UAE and Saudi homes get smarter

Six million smart devices are now connected to Alexa, over 90% more than last year


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Dr. Raf Fatani, regional general manager, Alexa, Amazon Mena. — Supplied photo
Dr. Raf Fatani, regional general manager, Alexa, Amazon Mena. — Supplied photo

Published: Sun 26 May 2024, 5:40 PM

Smart home devices are becoming more prominent in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as a total of six million smart devices are integrated into the everyday lives of Alexa customers, who are enjoying the benefits of a connected smart home.

Customers are turning to Alexa to control lighting, air conditioners, TVs and cameras - among the most popular smart home devices categories. In 2023 alone, Alexa customers in UAE and Saudi Arabia have initiated nearly 130 million smart home actions and over 100 million requests to listen to music, Quran and podcasts, totalling more than 70 million hours of listening.

Throughout 2023, Alexa turned the lights on and off over 24 million times in homes across the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Customers in these two countries turned to Alexa nearly nine million times to control their air conditioners only by using their voice, the second-most frequently used device category.

Customers from the Middle East usually have multiple compatible devices connected to Alexa, demonstrating the growing adoption of voice-enabled home automation. There was a more than 50 per cent year-on-year increase in smart home customers in 2023 vs 2022, with a more than 90 per cent year-on-year increase in number of smart home devices connected to Alexa. Alexa heard “I love you” over 2 million times in 2023, and received 60,000 marriage proposals.

Dr. Raf Fatani, regional general manager, Alexa, Amazon Mena said:“The UAE and Saudi Arabia are embracing cutting-edge technologies with palpable excitement. We’re humbled by the adoption pace of Alexa and our smart home devices, welcoming ambient intelligence into daily lives across the region. Ambient intelligence weaves together AI, devices, and services for an experience greater than the sum of its parts. We’ve invested in local talent and resources to tailor our products for these markets, ensuring Alexa and our devices cater to unique customer needs. We’re excited to be at the forefront of AI advancement in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with an unwavering passion for customer obsession here.”

Alexa seamlessly integrates with a large number of smart home devices to simplify and automate customers’ lives. Amazon has recently added a new feature for customers in UAE and Saudi Arabia to enable the multi-view option. This allows customers to see live feeds from up to four cameras, including Ring, on their multimodal devices. Customers can also ask Alexa to show their recently active cameras or all those belonging to a specific group, with a command such as “Show my Living Room cameras”.

Mohammad Meraj Hoda, VP of business development – MEA, Ring said: “Ring is driven by the goal to provide our customers with peace of mind. We continue to focus on making homes more intuitive, as well as making it easier to connect and control devices so that everything works together effortlessly.”

Most common smart home devices

Alexa’s customers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are making use of integrated smart home hub in Echo devices, with support for a variety of standards, enabling easy control of compatible lights, locks, and sensors.

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