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Two Years Later: The Domain Industry in the Middle East

19 March 2015

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Second ME DNS Forum - Amman, Jordan

Second ME DNS Forum - Amman, Jordan

The Middle East is still a young market when it comes to Internet domain names. A lot of ground work needs to be done in the region to build awareness, showcase opportunities and exchange knowledge on DNS and the value it brings to the economy. We have focused strategic tracks in our Middle East Strategy that we continue to develop as part of enhancing the region's engagement in this field.

Since the announcement of the DNS Entrepreneurship Center last year, work is underway to kick start the project with two training sessions on DNS Business Development and Registry Best Practices confirmed for the 29 March and 6 April, thanks to our partners from NTRA, EURid, EnCirca and ITI. The sessions will focus on practical issues and experiences of actors in the field to help attendees better understand the operational environment of Registries and Registrars, and the different aspects related to the daily run of the business. Key to note, this project has just been nominated for the online Voting Phase of the WSIS Project Prizes 2015 contest.

Also, we recently announced a request for proposal (RFP) to conduct a DNS market study for the Middle East region, one of the recommendations of the ICANN Middle East strategy. The study will help provide us with a benchmark as it analyzes the state of the play of the industry in the region and provides recommendations on possible improvements.

Another initiative serving the same purpose is the Middle East DNS Forum that kicked off last year in Dubai. The Forum was created to provide a platform for those interested in DNS related topics to come together, meet with experts in the field, share views, and learn from each other's experiences. The second edition of this Forum took place earlier this month in Amman, Jordan. The discussions over the course of the two days were quite vibrant and brought some very interesting and different perspectives to light, not only with regard to core DNS issues like ccTLDs, new gTLDs, IDNs, and Registrar accreditation, but also about the broader ecosystem of e-commerce and online business and elements in there that affect in one way or another the evolution of the domain name industry.  The gathering in Amman last week was yet another evidence of how nascent the Middle East domain name industry is, and the palpable need to further develop and utilize it more effectively.

In continuance with our commitment to reach the broader community in the region we have also taken part in Arabnet, the largest digital summit in the region, presenting the ICANN commissioned Boston Consulting Group's report on e-friction.

We constantly encourage stakeholders in the region to join and participate actively in the various events organized to make their voices heard, and help strengthen the development of the domain industry in an inclusive and all encompassing manner.

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Baher Esmat

Baher Esmat

VP, Stakeholder Engagement - Middle East & Managing Director MEA