The first agreement between The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global regulator of web addresses and an applicant to run a new TLD has been signed.
ICANN has entered into a contract with dotShabaka Registry for “dotShabaka” to become the world’s first Arabic new Top-Level Domain (TLD).
Shabaka., a domain name for those who want an Arabic online presence, is part of the new Top-Level Domain programme being rolled out by ICANN and has surpassed over 1900 other applicants from around the world, to become the world’s first border-less new Top-Level Domain.
‘Shabaka’ means web in English. The new TLD is expected to be live on the Internet in the coming months.
“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,” said Yasmin Omer, General Manager, dotShabaka Registry.
“Shabaka. will have a global audience, with over 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa which use Arabic as an official language – a region that comprises over 380 million people. She said Arabic is also the fastest growing language online – with growth of more than 2,500% in the 10 years to 2011,” she added.
Domain name registrar GoDaddy has signed on to carry the worldwide release of the new top level domain when it goes live.
“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 Blake Irving, CEO, GoDaddy.
“This partnership between our two companies is in line with our strategy to expand the GoDaddy brand into international markets and is a significant step in the Internet’s evolution,” he added.
dotShabaka Registry has contracted ARI Registry Services for the provision of software and infrastructure systems to support Shabaka.