First global top-level domain signed is Arabic for .web

The client of an Australian domain registrar has signed the first global generic top-level domain (gTLD) contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

ARI Registry Services announced that its client dotShabaka Registry signed an agreement with ICANN for the 4(C). top-level domain, which is pronounced .shabaka and translates to .web. It will be the world's first borderless Arabic new top-level domain.

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The new domain is expected to go live in the "coming months," ARI Registry Services said.

Applications for addresses in Arabic and other non-Latin scripts comprised the first group of gTLDs to be approved by ICANN. ICANN published evaluation results of the first 27 new gTLDs in late March. ICANN decided the order in which it reviews applications in December.

"It is an incredible achievement not only for us but for the entire Arabic speaking world. It will pioneer a new way for people to use the Internet that begins with the Arabic language," said dotShabaka Registry general manager, Yasmin Omer.

ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis applauded the contract but said work remains to speed gTLD applications through the contract negotiation phase through to delegation. "A number of small issues remain outstanding that may impede the delegation process," he said. "I encourage ICANN to expedite the resolution of issues such as predictability in pre-delegation testing, rights protection mechanism requirements, testing of the Trademark Clearinghouse interface and the trademark +50 process."

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