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Dubai Shopping Festival 2020 kicks off… here is what to expect

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Dubai Shopping Festival will kick off its 25th edition in its own inimitable style, with a spectacular opening ceremony at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai. The star-studded event will feature a series of concerts by Emirati and international singers, cultural and family-oriented performances from 2pm to 11pm on 26 and 27 December. Additionally, a ‘lights on’ event will countdown to when the city’s lights are officially turned on with fireworks adding colour and sparkle to Dubai’s famous skyline.

EVENTS & EXPERIENCES

  • Headline Concerts: Global superstars from around the world will descend upon Dubai throughout DSF to appeal to every taste and musical preference. The Coca-Cola Arena in City Walk will host Pakistani sensation Rahat Fateh Ali Khan on 27 December, while British pop star Ellie Goulding will take to the Arena’s stage on 10 January. At the outdoor Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Egyptian superstar Amr Diab will perform his chart-topping hits including Nour El Ain and Ana 3ayesh on 24 January, in what is anticipated to be another sell out gig. More headliners will be announced in the coming days.

 

  • An Evening with Rio Ferdinand: Manchester United and England football legend, Rio Ferdinand will present a live, unscripted interview at W Dubai – The Palm on 8 January where football fans can expect to hear personal stories and behind the scenes anecdotes of his illustrious career.

 

  • Dubai’s first Hologram Concert: The first ever hologram concert in the city will debut this DSF, featuring a hologram of Umm Kulthum accompanied by a live orchestra of 20 musicians on stage, as well as the special performance of Sana’a Nabil, the granddaughter of Umm Kulthum. Taking place on 26 and 27 December at the Dubai Opera Grand Theatre, this is a performance simply not to be missed.

 

  • Yalla DSF (presented by Club Apparel):A unique feature this year, Yalla DSF is an interactive and innovative mobile game to engage with visitors and residents, available in English, Arabic, Mandarin and Russian. In collaboration with Apparel Group as the exclusive retail partner, the game will give players a chance to win exclusive prizes that are instantly redeemable. Saved to phone home screens rather than a downloadable app, the game will direct players to move around Dubai to activate further levels and win bigger prizes including an entry to a grand raffle.

 

  • City Lights Installations: Art and technology will come together to create astounding interactive light installations at Burj Plaza from 7 January 2020 to 1 February 2020. Music, mirrors and colourful lights will combine to deliver the most ‘instagrammable’ moments in a unique festival vibe.

 

  • World-Class Performers: The festive atmosphere will be experienced at every turn with roaming entertainment available around every corner of the city. International theatrical shows, musicians and artists will come together to offer exciting moments for family and friends across multiple locations throughout DSF.

 

  • Daily Fireworks: A beloved DSF tradition, there is something in the air throughout the festival as world-class fireworks displays will splash the skies with colour and light every night at The Beach, Al Seef, La Mer, Dubai Festival City, Dubai Creek, The Pointe and The Dubai Frame.

 

  • DSF Dine-In Specials: In celebration of the 25thedition, and powered by the online food app Zomato, DSF will include more than 1,000 restaurants providing discounts starting from 25 per cent for in-dining experiences to be used when signing up with the Zomato Gold membership programme, which will also provide a 25 per cent reduction in membership fees.

 

SHOPPING & PROMOTIONS

Shoppers across Dubai’s malls will enjoy offers of between 25 per cent and 75 per cent off international fashion, beauty, home and lifestyle brands.

  • 12 Hour Sale: In a welcome tradition, DSF will kick off in style with an exclusive 12 Hour Sale at Majid Al Futtaim Malls, giving customers up to 90 per cent off at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, City Centre Me‘aisem, My City Centre Barsha and City Centre Al Shindagha. Running from midday to midnight on 26 December, this year will see 25 winners take home AED 10,000 vouchers to be spent at Majid Al Futtaim malls.

 

  • DSF Surprises: From 2 to 26 January 2020, shopaholics are encouraged to keep DSF on their radar to discover daily surprise deals over 25 days. Deals are announced 24 hours in advance for one brand at one location.

