Widening the net: the first Arabic gTLD


Dot Shabaka is operating an Arabic-language generic top-level domain, the first in a non-Latin script. TBO spoke to general manager Yasmin Omer about why the project is so important.

If you’re an Arabic-speaking Internet user, the chances are that your online experience could be described as second class: you rely on search to navigate the web and there are few top-level domains (TLDs) in your language. If you’re an English speaker, on the other hand, using the Internet is easy—it speaks in English—and that’s something you take for granted.

So says Yasmin Omer, general manager of Dot Shabaka, which is operating the ةكبش . generic TLD. Pronounced ‘shabaka’ and meaning ‘web’ in Arabic, it was the first gTLD in a non-Latin script to go live on the Internet.

“The Internet in Arabic is referred to as ‘shabakat al Internet’, which means the ‘Internet web’, so there is an instant recognition between ‘shabaka’ and the Internet, to the point where people now just say ‘shabaka’ to refer to the Internet,” Omer explains.

dot shabaka, yasmin omer, ةكبش, gtlds