Author: Domaining

While promising to be a virtual utopia that will foster equality and allow for self-expression, the metaverse – as it stands – remains riddled with ethical issues that need to be addressed.

New technologies have always demanded societal conversations, and the metaverse is no different, with its ethical implications being put into question now more than ever – Meta, formerly Facebook, has recently pledged $50m for research into practical and ethical issues around its metaverse.

With Microsoft’s $70bn deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, Meta investing $10bn into acquiring and developing both hardware and software VR capabilities, and Google creating a $39.5m private equity fund for all metaverse projects, the metaverse has garnered the support of tech giants who are creating an irresistible, immersive digital world that we are all likely to partake in.

 

Read more: Arabian Business

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Bahrain’s national domains .bh and البحرين. are now in General Availability and are open for registrations!

AEserver is an accredited domain name registrar in Bahrain by the TRA of the Kingdom of Bahrain since 2021.

Why .bh?

Create a buzz with .bh, the domain name for any website anywhere.

  • .bh is both a country-code domain and part of your online presence that will go as far as your imagination will take you
  • .bh domain makes your web address shorter and more memorable
  • .bh announces your presence on a global digital stage

Who is a .bh for?

  • Any entity with an online presence
  • Individuals & businesses that target the local Bahraini market

There are special sub-domains such as .biz.bh.edu.bh, or .med.bh reserved exclusively for registrants in Bahrain.

Register your .bh or البحرين. for just BD 35 per year (AED 349 / USD 95)

 


 

.bh registration timeline/phases:

The current registration phase for .bh domains are as follows: 2nd January 2022 09:00 UTC until 3rd May 2022 08:59 UTC on a first-come, first-serve basis strictly provided the registrant applicant (whether a business, entity, individual, organization) is located or resides in Bahrain.  This is to give priority to Kingdom of Bahrain residents and local businesses and organizations over any international registration.

On 3rd May 2022 at 09:00 UTC, the domain will enter into General Availability and will be available to any individual or business inside OR outside of Bahrain.

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The UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) has announced a partnership with Siemens to accelerate the digital transformation of the country’s industrial companies.

By the end of 2022, the ministry and Siemens aim to evaluate 200 industrial companies in the UAE for their digital maturity.

More than 70 industrial companies in the UAE have already been assessed as the partnership seeks to support the objectives of the UAE Industry 4.0 program to raise industrial productivity by 30 percent and add about AED25 billion to the national economy over the next decade.

Sarah Al Amiri, the UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Technology, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Siemens, an important milestone in our efforts to embrace the tools and applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“The program will equip our industrial companies with essential insights on their digital maturity and offer practical frameworks and tools to accelerate their transformation journeys.”

Read more on: Arabian Business

 

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Over 42,000 people, representing leading tech companies from around the world, gathered in Lisbon, Portugal this week for the massive Web Summit 2021 conference that ended Thursday (November 4). Intis Telecom, the new owners of IT.com (just purchased in a $3.8 million transaction we told you more about earlier this week), was there to showcase their new prize acquisition.

Intis is now using IT.com to sell third-level domain registrations under the marquee name. For example, names like keyword.it.com can be registered at a retail cost of $49. Intis also owns the UK.IT and throughout this year the company has been buying up two-letter .IT domains in other extensions including .hn, .to, .ax, .sb, .uy, .tn, .by, kz, .ae and .broker with the prices they paid for IT in those TLDs ranging from $2,000 up to $25,000. The new 3rd level registration service will be offered on all of those extensions as well.

Read more pm DNJournal

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Fintech Saudi Annual Report says the number of fintech companies has grown by more than a third over the past year

The number of fintech companies operating in Saudi Arabia has grown by more than a third over the past year with investments exceeding SR1.3 billion ($347 million).

Over the last 12 months, the fintech industry in Saudi Arabia has continued to grow at a rapid pace, according to the Fintech Saudi Annual Report 2020/2021.

