ICANN Approves Delegation of Qatar Arabic Domain Name to ictQATAR
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) officially approved the delegation of the Qatar-specific Internet Domains.
The official delegation of these Internet domains allows ictQATAR to begin administering the Qatar-specific domains, making them available to businesses and individuals in the open market. The domains will be managed by ictQATAR's Regulatory Authority through the Qatar Domains Registry, which will be launched by early 2011.
"Delegation of Qatar Internet Domains to ictQATAR brings us one step closer to being able to offer our domains in Arabic language, and is the first step in implementing the recently issued e-transactions law. The Qatar Domains Registry will manage this valuable resource and ensure the administration of Qatar-specific domains is fair and transparent, while at the same time promoting competition in the market to bring the most value to consumers and encourage innovative business models around the domains," said Dr. Hessa Al-Jabir, ictQATAR's Secretary General.
Qatar will be among the first countries in the world to offer non-Latin language scripts in domain names. ictQATAR led Qatar's application process for the International Domain Name (IDN) Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) and was part of a fast-track process with ICANN for approval. Qatar received official approval for Arabic domains in March 2010, and has been working to meet all of ICANN's technical requirements for the rollout and administration of the domain names since.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Qatar to be among the first countries to acquire a top level domain in Arabic," said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's President and Chief Executive Officer. "It's our hope that this will increase Internet access not just for the citizens of Qatar but for all Arabic speaking Internet users around the world."
Prior to ICANN's Board approval to delegate Qatar-specific domain names to ictQATAR, Qtel was administering ".qa" names since 1996. Qatar's Arabic Domain name ".قطر" (.qatar) was not previously available. When launched, the Qatar Domains Registry will offer most Qatar-specific Internet domain names through approved registrars, however it will directly administer domain names for government, military, educational and not-for-profit entities.
"We expect there will be considerable interest in Qatar-specific domain names in both Arabic and Latin scripts. For businesses and individuals, Qatar domain names will be a valuable asset in distinguishing themselves in the ever-growing Internet realm, helping them connect with others locally and globally, while identifying themselves as uniquely Qatar," said Saleh Al-Kuwari, Chief Technical Manager, Regulatory Authority at ictQATAR.
"Introducing other languages like Arabic, Cyrillic and Chinese to the Internet Addressing system is the biggest change since the Internet establishment 40 years ago. The launch Qatar Arabic Domain .قطر and establishment of .QA new Domains Registry will be a landmark in ictQATAR work towards developing Qatar's local Internet Community and enhancing an effective Qatari online presence," Al-Kuwari added.