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Dubai Forum to Examine Business Opportunities in Domain Name Sector

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On the 3rd and 4th of February the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) of UAE, ICANN and ISOC will host the Middle East DNS forum in Dubai. The forum will examine business opportunities within the Domain Name Sector and provide participants from governments, ccTLD and gTLD Registries, Registrars, and the broader business community an opportunity to share experiences and best practices.

"We are very excited to witness the birth of the Middle East DNS Forum this year. The DNS Forum is the place for all interested parties in the Middle East to come together, share ideas and confer about how to further advance the domain name industry in the region," said Baher Esmat, ICANN's Regional Vice President, Middle East. "Developing the domain name industry is one of ICANN's strategic objectives in the Middle East and we are committed to working with all stakeholders towards achieving this objective,"

The forum will cover topics including new gTLDs, registry strategies for domain name growth, the role of ccTLDs in strengthening the domain name industry at national and international level, registrar accreditation in a borderless environment and registrar strategies in a competitive environment.

ICANN's Generic Domains Division recently announced that the number of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) delegated into the Internet's Root Zone has topped 100. Delegation is one of the final steps before the registries that control the domains may begin accepting registrations for names that will use the new gTLDs.

"For the first time, Internet users across the world will be able to use generic Top-Level Domain names entirely in their native languages," said Akram Atallah, President of Global Domain's Division. "This change will promote closer connections between people, brands and organizations and will in turn provide new routes for businesses to reach their customers."

The first new gTLD to be placed into the root, under the new program, was dot-shabaka ‫‫(شبكة.).

"We are now entering a significant phase in the development of the Middle East domain name industry with the introduction of Top-Level Domains such as ‫‫شبكة. set to totally transform the dynamics of existing structures," said Yasmin Omer, General Manager of dotShabaka Registry and a Platinum Sponsor of the Middle East DNS Forum. "Events such as the Middle East DNS Forum are crucial to encourage the necessary collaboration and policy debate needed to ensure we can tackle the challenges of building a more robust industry,"

Some other examples of Middle East applied-for strings that have been delegated include:

  • League of Arab States - ‫‫عرب.
  • Dubai eGovernment Department .dubai
  • STC (Saudi Telecom Company) .stc
  • Qtel (Qatar Telecom) - ‫‫موزايك. , ‫‫كيوتل.

For more information on the forum, please visit:

For more information about the new gTLD program, go to:


Theodore Tarek Halabi
Edelman Public Relations
Dubai, UAE
Mobile: +971 56 110 8074

Andrew Robertson
Edelman Public Relations
London, U.K.
Tel. +44 (7811) 341 945

James Cole
ICANN Global Media Coordinator
Washington, D.C.
Tel. +1 (202) 570 7139

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."