The number of Saudi fintech companies has risen by 37 percent as the industry continues to mature in the Gulf kingdom.

Nejoud Almulaik, director of Fintech Saudi, said: “As we emerge from the challenges of Covid-19, it is clear that the digitalization experienced during the pandemic is here to stay.”

Almulaik added that “regulation clarity” is helping to attract more investment in the sector.

The report showed that over the last year, new fintech companies have emerged in a variety of areas including payments, capital markets, insurance, and business tools for SMEs.

Read more: Arabian Business

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Adapting to Industry Changes for Better Web Security

The CA/B Forum has voted on removing the file-based domain control validation (DCV) method for Wildcard certificates (e.g. *.domain.com) starting Dec. 1, 2021. So why the update?

The change was created in response to the concern that host-based control validation isn’t a strong enough way to demonstrate that someone has control over a domain’s entire namespace. Ultimately, this change improves security for subdomains and therefore, web users overall.

To be prepared and acclimated before the official start date, major CA’s such as DigiCert and Sectigo, will no longer allow file-based DCV for Wildcard certificates starting Nov. 15. After that, users can only use email and DNS validation methods to perform DCV for Wildcards.

SSL

What can you do to prepare?

1. Get your team ready. Make sure your dev and support teams are caught up on the update so they can update your system and provide customer support as needed after the change.
2. Get your website ready. For Wildcard purchases on your site, be sure to remove the option to use File-based DCV and also update any documentation on DCV methods.
3. Get your customers ready. With your team and system updated, you can make an announcement to all your customers or send a message directly to your customers who use the filed-based method for wildcards to let them know about the changes.
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Abu Dhabi has just announced its official internet domain name. The Capital’s digital identity in the virtual world is now .abudhabi, and this domain name will be used to promote the emirate locally, regionally, and internationally across tourism, culture, and economy sectors.

The domain name is accessible to all citizens, residents, and employers, as well as for organizations interested in local business opportunities, events, festivals, and fairs hosted annually by the emirate.

 

To register a .abudhabi domain name, follow the steps here.

Commenting on the announcement, Mohamed Abdelhameed Al Askar, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, said: “We are very pleased with our adoption of the .abudhabi domain, which highlights the fact that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is proceeding with confidence and speed in the process of digital transformation, based on the ambitious vision of our wise leadership to build and shape the digital future of the emirate in a way that supports innovation, the application of digital solutions and effective initiatives that strengthen the economic environment in the Capital.”

Al Askar added: “This initiative contributes to elevating the UAE’s Global Innovation Index status and promotes Abu Dhabi in the tourist, cultural and economic arenas through this distinctive domain name, an attractive factor for companies interested in business opportunities and local and international events and fairs hosted annually by Abu Dhabi.”

Al Askar has called on all companies in Abu Dhabi to register and reserve their domain names. To date, more than 550 names have been registered to the .abudhabi domain, and the number is growing daily.

 

Read more on Khaleej Times

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Did you have time to digest ICANN’s staff report on comments about the .com price hike? It was published yesterday. Today, Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) and ICANN agreed to the amendment as planned.

The agreement will allow Verisign to increase the price of .com domains by 7% per year in the last four years of each six-year extension. The first price increase would be allowed at the end of October 2020, but Verisign has already stated it won’t raise prices during this calendar year.

Verisign also agreed to pay ICANN an additional $4 million per year for five years beginning January 1, 2021.

 

Read More: Domain Name Wire

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Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, plans to open an infrastructure region in the UAE in the first half of 2022, it announced on May 26.

The new AWS Middle East (UAE) region will consist of three availability zones (data centers) and become AWS’s second region in the Middle East after Bahrain. It will enable local customers with data residency requirements to store their data in the UAE, while also providing even lower latency across the country. The new region will build upon AWS’s existing investment in the country, which includes two AWS Direct Connect locations and two Amazon CloudFront edge locations launched in 2018.

Organisations using this region will also be able to access advanced technologies from the suite of cloud services to drive innovation including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile services and more, a statement said.

