In June, ICANN announced one of the biggest changes in domain name history – allowing users to create their own top-level domains (TLDs) – effectively turning their brand name into an integral part of their online address. What that means is that companies can start using sites that end in their own brand names like .Pepsi or .Canon, for example.
That change is also coming to Arabic domains. DotBrands Solutions MENA has launched, giving Middle Eastern and Arabic speaking companies the opportunity to protect their trademarks in Arabic script. DotBrands Solutions MENA, which is run by CentralNic, a global TLD registry, has entered into a partnership with a group of regional businessmen.
Speaking about the latest developments, UAE based businessman Nabil Alyousuf, one of the businessmen involved in the new partnership, said “The introduction of dot-brand and Arabic top-level domains signals a new era of internet growth in the Middle East. The Middle East is one of the largest emerging markets in the world, and DotBrand Solutions MENA gives local businesses the opportunity to supply our markets with our own domain names, as well as putting local companies with international ambitions on the same level as their competitors from other regions.”
More and more Middle Eastern users are going online, and are choosing Arabic as their language of choice. On Facebook, for example, Arabic has surpassed English as the region’s language of choice. And that isn’t the only reason Arabic domain names are a must-have in the region – from easier branding to improved SEO, Arabic domain names have been a welcome change. With this latest announcement, Middle Eastern companies can take their branding to a new level, staying in tune with their own localized flavour.
Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic commented on the partnership saying, “Companies and their legal advisors in the Middle East have been contacting our London offices for months, wishing to protect their trademarks through .brand TLDs and to secure the most valuable real estate on the internet. Now we have a local presence with account executives on hand to assist companies throughout the GCC [Gulf Coordination Council] and North Africa. We acquire the TLDs for our clients, and equip them with intelligence on best practice and innovation in this new space, while also serving as a turnkey outsource solution to handle the technical execution.”