First FacePay shop opens in Abu Dhabi

Astra Tech's B Store ushers in era of FacePay and autonomous shopping in the UAE Capital


Rasha Abu Baker

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Astra Tech's B Store. Photo: Supplied
Astra Tech's B Store. Photo: Supplied

Published: Mon 12 Jun 2023, 2:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Jun 2023, 12:18 AM

Today marks a historic shift in the retail landscape in the UAE Capital, as Astra Tech, the Mena region's foremost consumer technology conglomerate, introduces B Store in Sky Tower, Reem Island, Abu Dhabi.

The novel convenience store employs FacePay by integrating advanced AI technology and cloud systems for an entirely autonomous shopping experience. Shoppers can buy food items such as juice, coffee, bread, condiments and snacks, and pay merely with a scan of their face.

The journey provides customers a taste of what the future of retail will look like, according to Valeriya Thores, E-Commerce Director at Astra Tech. "B Store represents the future of retail," she said.

"This innovative blend of facial recognition technology overhauls traditional shopping methods, offering unparalleled convenience and security. At B Store, your face is your wallet. We are committed to simplifying everyday activities for our customers, and this is a significant stride in that direction,” she added.

An Astra Tech spokesperson told Khaleej Times that upon approaching the entry gates, customers are greeted with a screen displaying the message, ‘Tap or Scan to Enter’, and are given the option to pay using a card reader by tapping their bank card or FacePay. If using FacePay, customers will require to download the app to register.

“For card payments, customers will need to simply tap their cards on the POS machine, while for FacePay, they will need to move to the FacePay machine and simply look at it. Once the payment method of choice is determined, the gates open, granting them access to the store.”

“Once inside the store, the sensors will detect which items are picked up by customers who will get billed for the items as they exit,” the spokesperson added.

The store is one of the latest AI-operated shopping experiences currently on offer in the UAE. In September 2021, Carrefour City+ convenience store in Dubai was inaugurated by Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.

The store provides a seamless and contactless shopping experience using AI technology. Once inside, items picked up by customers are automatically added to a digital shopping basket, with purchases completed without any staff interaction.

The store stocks over 1,300 items, including snacks, beverages, packaged food and food-to-go meals as well as basic essentials.


More news from UAE