The company aims to continue to build teams of skilled individuals to help customers transition to AWS. To foster entrepreneurship and the growth of new businesses in the UAE, AWS will be further expanding the AWS Activate programme to support the UAE’s startups and SMBs.

“We are excited to build on the great momentum of cloud adoption in the Middle East by providing more choice for customers in the UAE to run applications and store data locally,” said Peter DeSantis, senior vice president of global infrastructure, AWS. “The new AWS Region supports the UAE’s focus on promoting technology innovation that has made it a thriving global hub for entrepreneurs, e-governments, and multi-national businesses. With the new region, organizations of all sizes will be able to innovate faster and serve end-users with even lower latency across the region.”

 

Read more on Gulf Business

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The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority has announced its new brand identity, which is in line with the directives of the wise leadership represented in Decree No. (23) issued on September 27, 2020 to amend some provisions of the Decree Law No. (3) of 2003 regarding organization of telecommunications sector. The amendment includes addition of the “digital government” to the responsibilities and name of the Authority.

The new identity reflects the central role of the Authority in line with the orientation of the UAE over the next fifty years, which includes accelerating the pace of digital transformation in the UAE and shaping a future based on advanced technology supported by artificial intelligence, smart cities, and a knowledge-based society and economy.

The announcement was made in a virtual press conference held by the Authority in the presence of H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, leaders and employees of the Authority and media representatives.

The Authority had launched a series of brainstorming workshops and consultations to choose the new brand identity of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority. The new identity is aimed to have a set of well-established meanings such as trust, leadership, innovation and future foresight. At the same time, the identity is aimed to reflect simplicity and aspiration towards customer happiness. The new design came as a result of these internal consultations and activities, and as a summary of the meanings to be implied in the Authority’s orientations for the next phase.

On this occasion, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority said: “We are proud of the high confidence given by the wise leadership to the Authority by adding digital government to its name. We see this as a mandate we are honored to carry out, and as a challenge that we place at the top of our missions for the next phase. We insist on achieving success as we did in our previous tasks under the guidance of our wise leadership and with the support of the national teams in the authority and other government partners in digital transformation. We also depend on support of our ICT sector partners, who held the responsibility with us and contributed to the country’s leadership in ICT.

He added: “Today we launch the new identity of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, which expresses the Authority’s aspirations for the next 50 years. It is embodied in the investment of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and 5G potential for enabling digital government and achieving digital transformation. Digital transformation is now a strategic social and economic program aimed at facilitating people’s lives, and providing them with quick solutions and services around the clock.”

Ms Ahlam Al Feel, Director of the Authority’s Corporate Communications Department highlighted the implications of the new brand identity, saying: “We made the new brand ends with the letter A on purpose. It is the start of the English alphabet and it is the end goal for the UAE citizens whose final objective is always the 1st place.”

She added: “The Authority leadership wants to convey an important message by this brand: “We are inspired by our leaders to start from the dream and the vision. We write our story from the last chapter, and then we start the journey of implementation.”

The new logo of the authority is attractive and modern with a lot of prestige and power. It tells a visual color story that symbolizes communication and correlation. It reflects the image of optical fibers, and their impact on the advanced telecommunications sector.

The new logo clearly expresses the long-term future vision of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority. It is simply abbreviated as (TDRA). It easily pronounced in both Arabic and English.

 

Read the whole article at: TDRA

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Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investment company, on Monday announced that it will become an investor in Group42 (G42), an artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, via the integration of Injazat and Khazna Data Centres.

As a result of the transaction, Injazat, and Khazna – both nurtured over the past decade as part of Mubadala’s information, communications & technology portfolio – will become part of G42’s deepening technology capabilities.

Mubadala group CEO and managing director, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, said: “For Mubadala, this decision is consistent with our strategy of investing in next-generation technology companies that are poised for substantial growth. G42 is highly respected as a technology leader, with a broad portfolio covering major areas including healthcare, smart cities, analytics, and energy.”

