Global Arabic internet ‘switched on’

October 27, 2013 11:23 am

????.’ (.shabaka) is the world’s first cross-border Arabic top-level domain (TLD)

A new corner of the internet completely dedicated to the Arabic language was ‘switched on’ today, when ‘????.’ officially transitioned from a concept to technical reality – it is the world’s first cross-border Arabic TLD.

Today’s announcement saw ‘????.’ become one of the first domains to be added to the internet, as part of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) new TLD programme.

“Today marks a historic moment for the global online Arabic-speaking community. We have waited 28 years since the introduction of .com for a cross-border Arabic TLD. This will enable an internet experience completely in our native language,” says Yasmin Omer, general manager of dotShabaka.

“We are now looking for the biggest brands and innovators within the global Arabic community to partner with us, register one of the first ‘????.’ domain names and become an ambassador and leader of the Arabic internet not just in the region, but across the globe. Owning a ‘????.’ domain name is like investing into the Arabic internet and we expect to see the proudest regional brands take the first step – those that really want to make a difference,” adds Omer.

Omer says that one of the goals of ‘????.’ will be to empower the Arabic language on the web. “It is important to remember that ‘????.’ is more than just a domain name, it symbolises an ideal that represents the Arabic internet and our future. ‘????.’ will be a catalyst for expanding Arabic content on the web and bridging the accessibility gap.”

ARI Registry Services, one of the world’s leading internet infrastructure providers, is dotShabaka Registry’s technology partner that is enabling today’s milestone.

????. will be one of the largest innovations in the Arabic digital landscape and will offer businesses and website registrants a targeted online channel to reach the entire Arabic-speaking community online in their native language: ????. – ‘Arabic Internet, Our Future’.

To mark this historic occasion, dotShabaka Registry – the Dubai-based company behind ‘????.’ – which translates to .web in English, is inviting expressions of interest from major brands and high-profile individuals to become launch partners.

Potential partners are encouraged to register their interest with dotShabaka Registry via ???-????.??????  – or Launch partners and ambassadors of ‘????.’ will be given priority during the introduction phase and become pioneers, while general public registrations are expected to occur in the next two months.