TRA signs an exchange of letters with ICANN during Gitex


The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is pleased to announce that it has formalised its relationship with ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) through the signing of an exchange of letters. The exchange of letters is an indication of the UAE’s commitment to support the openness, security and stability of the Internet. The exchange of letters demonstrates that UAE is one of the leading countries in the region in managing its ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain) according to the best internal practices and for the best interests of its people.

The TRA officially recognizes ICANN’s role in coordinating the root services of the Internet, and ICANN officially recognizes TRA’s role as the ccTLD manager for .ae and the Arabic IDN .امارات The letters state the intentions of TRA/.aeDA and ICANN to work together to maintain the Domain Name System (DNS) for the .ae & امارات top level domains for the benefit of the Internet community in the UAE and globally.

The signing ceremony took place on 10/10/2011 during the Gitex exhibition in Dubai between H.E. Mohamed Al Ghanim, TRA Director General, and Rod Beckstrom, CEO and President of ICANN.

The TRA and ICANN today held a press conference regarding the Top-Level Domain Name led by H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, at GITEX Technology Week, held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, 9-13 October, 2011.

In his opening speech of the press conference, H.E. Mohammad Nasser Al Ghanim said: “TRA continuously aims to maintain its pace with the latest ICT sector developments. We are aiming to achieve our goals in accordance with ICANN, to reinforce competition in the domain names market, while at the same time guaranteeing Internet safety and stability.”

Rod Beckstrom stated, “This is the first internationalized domain name ccTLD agreement that ICANN has signed anywhere in the world, and it reflects the TRA’s leading role in the Middle East region in managing .ae and .emarat, the IDN ccTLD.”

“The new generic top-level domain program will help private companies and governments and other entities to optionally launch the generic domain name, which will be of great interest to these groups in terms of facilitating how they will present themselves to their audience on the Internet. This will create fair and healthy competition within the entities, while playing their role in the promotion of the high standard of UAE telecom sector,” Al Ghanim added.

Beckstrom added, “In our view, TRA runs a highly professional registry operation and were also swift to adopt DNSSEC- a security enhanced version of DNS. We appreciate their active engagement in the region and in ICANN issues globally”.

The attendees, including representatives of the government, private entities, ICT companies, and other individuals with interest, in addition to media correspondents, looked into this new program. They were informed about the related technical aspects, the operational impacts the application of this program will have on the Internet, in addition to providing them with an overview of the procedures required to register to obtain a generic top-level domain name, and the related fees.

Another essential topic was addressed: the procedures that brand owners should take in the event that another organization applies for domain names using their brand names, and how they can protect their commercial rights from being misused due to these new properties provided by ICANN. The TRA shed light on the standards set for applicants for a generic domain name, and also on the opportunities available for those whose requests are rejected, in order to register in the following stages of the program.

During the question and answer session of the press conference, H.E. Mohammad Nasser Al Ghanim answered questions about this new program, including the reasons that led the UAE to be so keen to utilize generic top-level domain names in the government, as well as some other questions about the benefits that the TRA anticipates to receive from such a step, and the way through which companies and brands can protect their businesses. H.E. Mohammad Nasser Al Ghanim referred to the great care the TRA is taking to push its regional pioneering position forward within the ICT sector. This represents the core of the TRA’s interest in following the latest developments, as well as its interest in competition due to its contribution to achieving a natural and balanced development based on the essential needs of the ICT industry.

In 2010, TRA obtained approval from ICANN to be among the first countries in the world to launch a domain name in Arabic script, demonstrating the TRA’s high keenness to support Arabic content on the Internet, and to reinforce the pioneering role that UAE is playing within the ICT industry.


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