Mubadala group CEO and managing director, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak

Al Mubarak added: “We incubated Khazna and Injazat and invested in them to become leaders in their field. G42 will benefit from their strong operational capabilities and complementary offerings.  With the outstanding talent this adds to G42, it will continue to break new ground across many key sectors.”

Peng Xiao, CEO of Group 42, said: “We are looking forward to the expertise Mubadala brings to our organisation, having founded and grown not only these two thriving companies, but also other complementary businesses.”

Injazat is a regional market leader for digital transformation, cloud and cyber security while Khazna provides organisations with dedicated commercial wholesale data centre solutions to meet the growing need for data centre operations in the UAE.

 

Read more: ArabianBusiness

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Millions of people all over the world browse the internet every day. They browse it by typing in something called a domain name into the address bar of the web browser. The browser and technology behind it then get you to the website you wanted. But how exactly do domain names work and what are they anyway?

What are domain names?

The simplest way to put it is: if your website is a house, a domain name is your address. A domain name is the address people type into the browser URL bar to get to your website. For example, for www.gulfbusiness.com, the domain name is gulfbusiness.com.

Although they might look identical, a domain name and a URL are two different things. The domain name is the actual name of the website, for instance, www.gulfbusiness.com, whereas a URL is the entire path of a website that leads you to a particular page like https://www.gulfbusiness.com/economy/.

Basically, the URL is the complete internet address used to locate a specific page and it includes the domain name.

The two most common types of domains are top-level domains (TLDs) and country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs). TLDs are well-known domain name extensions, like .com, .net, and .edu. Meanwhile, ccTLDs are country-specific domain name extensions, such as .uk or .fr.

Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which TLD it belongs to.

Choosing your domain name

When registering your domain name, it is important to choose a name that is unique, short, memorable, easy to remember and relates to your business with the matching keywords.

This, however, is challenging today since most of the “good” names are taken. Every supercar business wants to name their website supercars.com but by nature, domain names are unique and only one party can hold a name at a time.

This is where creativity and innovation come into place.

At the launch of the internet, only a few domain extensions existed such as .com and .net. And then came country level domains like .ae.

But the geographical connect can also be made extending the domain name by adding a keyword such as supercarsabudhabi.com.

In line with the trend of geographical names coming to this space, UAE capital Abu Dhabi has also recently introduced .abudhabi as a top-level domain name to drive the emirate’s global promotion, boost online business and bring more attention to the country.

Registering your domain name in the UAE

In the UAE, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is the regulatory body and registry operator for the .ae country code and .Emarat (Arabic) domain name.

You can register a domain ending with .ae or .Emarat (Arabic) from 22 accredited registrars as well as the two telecom operators, Etisalat and du.

Regarding the other top-level domains such as .com, you can choose from global and local registrar companies. Each top-level domain and country-code top-level domain is delegated to a registry, which is responsible for operating and setting all policies.

 

Read more on GulfBusiness

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One of the world’s most valuable companies just plumbed new depths in cybersquatting disputes.

Saudi Aramco, the $133 billion Saudi Arabian oil company, filed trademarks for a new brand called Orizon last year. Naturally, the company would like the domain Orizon.com.

But there’s a problem.

Orizon.com was registered in 1997 by Orizon Multimedia Inc. The company used the domain for its business but then shut down. Apparently, the owner of the business passed away last year.

So Saudi Aramco decided to file a cybersquatting complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to try to get the domain.

Here’s the thing: in order to win a UDRP case, a trademark holder must show that the domain was registered in bad faith when it was initially registered.

Clearly, the registrant did not register the domain in bad faith since he used it for his legitimate business. Oh, and he registered it more than two decades before Saudi Aramco decided to adopt it as a brand, so it wasn’t registered to target Saudi Aramco.