 

  • DSF Outdoor Markets: New to DSF this edition and created in tribute to the festival’s inaugural year, a series of pop-up markets will appear across the city in Last Exit, Al Khawaneej, Al Rigga Street and City Walk 2, combining the heritage of Dubai with innovative retail experiences and entertainment for all.

 

  • Souk Heritage: Inspired by the bustling souks of the UAE, the Souk Heritage concept will become the cultural hub of DSF, with a traditional style market alongside 1.8km of the Dubai Creek in Al Seef allowing visitors to experience different cultures, enjoy shopping, dining, art and entertainment from around the world.

 

  • Market Outside the Box (MOTB): MOTB reinvents itself as the ultimate hangout this 25th edition of DSF. Running from 16 January 2020 to 1 February 2020, MOTB is a live showcase of the hottest up-and-coming local, regional and international musicians and bands, as well as fashion and food vendors. Additionally, an enclosed experiential Game Zone taking up to 24 gamers, and a dedicated Kids Zone will make hearts race with adrenaline and keep visitors coming back for more.

 

RAFFLES & PRIZES

  • DSF 25 SHARE Millionaires:In collaboration with strategic partner Majid Al Futtaim Malls, DSF presents an exciting promotion with their new SAHRE app giving consumers 25 Million reasons to shop.  Shop at Majid Al Futtaim Malls for a chance to enter into the draw to become one of the 25 DSF SHARE Millionaires where each winner receives 1,000,000 SHARE points.

 

  • DSF Skywards Millionaire: In collaboration with strategic partner The Dubai Mall, DSF has introduced a new promotion with the Emirates Airlines Skywards programme. On a certain spend at any of The Dubai Mall stores, shoppers will have the chance to enter into a draw to become one of 5 DSF Millionaires in Skywards Miles, with each winner receiving 1,000,000 Skywards Miles.

 

  • DSF 25 Home Makeovers:In collaboration with Home Center, one of Dubai’s leading home furnishing brands, DSF has created a promotion where shoppers have the chance to enter the draw to become one of 25 winners of a stylish home makeover.

 

  • DSF x 1000: Shoppers spending AED 100 at any participating outlet in Meraas’ destinations: City Walk, La Mer, Al Seef, The Beach, Box Park, Bluewaters and The Outlet Village will receive a raffle coupon to be in with a chance of being selected as one of 25 daily winners of an AED 1,000 gift card. One thousand winners are waiting to be selected, with AED 1 million worth of prizes to be awarded.

 

  • INFINITIMega Raffle: This year, the INFINITI Mega raffle is offering DSF visitors the chance to drive away in an INFINITI QX50 car plus AED 200,000 in cash every single day of DSF. To enter, simply buy a raffle ticket for AED 200 for the chance to win the daily prize. In addition, one lucky DSF shopper will go home with a grand prize of AED 1 million in cash at the end of DSF. Tickets can be purchased from Enoc and Epco petrol stations, Dubai Metro stations and Global Village.

 

  • Nissan Grand Raffle: The Nissan Grand raffle will offer DSF shoppers the chance to win one of five Nissan models – Nissan Patrol 2020, Nissan Pathfinder 2019, Nissan X-TRAIL 2020, Nissan Kicks 2020 and Nissan Sentra 2020 – simply by purchasing items worth a minimum of AED 25 from any EPCO or ENOC station. In total, 33 cars will be given away during DSF.

 

  • Emirates Airline: Anyone who purchases an Emirates economy class ticket to Dubai from now until 1 February 2020 with a return journey between 26 December 2019 and 5 February 2020 will enjoy an extra 10-kilogram baggage allowance for all their DSF shopping purchases on the return trip home. This offer is limited to certain countries, for more information please visit www.mydsf.ae.

For more information, please visit www.mydsf.ae or @DSFSocial and #MyDSF for the latest news, information and events.

