The United Arab Emirates Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) recently announced that by next year it will be supporting registrations in the Arabic script called .emarat which is the Arabic equivalent to .ae (see graphic). The UAE wants to be the first Arabic country to support Arabic content on the Internet. Mohamed Naser Al Ghanim, TRA director general was quoted saying:
“Our objective is to support Arabic content over the internet and build a strong identity for UAE and Arab countries across the World Wide Web” … “We encourage all companies and entities in the UAE to register for .ae and .emarat as it represents their local business identity and brings their country pride.”
As gTLD expansion is talked about everyday, not so many seem to be thinking about the idn.idn possibilities that will become real next year. I happen to keep an eye on business and news in the United Arab Emirates and would not yet have heard of the release of the Arabic script domains if I was not doing some research on Abu Dhabi. I believe that if anything changes the landscape of the internet it will be idn.idn domains, more so than the unlimited gTLD’s.