The United Arab Emirates little known .ae ccTLD has not been a widely traded or collected commodity in the domain name aftermarket. I think this may change soon. My prediction is based on activity I have been watching with this extension recently.
Brendan O’Shea an Irish businessman residing in Abu Dhabi registered the domain name vip.ae a couple years back for a VIP event function he was organizing. O’Shea just received an offer of $4 million UAE Dirhams (approx $1.1 million USD) for the domain from a company based out of Abu Dhabi. ‘VIP’ is a very important term in the UAE. The equally popular term Horse.ae sold earlier this summer to a tech firm out of India for $6 million UAD Dirhams (approx $1.6 million USD).
Utilizing a nice .ae domain, Unicapital Middle East recently launched www.999.ae a web portal that resembles a jazzed up version of craigslist for the Middle East. It has just been announced that $300,000 USD has been allocated by the Unicapital Group to acquire domain names to build the 999.ae network. There was no mention of which domain extension they will target, but I will bet that the use a nice amount of that (or more) to acquire generic .ae domain names. Read more.
Registration for .ae domains is $99/year over at my sponsor 101domain.com. The .ae Domain Administration (.aeDA) is ready expects 200K new .ae domain to be in circulation by next year. .aeDA is looking for a strong push in popularity for the namespace. However, the .ae registry is notorious for stripping registrants of .ae domains that are even close to an infringement of a trademark. So be forewarned, don’t register .ae domains that are questionable, and if you already own one don’t monetize it.