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MENA companies interested in TLDs

DotBrand Solutions MENA says they are in talks with 60 companies who are interested in applying for TLDs

Top-level domain name facilitation company, DotBrand Solutions MENA is talking to a total of approximately 60 companies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE that are interested in going ahead with their own unique top-level domain names (TLDs), according to DotBrands.

DotBrand Solutions MENA is a partnership between global domain name registry company CentralNic, and a consortium of Middle East businessmen including UAE-based Nabil Alyousuf.

“Since we have launched DotBrand solutions MENA, we have seen a lot of interest from corporations mostly and some governments to register city names and also from some prominent families who want to protect their family name and preserve their heritage,” says Alyousuf.

Domain names can be applied for in any script, so companies in the region are able to register domain names in Arabic as well as English. Costs per application from submitting the paperwork to implementing the domain name are approximately $2 million, according to ICANN.

Corporations and interested entities are already beginning work on the 300 page applications, due for submission between 12th January and 12th April 2012, which must contain a large amount of information about the companies and individuals applying for the TLD, including business plans and financial information.

ICANN and DotBrands MENA are at GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK to raise awareness about TLDs, which is lacking in the region.

“People are not that aware, the media has not picked up the subject, so what we find is that when we approach customers this is the first time they hear of it [TLDs], but then that turns into interest very quickly,” comments Alyousuf.

There are a lot of Middle East-based brands that are attempting to conquer the global market, and, according to Alyousuf, in order to protect the brand name they are interested in applying for a TLD.

Also in the Arab world, internet and online marketing has become very important to companies.

“The Arab world has the highest growth in terms of internet penetration and a Google statistic shows that online marketing had a growth of 40% year-on-year between 2009 and 2010. So online marketing has become very important to corporations,” says Alyousuf.

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