The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global regulator of web addresses, has signed a contract with dotShabaka registry to officially launch the first Arabic top-level domain (TLD) in the coming months.
The collaboration is part of the new TLD program officially introduced by ICANN to expand the internet’s web address system, making dotShabaka the first global IDN in Arabic.
The domain, targeting Arabic speaking internet users worldwide, will provide an alternative to non-Arabic internet domain names such as .com, .net and .org. The registry will be working closely with businesses located in the region to promote local participation.
“In spite of the boom in Arabic content online, users are still burdened with the need to use English on the internet. Many websites and Internet applications force visitors to only use English. Through dotShabaka, we are campaigning for a truly Arabic Internet experience from start to finish,” General Manager of dotShabaka registry, Yasmin Omer, said in a press release.
Omer stated that the new domain, which is still pending several final testing requirements before it becomes accessible, will be targeting a global audience, with over 20 countries in MENA that use Arabic as an official language.
GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name and web host provider, will join the domain registry, making it possible for the Arabic domain to go global.
“The dotShabaka domain name extension marks a meaningful change for the Arabic internet, with tremendous opportunities for new businesses to grow and flourish in the Arabic language. We are ready to help make the new names available with an experience that includes easy-to-use search tools and the reliable service the world has come to expect from us,” said GoDaddy’s CEO Blake Irving in the release.
Irving said that the partnership between the two companies corresponds with GoDaddy’s strategy to expand the brand into international markets.