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Arabic top-level domain launched.

The Internet after Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the regulator of web addresses has entered into a contract with dotShabaka Registry for .shabaka to become the world's first Arabic new Top-Level Domain (TLD).

Surpassing almost 1,900 other applicants from around the world, .shabaka (which translates to .web in English) will become the world's first borderless new Top-Level Domain and will provide Arabic speaking Internet users with an alternative to non-Arabic Internet namespaces such as .com, .net and .org. It will be a domain name available to everyone wanting an Arabic online presence.

Expected to be live on the Internet in the coming months, .shabaka is part of the new Top-Level Domain programme being rolled out by ICANN to expand the Internet's web address system.

Yasmin Omer, general manager of dotShabaka Registry said: "Today's contract signing is a monumental occasion. As the first new Top-Level Domain, .shabaka is set to become the centre of all things Arabic on the Internet. It is an incredible achievement not only for us but for the entire Arabic speaking world. It will pioneer a new way for people to use the Internet that begins with the Arabic language."

".shabaka will have a global audience, with over 20 countries in the Mena region which use Arabic as an official language - a region that comprises over 380 million people. Arabic is also the fastest growing language online - with growth of more than 2,500 percent in the 10 years to 2011."

"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 .shabaka, we are campaigning for a truly Arabic Internet experience from start to finish," Omer said.

Joining dotShabaka Registry in this important opportunity is GoDaddy, the world's largest domain name and Web hosting provider.

"The .shabaka 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 CEO Blake Irving.

The addition of GoDaddy as the first Registrar partner will ensure .shabaka is set for worldwide release. dotShabaka Registry will welcome local partners and work closely with businesses within the region to promote local participation. - TradeArabia News Service

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jul 14, 2013
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