The first applicants for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) have signed registry agreements with ICANN.
The applications are for Arabic domain .shabaka (.web), Chinese .games and Bulgarian .сайт (site) and .онлайн (online)
Domain name registries ARI Services, Donuts and CORE all signed on behalf of the applicants during the opening ceremony of the ICANN 47 meeting in Durban, South Africa on Monday.
The Arabic-language .shabaka will become the first “borderless” Arabic top-level domain, according to Melbourne based ARI, which is representing the applicant.
Yasmin Omer, general manager of .shabaka, hailed the signing as a "monumental occasion”.
Predicting .shabaka would become the “centre of all things Arabic” on the Internet, Omer added: “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."
Adrian Kinderis, chief executive of ARI, said: "We're extremely proud to be supporting such an important project. .shabaka registry will revolutionise the way the global Arabic speaking community use the Internet and we're honoured to be a part of the movement."
Mason Cole, vice president of communications at Donuts, which signed for .games, told WIPR the current namespace, including .com, was “worn out” and needed “new and more relevant” naming options.
“In the case of our Chinese script and other internationalised domain names, fresh options are particularly helpful as they'll help increase Internet participation. We're happy to have contracting under way so we can proceed to delegation as soon as possible,” he said.
CORE, based in Switzerland, signed for the. сайт and .онлайн contracts which are both in Cyrillic script.
ICANN has received 1,930 applications for new gTLDs since January last year. Applications that pass an initial evaluation and do not face any objections are eligible to sign a contract.
This article was first published on 15 July 2013 in World IP Review
ICANN, gTLD, Arabic, Chinese, Bulgaria