Just a year after its launch, Araby.com – launched by Maktoob Group in 2006 – introduced a music vertical that allows Arabic music lovers to download songs from local and regional artists. Featuring a range of music genres, users can find classics from the legendary Om Kalthoum or the latest hits from Nancy Agram.
“The newly launched music vertical matches with our newly adopted slogan ‘The Arabic Internet Begins Here,’ and we are devoted to becoming the gateway to all digital Arabic content, CEO of Maktoob Group Samih Toukan added.
The search engine was programmed to search through millions of Arabic documents on the internet and index each result as it comes up, unlike other directories in the Arab world that search through a limited database of sites. Araby.com is also capable of detecting different grammatical forms of the Arabic word, providing more accurate results. The search engine recognizes stop words, prefixes and other grammatical features of the Arabic language. It also recognizes different forms of the word and spelling mistakes.
“We at Araby are committed to providing users with a unique experience and a world-class Arabic language search engine, said Toukan.
When it was launched, the Arabic search engine allowed users to search through specific verticals such as news, Islam, forums, blogs and images. Now users can search for music from Arabic and international artists. Unlike other engines, users are not asked to register before they have access to download.
“Araby Music was created to cater to the changing needs of the diverse Arabic audience as well as lovers of Arabic music, said Toukan.
Just a few months after its launch, Araby.com won two prestigious awards including the Best Arabic Website in the Arab region.
The great thing about Araby.com that it’s fast and easy to use, said Ahmed Samir, 21.
It s nice but the [creators] only concentrated on the Arabic search . to compete with international engines they need to globalize their search, said Hatem Tantawy, 21.
Ali Abou Tera, 22, agrees. I don t think it s right for a search engine to be built around a certain language, he said, and that with search engines like Yahoo and Google, it s not about the language but what you are searching for.
Sarah Mehio, a 21-year-old from Lebanon, thought the website was user-friendly, but said that the design was not colorful or exciting.