Arabic Internet use set to shift to .web (Arabic) in mid-2013

The launch of شبكة. by International Domain Registry is set to revolutionise the Internet in the Arab region. Below is a press release from International Domain Registry about passing ICANN's evaluation. ARI Registry Services is the appointed back-end domain name registry provider for شبكة..

24th March 2013

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 24 March 2013 - Arabic businesses and Internet users are set for a paradigm shift in their online behaviour in 2013 with the launch of the شبكة. (.shabaka, translates to .web in English) Top-Level Domain in Arabic script expected mid-year.

Moving away from non-Arabic Internet namespaces such as .com, .net and .org, the introduction of شبكة. will provide the Arabic speaking world with a uniquely Arabic-orientated corner of the Internet.

The launch of شبكة. is part of the new Top-Level Domain program which is being rolled out by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global regulator of web addresses. ICANN gave the official tick of approval today for شبكة. as it became one of the first new Top-Level Domains, beating around 1900 other applicants globally, to pass ICANN's rigorous evaluation process.

Yasmin Omer, General Manager of International Domain Registry – the Internet technology company behind شبكة. – said she believes the new domain will become the centre of all things Arabic on the Internet.

"I expect شبكة. to be one of the biggest innovations in the Arab digital and online landscape in 2013. It is set to totally redefine the way businesses and users approach the Internet in the global Arabic speaking community," Ms Omer said.

شبكة. will be the first cross-border Arabic domain extension open to all Arabic speakers across the world, reflective of Arabic culture and society. It will offer businesses and website registrants a targeted online channel to reach the entire Arabic speaking community in their native language.

"شبكة. will be a game-changer for the Arabic community," Ms Omer said. "It will open a channel to intuitively connect Arabic speakers to Arabic content and provide an end-to-end Arabic online experience."

"There is enormous commercial potential in the digital Arab landscape and Arabic script web addresses like شبكة. will be a significant factor in helping the next 90 million Arab Internet users navigate to Arabic content. شبكة. will help provide the platform needed to fuel greater Arabic orientated online entrepreneurism and innovation."

Now that شبكة. has passed ICANN's evaluation process, there are only a few more policy, technical and regulatory steps to be completed before the namespace is opened live on the Internet in mid 2013 for public registrations.

The successful passing of ICANN's evaluation today for شبكة. follows top-level discussions held in Dubai earlier this month at the Arab multi-stakeholder Internet governance forum. At the forum, industry and policy leaders from across the region discussed how they can nurture the development of the Internet and the introduction of شبكة. was a vital component of these talks. The شبكة. tagline, 'Arabic Internet, Our Future', complements the theme of these talks.

For more information about how you can register your own شبكة. website address, please contact: info@intdomainregistry.com. More information will be made available closer to the go live date.

About International Domain Registry

International Domain Registry is the Internet technology company behind شبكة., the world's first cross-border Arabic Top-Level Domain. Launching in mid-2013, شبكة. will be one of the largest innovations in the Arab 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. شبكة. 'Arabic Internet, Our Future'.

Media Contact

Michael Korjen
Public Relations Manager
International Domain Registry
Ph: +61 3 9866 3710
Email: michael.korjen@intdomainregistry.com