Digital Middle East – The 4 articles you shouldn’t have missed this week

A lot is going on in the Middle East in terms of digital transformation and innovation.
Every week we’re listing the most important bits and bites you shouldn’t have missed.

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Dubai’s biggest bank set to launch services via WhatsApp

Emirates NBD has announced that it will soon launch customised banking services via WhatsApp in the UAE.

Dubai’s biggest bank said in a statement that it is the first in the region to integrate its core systems with the WhatsApp Business solution.

It will allow customers to carry out their daily banking activities such as checking account balances and temporarily blocking or unblocking an existing card, enhancing its suite of digital channels.

The initial phase of services are being piloted currently for the bank’s employees and will be rolled out to customers shortly following successful trials.

Read more about Emirates NBD’s new WhatsApp service here

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Keep passport in pocket and pass through airport

Abu Dhabi: Passengers are already able to speed through passport control at UAE airports by scanning their travel documents at smart gates.

In near future, you simply walk through the airport by keeping passport or Emirates ID in your pocket and breeze through the gate.

The idea is you just keep your passport in your pocket when you arrive at the airport after walking out of the flight, thanks to advanced facial recognition technology, a biometric Artificial Intelligence [AI]-based application,” said Esmail AbdullahCEO of Strata,

Read more about future airports here

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Companies pitched for the first Techcrunch startup Battlefield in Mena

TechCrunch held in Beirut its first Startup Battlefield in the country. Over 700 people watched the show on site, which featured speakers from throughout the Middle East and 15 startups competing in Startup Battlefield.

A winner will be chosen at the end of the day and they will walk away with a $25,000 prize. As of this post’s publication, a winner has not been picked.

Discover each company’s Startup Battlefield pitch here 

Five ways Dubai is becoming a global tech leader

Dubai’s quest to become a global leader in technology is on a positive trajectory.

Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation is a key priority not just in Dubai but the Arabian Gulf as a whole, as efforts to diversify national economies beyond oil pick up pace.

From a regional perspective, Dubai has established itself as the business hub of the Middle East and Africa (Mea). An analysis of the 500 largest companies in the world by revenue by Fortune magazine shows that about two-fifths have offices for Mea operations. One hundred thirty-eight out of about 200 have their regional headquarters in Dubai – far outnumbering runner-up Johannesburg which has 58 companies, according to Fortune.

Read more about how Dubai is becoming a global tech Leader here

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