World Intellectual Property Organization panellist Nick Gardner correctly ruled that this isn’t a case of cybersquatting. He considered if it was reverse domain name hijacking but, ultimately, gave Saudi Aramco a pass. One of his reasons: since the domain owner is dead, he wasn’t burdened by Saudi Aramco’s filing.

 

Read more: Domain Name Wire

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The sale of a UAE internet domain name for Dh6 million (US$1.6m) to an unidentified horse enthusiast has been described as a landmark that has put the Emirates up with some of the highest domain prices in the world. The Ozone Group, an Indian-based technology company with an office in Dubai, ran an intensive advertising campaign to sell the right to use horse.ae, but without any associated website or hosting agreement.

The company invested around Dh1 million in advertising in newspapers and radio stations in the UAE, offering the domain name for Dh5m. The move generated a flurry of interest, including seven serious bidders which saw the price go up to Dh6m and the sale close a day before the original deadline of July 26. Munir Badr, a Dubai-based technology entrepreneur, said the sale of horse.ae far exceeded the previous highest known price for a .ae domain, putting the UAE’s country code on a par with the far more mature .com market. Registration and trade in .ae domain names was liberalised in August last year, when the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority took away Etisalat’s monopoly. The broad liberalisation of the national internet domain system aimed to “promote the widespread usage of the .ae branding on a global scale”.

Part of the changes allowed companies other than Etisalat to act as registrars of UAE web addresses. While the old system involved going along in person to an Etisalat office, along with stamped documents and passport copies, .ae domains can now be purchased online, with a credit card, in minutes. The .ae top-level domain has since been catching up with trends seen in the rest of the world, not just in huge prices for popular domain names but also with battles over intellectual property against people, dubbed “cybersquatters”, who register words and names, including trademarks, usually with a view to selling them at a profit to their “rightful” owners.

The companies behind Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins and Hardees restaurants all have cases pending at the UN-backed World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to gain control of .ae domains linked to their companies.

Public records of domain names such as dunkin-donuts.ae, Baskin-robbins.ae and Hardees.ae show they are registered in the name of Ali Abdelwahed. The WIPO has consistently sided with trademark holders in previous disputes, ordering that ebay.ae, yahoo.ae and SonyEricsson.ae all be forfeited by the individuals who had registered them and transferred to the companies holding the trademarks. But Emirates Airline failed in its bid for the WIPO to award it the Australian domain, emirates.com.au, ruling that emirates were a sufficiently generic word and that the owner, the West Australian company Bluecom Consulting Group, had a legitimate claim through a failed business venture marketed as Emirates Salt.

Mr Badr, speaking before the sale of horse.ae was confirmed, said the Dh5m asking price was a “ridiculous amount” but predicted that the figure would be met.

Once told of the Dh6m final sale price, he said it was easily the highest ever paid for a .ae domain name. “It’s a huge sum. This sale can’t be even compared to the recent two-character ad.com sale, which fetched just Dh5.1m,” he said.

The .com top-level domain had been popular since the 1990s, he said, while “the .ae, in its new format after aeDA (.ae Domain Administration) introduction in August 2008, is just about a year old. I think [.ae domain sales] still have five or more years to reach a good standard where the aftermarket sales are very high.” “This sale is a true record and stereotype breaker and will surely boost the .ae market and its publicity.” Mr Badr said generic names were still available although the more obvious ones had been registered after the .ae liberalisation last year.

 

Read more on The National

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The maps of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been updated using high-resolution images captured by KhalifaSat, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced on Tuesday.

The UAE’s first high-resolution satellite imaging system called ‘Mosaic’ pieced together individual digital images to create a single high-resolution picture of the UAE terrain.

According to MBRSC, Mosaic provides a comprehensive view of the UAE’s topography, using remote sensing systems, image processing, geographic information systems, and artificial intelligence.

The system is part of the MBRSC’s efforts to support federal and local government entities, research and academic institutions as well as the private sector in understanding the geography, topography, and environmental impacts of large areas in the UAE more accurately.

More on Gulfnews

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