Less than 1 per cent of the new top-level domains (TLDs) set to join the ranks of .com, .qa, .ae, etc. will come from Arabic countries unless local companies and governments start engaging in new TLD applications, said a report.
In the biggest change in the entire history of the Internet, the governing body ICANN today (January 16) opened applications for new top-level domains with a deadline for applying of April 12.
Cities like New York, Paris and Berlin have already announced that they will be applying (for .NYC, .Paris and .Berlin), as have companies like Canon and Deloitte.
However, of the approximately 160 new top-level domain applicants that have been publicly announced thus far, nearly 32 per cent are based in the USA, 10 per cent in Germany, and less than 1 per cent are from the Mena region, according to Dubai-based domain consultancy DotBrand Solutions Mena.
“Here is yet another example of the Arab region risking missing the boat when it comes to new technical developments,” warned Nabil Alyoussuf, director of Dubai-based domain consultancy DotBrand Solutions Mena, which enables new TLD applicants to acquire and manage their domains.
“We are currently working with some companies and Governments all over the region who have grasped this opportunity to obtain better presence, security and control of the Internet through their own TLDs. But most are still taking a ‘wait and see’ approach while the rest of world is taking action.”
The most alarming missed opportunity will be for new domain names in Arabic. The Internet will be flooded with new languages, as “IDN” domain names in Chinese, Hindi, and dozens of other scripts, are introduced through the new TLD process.
“As the Mena region’s own TLD services supplier, we are looking to engage rapidly with businesses and governments wishing to take this opportunity to advance our language, our culture, our countries and our businesses in the next era of the Internet,” added Alyoussuf.