A report by ICANN has found that the potential for growth in the Arabic domain name market is huge.
The Arabic-character top-level domain name ????. (dot shabaka) was launched in 2014 and has so far been registered just 21,000 times in the region.
The reason for this slow start seems to be due to difficulties in registering the domain, due to a lack of registrars offering the domain, a lack of awareness, and limited payment options.
However, there is not a lack of interest in the domain name from Arabic businesses.
Indeed, the study revealed that the vast majority of respondents preferred to speak and write in Arabic rather than English, and would prefer it if there were more Arabic language websites and domains.
The study predicts that if these challenges can be overcome, it will help to stimulate adoption of the ????. (dot shabaka) domain, thereby fostering a more customised, easy and intuitive web experience for Arabic internet users.
In related news, Skype has announced the launch of its real-time translation feature for Arabic. The feature translates spoken Arabic and is the eighth language to be added to Skype's real-time translation tool.