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ICANN's 2022 Middle East DNS Forum to Take Place Virtually in May

22 March 2022
By Baher EsmatBaher Esmat

Our 8th Middle East Domain Name System (DNS) Forum will take place virtually from 16-18 May 2022 and will offer a closer look at the evolving DNS ecosystem from a technical and policy perspective. It will have a special focus on regional challenges and opportunities for growth.

Prior to the main event, a pre-forum webinar on 28 March 2022, will examine the development of country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registries in the Middle East region as they continue to grow and strive to better serve their communities. The webinar will look at the registry-registrar model and discuss how this model fosters competition and benefits end users. It will address some of the common challenges faced by ccTLDs and share ideas on how to tackle them.

This year's forum will center on the latest developments in the global domain name industry and highlight regional needs and priorities. Global and regional industry players will share their perspectives and engage in discussions around various topics of interest in the Middle East.

Due to its growing importance in the Middle East, DNS security is a substantial element of the event. It presents one of the biggest ongoing challenges facing ccTLDs and network operators, and questions continue to circulate around the adoption of Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC).

Other sessions will focus on the ICANN organization's initiatives and community-led efforts in relation to DNS security and other threats. A panel discussion will highlight work undertaken by ICANN in response to domain abuse, namely the Domain Abuse Activity Reporting System, and present initiatives taken by three different organizations on this issue.

Also this year, we will introduce ICANN's Knowledge-Sharing and Instantiating Norms for DNS and Naming Security (KINDNS) initiative, in which DNS operators can enroll to voluntarily adhere to a set of operational best practices to support a secure DNS ecosystem. The presentation will provide details about the program, its benefits, and how you can get involved as a KINDNS ambassador in the region.

Another area the forum will shed light on is the importance for stakeholders to understand the value and significance of getting ready for Universal Acceptance. Users of newly delegated TLDs, particularly for Internationalized Domain Names, face a significant challenge because current online systems and applications technology solutions consider them or the identifiers using them invalid (including email addresses). Our ongoing collaboration with the Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization (AICTO) is laying the groundwork for raising awareness and extending capacity-building efforts around this critical initiative.

Lastly, for the first time the forum will discuss decentralized domain names and their potential impact on the DNS, as well as public DNS resolvers and what benefits they bring to end users. We want to express our gratitude for the input of the forum's program committee and other community members who have made sure that the agenda will address not only topics of importance to the region, but also new trends that may affect the global DNS.

As always, we welcome the community's feedback on the topics and format as we seek to improve future meetings.

To register for the forum, click here. Please note that the one-time registration provides access to all forum sessions, but does not include the pre-event webinar.

To register for the pre-forum webinar: "Gaining an Edge in the Domain Name Industry" on 28 March 2022, click here.

To visit the Middle East DNS Forum website and learn more about the agenda and speakers, click here.

Authors

Baher Esmat

Baher Esmat

VP, Stakeholder Engagement - Middle East and Managing Director Middle East and Africa
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