Pioneered by dotShabaka Registry, it marks the dawn of a revolution to empower the Arabic language on the Internet
Los Angeles, CA - USA, July 14, 2013: Arabic speaking Internet users around the world will be the first to experience the next evolution of the Internet after Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global regulator of web addresses today officially entered into a contract with dotShabaka Registry for "شبكة." to become the world's first Arabic new Top-Level Domain (TLD).
Surpassing almost 1900 other applicants from around the world, شبكة. (.shabaka, translates to .web in English) will become the world's first borderless new Top-Level Domain and will provide Arabic speaking Internet users with an alternative to non-Arabic Internet namespaces such as .com, .net and .org. It will be a domain name available to everyone wanting an Arabic online presence.
Expected to be live on the Internet in the coming months, شبكة. is part of the new Top-Level Domain program being rolled out by ICANN to expand the Internet's web address system.
Yasmin Omer, General Manager of dotShabaka Registry said, "Today's contract signing is a monumental occasion. As the first new Top-Level Domain, شبكة. 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."
Ms. Omer added, "شبكة. 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 percent in the 10 years to 2011."
"In spite of the boom in Arabic content online, users are still burdened with the need to use English on the Internet. Many websites and Internet applications force visitors to only use English. Through شبكة., we are campaigning for a truly Arabic Internet experience from start to finish," Ms. Omer said.
"شبكة. domain name owners will be getting more than just a web address; they're signing up for a cause, and becoming part of the movement to empower the Arabic language on the Internet. dotShabaka Registry's vision is to build an Internet that facilitates end-to-end communication and collaboration for every user utilising only their native tongue," Ms. Omer said.
Joining dotShabaka Registry in this important and exciting opportunity is GoDaddy, the world's largest domain name and Web hosting provider.
"The شبكة. 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 GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. "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," said Mr. Irving.
The addition of GoDaddy as the first Registrar partner will ensure شبكة. is set for worldwide release. dotShabaka Registry will welcome local partners and work closely with businesses within the region to promote local participation.
Today's announcement follows the release of initial evaluation results in March when ICANN announced the official approval to the شبكة. application. With the signing of this contract, there are only a few final testing requirements before شبكة. will be delegated and accessible on the Internet.
dotShabaka Registry has contracted ARI Registry Services for the provision of software and infrastructure systems to support شبكة., owing to their vast experience in Domain Name Registry technology in supporting the .ae, .qa and .om domain name spaces.
For more information about how you can register your own شبكة. website address, please visit www.dotshabaka.com.