 

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Meta’s AI AI machine translation research helps break language barriers

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Today, Meta announced that it has built and open sourced ‘No Language Left Behind’ NLLB-200, a single AI model that is the first to translate across 200 different languages, including 55 African languages with state-of-the-art results. Meta is using the modelling techniques and learnings from the project to improve and extend translations on Facebook, Instagram, and Wikipedia.

 

In an effort to develop high-quality machine translation capabilities for most of the world’s low-resource languages, this single AI model was designed with a focus on African languages. They are challenging from a machine translation perspective. AI models require lots and lots of data to help them learn, and there’s not a lot of human translated training data for these languages. For example, there’s more than 20M people who speak and write in Luganda but examples of this written language are extremely difficult to find on the internet.

 

We worked with professional translators for each of these languages to develop a reliable benchmark which can automatically assess translation quality for many low-resource languages. We also work with professional translators to do human evaluation too, meaning people who speak the languages natively evaluate what the AI produced. The reality is that a handful of languages dominate the web, so only a fraction of the world can access content and contribute to the web in their own language. We want to change this by creating more inclusive machine translations systems – ones that unlock access to the web for the more than 4B people around the world that are currently excluded because they do not speak one of the few languages content is available in.

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“It’s impressive how much AI is improving all of our services. We just open-sourced an AI model we built that can translate across 200 different languages — many of which aren’t supported by current translation systems. We call this project No Language Left Behind, and the AI modelling techniques we used are helping make high quality translations for languages spoken by billions of people around the world. To give a sense of the scale, the 200-language model has over 50 billion parameters, and we trained it using our new Research SuperCluster, which is one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers. The advances here will enable more than 25 billion translations every day across our apps. Communicating across languages is one superpower that AI provides, but as we keep advancing our AI work it’s improving everything we do — from showing the most interesting content on Facebook and Instagram, to recommending more relevant ads, to keeping our services safe for everyone,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on his Facebook profile.

 

Language is our culture, identity, and lifeline to the world. However, as high-quality translation tools don’t exist for hundreds of languages, billions of people today can’t access digital content or participate fully in conversations and communities online in their preferred or native languages. This is especially true for hundreds of millions of people who speak the many languages of Africa.

 

“Africa is a continent with very high linguistic diversity, and language barriers exist day to day. We are pleased to announce that 55 African languages will be included in this machine translation research, making it a major breakthrough for our continent,” Balkissa Ide Siddo, Public Policy Director for Africa said while speaking about the launch of the AI model. “In the future, imagine visiting your favourite Facebook group, coming across a post in Igbo or Luganda, and being able to understand it in your own language with just a click of a button – that’s where we hope research like this leads us. Highly accurate translations in more languages could also help to spot harmful content and misinformation, protect election integrity, and curb instances of online sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”

 

While commenting on accessibility and inclusion in the pursuit of building an equitable metaverse, Ide Siddo added “At Meta, we are working today to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to access the new educational, social and economic opportunities that the next evolution of the internet will bring to future technology and an everyday living experience tomorrow.”

 

To confirm that the translations are high quality, Meta also created a new evaluation dataset, FLORES-200, and measured NLLB-200’s performance in each language. Results revealed that NLLB-200 exceeds the previous state of the art by an average of 44 percent.

 

Meta is also open-sourcing the NLLB-200 model and publishing a slew of research tools to enable other researchers to extend this work to more languages and build more inclusive technologies. Meta AI is also providing up to $200,000 of grants to non-profit organizations for real world applications for NLLB-200.

 

There are versions of Wikipedia in more than 300 languages, but most have far fewer articles than the 6+ million available in English. Following Meta’s partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, modelling  techniques and learnings from the NLLB research are now also being applied to translation systems used by Wikipedia editors. Using the Wikimedia Foundation’s Content Translation Tool, articles can now be easily translated in more than 20 low-resource languages (those that don’t have extensive datasets to train AI systems), including 10 that previously were not supported by any machine translation tools on the platform.

 

To explore a demo of NLLB-200 showing how the model can translate stories from around the world, visit here. You can also read the research paper here.

 

 

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