Robotic Process Automation) will become a commodity, with more and more “intelligent” processes becoming automatable. Countries with high labour cost will lead this development. More and more centuries-old algorithms will become usable for AI. Theoretical maths can be used to gain immediate value, as memory constraints disappear, more data is available and can be processed in more flexible ways.”
The speaker line up boasts of AI industry leaders from across the globe, the likes of, Richard Vdovjak, principal scientist, Data Science & AI – Royal Philips (The Netherlands); Andrea Renda, member, AI Expert Group – European Commission (Belgium), Johnson Poh, Head of Data Science & Artificial Intelligence – United Overseas Bank, (Singapore), Prakhar Mehrotra, Senior Director Machine Learning – Walmart (USA); Reza Khorshidi, chief data scientist – AIG (UK); and Abhijit Akerkar, head of Applied Sciences Business Integration – Lloyds Banking Group (UK); along with expected participation from the Prime Minister’s Office, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Interior, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Abu Dhabi Chamber, Smart Dubai, Adnoc among many others.
Now, make video calls in UAE for just dh5 a day
UAE residents can now make voice and video calls to their loved ones for just Dh5 for the whole day – and that too legally.
Launched by Yzer Group on Wednesday, the cloud-based message app Yzer offers automatic translation, video calls, voice calls, texts, group chats and more to the users. The app can be downloaded from Google Play Store (for Android) and App Store (for Apple).
Du’s mobile users can subscribe to Dh50 a month and Dh5 per day packages, while home WiFi users will have to shell out Dh100 a month to enjoy the VoIP service. It excludes the five percent value-added tax.
The single-day package of Dh5 will be attractive to cost-conscious consumers and blue-collar workers in the UAE.
Etisalat subscribers will be able to use this messaging app in the near future once the two companies sign up.
Osman Sultan, CEO of du, said the company is open to every app that is compatible with the UAE regulations.
“Yzer is a partner and we don’t see it as a competitor. We welcome it because our partners have extra features. Translation is an added value. We are a channel partner and we want to offer as many possibilities to our customers as possible,” he said.
The UAE is now seeing the entry of third party voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service providers, giving more economical options to the residents to make audio and video calls.
Currently, VoIP is blocked in the UAE, but local telecom providers have introduced their own apps – Botim, C’me – to make international calls.
The app currently supports 16 languages for chat translation including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Farsi and others. Urdu, Malayalam and Bengali will be introduced in the near future.
Commenting on the launch, Alibek Issaev, Founder, Chairman and CEO of YZER Group, said “We are confident that we have developed a promising and technologically advanced product, and are thrilled to introduce such a dynamic product to the UAE. Moreover, the interest in the product from such a large player in the UAE market shows the high potential of the application not only in the region but also globally.”
Dubai-based businessman Balvinder Singh Sahni (popularly known as Abu Sabah), partner and Co-CEO of YZER Group, has acquired a 10 percent stake for Dh400 million in the Yzer Group.
ADNOC awards dh13.2bn deals to boost its production
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has awarded three contracts for the procurement of casing and tubing, whose combined scope is Dh13.2 billion, one of the world’s largest in this category.
Announcing the mega deal, Adnoc said on Wednesday that the award is the first in a series of drilling-related procurement expenditures valued at more than Dh55 billion that it plans to make in the next 3 years.
Abdulmunim Saif Al Kindy, Adnoc Upstream executive director, said the award of contracts with a combined scope that is one of the world’s largest for tubing and casing follows a highly competitive bid process.
“It underscores Adnoc’s optimisation efforts to drive commerciality across our growing portfolio. In addition, it is testament to our targeted approach to engage with value-add partners to unlock value as well as enhance the performance and returns on our assets and capital.”
Al Kindy said the agreements would provide Adnoc with increased flexibility to proactively respond to the demands of the evolving energy landscape as it ramps up drilling activities and deliver its 2030 strategy.
