x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Fifty sites to get free .ae addresses

Fifty websites will get free .ae web addresses for a year in an attempt to encourage local businesses to use UAE-specific website names.

Fifty websites will get free .ae web addresses for a year in an attempt to encourage local businesses to use UAE-specific website names. The move, a joint initiative by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and the Emirates Internet Group, aims to boost the number of websites using the national domain name, .ae, instead of the more general .com. Buying a .ae as a domain name can cost as much as Dh750.

Applicants can be new websites, or existing ones converting to a .ae name. The TRA's .ae domain administration (. aeDA) programme will cover the fees of the registration of 50 .ae websites for a year and EIG will be in charge of selecting the winning websites. It will take into consideration the themes and goals of individuals or companies applying. Those wishing to apply must do so through the. aeDA, which controls the .ae domain.

The TRA's director general, Mohammed al Ghanim, said the initiative was part of the regulator's corporate social responsibility remit and was designed to support young Emiratis' websites. "The purpose of this donation is to encourage all companies and individuals in the UAE to use the national domain name, since it represents the UAE identity on the internet," he said. Khalid bin Thani, the president of the Emirates Internet Group, said there were a "large number of attractive names under .ae" that had already been taken under other domain names such as .com.

hhassan@thenational.ae