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ICANN Announces the Release of "Middle East DNS Study"

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announces the publication of the final report [PDF, 8.38 MB] on the Domain Name System (DNS) for the Middle East and Adjoining Countries (MEAC). "Middle East DNS Study" was completed after receiving feedback on the initial draft, which was published before the ICANN54 meeting in Dublin.

The report will be discussed at ICANN55 at the DNS Industry in the Middle East session on Tuesday, 8 March, from 16:30–18:00 (WET).

Report Findings

The report presents findings on the current state of the Internet and the domain name industry in the MEAC region, including:

  • Best practices that have affected the growth in domain names
  • Business potentials in the domain name market
  • Domain name industry and registration data in the wider context of the region's Internet development
  • Internet usage patterns and user preferences
  • Region's hosting industry
  • Importance of local language content
  • Recommended to stimulate wider uptake

Research Team and Methods

ICANN selected a consortium led by the .eu Registry (EURid), with support from Emily Taylor Internet Research, Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property and Oxford Information Labs, to conduct the DNS study.

The report, based on qualitative and quantitative data gathered in 2015, draws on relevant benchmarks and best practices developed in the global ccTLD environment. The data presented in this report was gathered from a variety of sources, including a specially commissioned multi-country user survey, direct contact with ccTLD registries and registrars, and extensive data analysis of the gTLD open zone files.

Final "Middle East DNS Study" [PDF, 8.38 MB].



ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit:

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."