“They will also generate substantial In-Country Value and provide attractive foreign direct investment opportunities for the private sector, further demonstrating Adnoc’s commitment to creating sustainable value for the nation and its people, in line with the Leadership’s wise directives.”
The contracts were awarded to Consolidated Suppliers Establishment, representing Tenaris S.A. (from Luxembourg); Abu Dhabi Oilfield Services Company, representing Vallourec S.A. (from France); and Habshan Trading Company, representing Marubeni Corporation (from Japan).
CAFU to provide on-demand vehicle maintenance services
The Mena region’s first-ever fuel on-demand mobile application, CAFU has announced the expansion of its services, by introducing “CAFU Essentials.” A new service under the CAFU brand, “CAFU Essentials” will provide on-demand maintenance services such as oil, battery and tire change as well as fuel system cleaning for motorists across Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman. Users will be able to enjoy these services through the CAFU app.
“We are committed to playing a role in building a future-centric, digital economy. Last year, we introduced CAFU with the ambition of bringing innovation and convenience to the residents of the UAE by helping them save time, and enabling access to fuel services across Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman. As market leaders and pacesetters, we are thrilled to announce the expansion of our services to include vehicle maintenance services, all accessible from the CAFU application,” said Rashid Al Ghurair, founder, CAFU. CAFU signed a partnership agreement with ENGPHIL Enterprise LLC, a distributor of EMA Lubricants Company Limited (EMALU). EMALU is an ExxonMobil JV and the marketer of Mobil lubricants in the UAE. The partnership agreement was signed by CAFU General Manager Antonio Al Asmar and Engphil Enterprises LLC CEO GV Nair in the presence of CAFU Chairman and Founder Rashid Al Ghurair and Hesham El Amroussy ExxonMobil, Director Africa & Middle East Lubricants.
Amroussy said, “We are delighted to celebrate this partnership which introduces CAFU Essentials powered by Mobil1R and our lubrication solutions. This partnership is based on technology, innovation, and a deep understanding of customers’ needs and wants, with a steadfast commitment to meet and exceed their expectations.”
Now, make 5g video calls from Dubai’s Burj Khalifa
The world tallest tower and the pride of Dubai, Burj Khalifa, set another record recently, along with Etisalat.
For the first time ever, a super-fast video call was made from the top of Burj Khalifa over Etisalat’s recently launched 5G network.
The historic call, which was posted by Etisalat on social media on Monday, shows two excited officials having the first 5G video call from Burj Khalifa to the Etisalat headquarters in Abu Dhabi – marveling at the fast seamless connection.
Etisalat C&Ws, sparkle to enable 5g roaming globally
Etisalat Carrier & Wholesale (C&WS) and Sparkle have announced the establishment of a 5G data roaming interconnection between Etisalat and TIM, paving the way for 5G roaming between Middle East and across the globe.
The strategic agreement will set the path for 5G and the global mobile and carrier community. While Expo 2020 was the first major commercial customer in MEASA region to partner with Etisalat on 5G, Etisalat was also the first telecom operator to launch the first commercial 5G network in the Mena region.
Through its network rollout and the pioneering launch of the first 5G handset in the Mena region, Etisalat managed to provide UAE customers with an opportunity to experience the power of 5G technology. Etisalat also empowered visitors at Abu Dhabi international airport with indoor ultra-high speed 5G connectivity, making it the first airport in the region with 5G coverage.
Ali Amiri, group chief Carrier & Wholesale, Etisalat, said: “5G is seen as a game changer with rich potential for the wholesale business bringing maximum opportunities with higher connection speeds, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities. This has enabled new use cases and applications positively impacting different industry sectors. The strategic partnership with TIM will enable mobile operators across the globe with superior roaming services and connectivity. With Etisalat’s wide coverage roaming services covering 837 operators in 216 destinations and Smarthub IPX providing wide 4G coverage to more than 460 live LTE partners in 163 countries would play a pivotal role in enabling 5G for all our customers across international networks.”