Arabic Web key to greater regional participation

ARI Registry Services explains the need for Arabic Web options

Tags: ARI Registry Services (www.ariservices.com)Australia
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Arabic Web key to greater regional participation Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services.
By  Adrian Kinderis Published  March 4, 2013

There are a number of countries already hosting Arabic script domains, including the United Arab Emirates (امارات.), Oman (عمان.) and Qatar (قطر.). These national digital assets are of enormous value to their respective countries and the citizens who access the Internet through them. However, they are being underutilised and are limited to the boundaries of the individual countries - stifling region-wide participation.

However, later this year, a new Arabic script domain name is set to revolutionise the Internet in the Arab region.  شبكة. (.shabaka - translates to .web in Arabic) will establish an entire corner of the Internet completely dedicated to the Arabic language, culture and society.

Unlike the national Arabic scripts currently available, شبكة. will be the first cross-border Arabic top-level domain extension open to all Arabic speakers across the region. It will provide an emotive connection between Arabic culture and the community while opening an online channel to intuitively connect Arabic speakers to online Arabic content.

Initiatives such as شبكة. will help bridge the gap between Arabic content and Arabic-speaking Internet users. It will help provide the platform needed to fuel greater Arabic orientated online entrepreneurism and innovation.

Furthermore, there are commercial incentives for Arab-based organisations to help break down the accessibility barriers. To put a price on this, the Gulf Co-operation Council predicts B2C e-commerce sales in the region will reach around $15 billion by 2015. Savvy business leaders would be wise to recognise this commercial potential.

The big question is, who is responsible for facilitating this end-to-end Arabic online experience? The beauty of the Internet means it will be a collaborative approach from the business sector generating the Arabic content, to policy makers raising greater awareness and the industry providing the technology and platform.

I strongly believe that this will go a long way to removing the barriers to greater Internet participation in the Arab region.

It is my prediction that in the near future we will see a greater number of Arabic advertising billboards targeting Arabic speakers with Arabic script domain names such as شبكة. directing viewers to engaging online Arabic content.

The dawn of the end-to-end Arabic online experience is upon us.

 

Adrian Kinderis is CEO of ARI Registry Services, a global domain name technology company based in Australia.

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