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Google launches .ae

Google has launched a country-specific version for the UAE. The site, www.google.ae, provides users with a localised Arabic interface as well as the ability to restrict searches to just sites with UAE domain names.

Google, the world’s most popular internet search engine, has launched a country-specific version for the UAE. The site, www.google.ae, provides users with a localised Arabic interface as well as the ability to restrict searches to just sites with UAE domain names.

“Google's mission is to take the world's information and [to] make it universally accessible and useful. This includes making it useful to users in as many languages as possible,” explains Debbie Frost, international PR manager, Google.

First time visitors to Google from the UAE are automatically directed to the Arabic interface. However, users are able to switch to the English version with just a click, if they wish.

The company refuses to give specific information about the number of users who are expected to use the UAE site, but given its worldwide share Google probably has a significant share in the local market. Indeed, through it partnerships with portals such as Yahoo! and America Online, StatMarket estimates that Google is responsible for 75% of worldwide search engine traffic to internet sites.

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