Egypt first to get Arabic domain
Country’s Ministry of Communications & Information Technology gets new Arabic-only web address
Egypt is officially the first Middle Eastern country to go live with a web address entirely in Arabic.
"Today the first three production non-Latin top-level domains were placed in the DNS root zone. This means they are live! Here is one newly enabled domain with a functional website that works right now: وزارة-الأتصالات.مصر," wrote Kim Davies, manager of Root Zone Services at ICANN, in a blog post.
Davies is referring to Egypt's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology website that now includes the Arabic string equivalent of ‘.misr' in its URL.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were some of the first countries in the world authorised by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to register domain names in Arabic last month.
It follows ICANN's 2009 decision to liberate the Internet by ending the exclusive use of Latin characters in addresses. For Gulf countries, the decision meant Arabic characters could be used for an entire internet address, instead of just parts of addresses followed by .com or .net in English.
Egypt's minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Tarek Kamel said that the use of Arabic in the URLs on the Internet would increase the number of users coming online, doing away with language barriers.
The National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority in Egypt has already licensed three firms - TE Data, InTouch and Vodafone Data - to accept and register Arabic domain name applications from interested entities within the country.
Websites can now be registered under the Arabic string equivalent of ‘Al-Saudia' in Saudi Arabia, ‘Misr' in Egypt and ‘Emarat' in the United Arab Emirates.