One of the First in the World to Offer Arabic Domain Names was launched by the ICANN President.
The Internet is one-step closer to being more accessible to speakers of Arabic in Qatar and around the world with the official launch of the Qatar Domains Registry (QDR), which was officially unveiled to the public on March 2, 2011 by the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR).
"The launch of the Qatar Domains Registry is a major milestone as we work to build a more digitally inclusive society. As more organizations and individuals begin adopting non-Latin domain names the Internet will literally be opened up to broad new audiences. The Arab world represents a region with enormous potential for growth both in terms of usage and the creation of new digital content, especially Arabic content," said Saleh Al-Kuwari, Chief Technical Manager at ictQATAR. ""Qatar-specific domains are a valuable asset for businesses and individuals looking to establish their online identity. Using .qa or قطر. shows you are uniquely Qatar."
Qatar was one of the first countries to apply to ICANN for creation of an Arabic domain name. Currently, a number of websites are being used as pilots for the new domain names, including ictQATAR and Hukoomi. Qatar-specific Arabic domain names will be made available more broadly to government entities, and registered trademark and IP holders during the next phase of registration. By the end of August 2011, the Qatar-specific domain names will be publicly available.
Rod Beckstrom, the President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the agency responsible for Internet domain names, was in Qatar for the launch. "Approval of Qatar's internationalized domain name is an acknowledgment of the country's vision and leadership," said Beckstrom. "In pursuing the IDN on behalf of its people, Qatar has recognized that the Internet is the way of the future."