Dubai, United Arab Emirates - ## April 2015: Al Jazeera, the Doha-based, multilingual broadcaster today announced the launch of a new web address under شبكة. for the company's Arabic news platform.
The launch is a demonstration of Al Jazeera's commitment to supporting a stronger Arabic presence on the Internet and encouraging greater online participation amongst Arabic-speaking audiences.
شبكة. ('web' in Arabic and pronounced "dot shabaka") is the world's first Arabic, cross-border Top-Level Domain and will provide Arabic-speaking Internet users with an alternative to non-Arabic Internet namespaces such as .com, .net and .org.
The namespace is part of a revolutionary program being rolled out by the global regulator of web addresses to introduce greater domain name choice and availability online.
The launch of Al Jazeera's new شبكة. domain name means Arabic-speakers around the world can now, for the first time, navigate to Al Jazeera's Arabic website entirely in Arabic simply by typing الجزيرة.شبكة into their browser's address bar.
Al Jazeera General Manager of Aljazeera.net, Mr. Mohammad Al Mukhtar said the new شبكة. domain name speaks to both the organisation's history as a Middle East-focused news channel and its future as an innovative, global media network.
"We are one of the world's leading media corporations and are proud to be at the forefront of Internet technology by adopting a شبكة. domain name," Mr. Al Mukhtar said.
"Currently Aljazeera.net is an Arabic website living in an English environment. Moving our Arabic news channel to a شبكة. web address allows us to showcase our Middle Eastern origins and create a space online that is uniquely Arabic, designed solely for our Arabic-speaking audience."
Mohammad Zeidan, General Manager of ARI Registry Services MENA, congratulated Al Jazeera on the announcement.
"We're incredibly proud to have Al Jazeera's support for شبكة.. It is a globally-recognised and highly respected media organisation with proud roots in the MENA region, which makes them an ideal advocate for the ever-developing Arabic Internet," Mr Zeidan said.
"There is no better way to reach your Arabic-speaking audience online than to base your entire online presence under a شبكة. domain name.
"You build trust with customers when speaking in a native language and we know that a call to action in English to an Arabic audience is a call to inaction. Savvy organisations like Al Jazeera recognise this and that's why they have warmly embraced شبكة.."
Mr Zeidan said some of the biggest brands in the world have joined Al Jazeera to secure their شبكة. domain names, including the likes of Google, Montblanc, Rolex and Piaget.
"We are thrilled that some of the biggest western brands in the world recognise the benefits associated with representing their brand online in Arabic through a شبكة. domain name. If Al Jazeera and these brands see the value, then there is a clear business case for local companies in the MENA region to embrace شبكة.."