Doha, April 10, 2016: The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) officially announced on its website and several media outlets, including newspapers, Qatar Radio and Rayaan TV about its plans to launch ".doha" as a new top-level domain (TLD) for eligible entities and organizations in Doha to register their domains. This comes as part of CRA’s strategy to foster the development of Qatar’s domain extensions as a key public resource, by providing stable, secure, and trusted domain name services, as a priority in helping shape Qatar’s role in the digital economy. The CRA also encouraged local businesses to register their domains with “.qa” and ”قطر.”, to protect their digital identities in the web and to promote their businesses and online presence.
“Qatar Domains Registry (QDR), an initiative under CRA, has registered 20,591 domains since its launch in 2011,” said Faisal Al-Shuaibi, CRA’s spokesperson. “After facilitating the steady growth in its domain volumes, QDR is now on a fast track to make .doha the dot capital of Qatar on the internet world map. Strategic initiatives in Qatar can have a web address ending in .doha as a unique alternative to the traditional .qa,” he added.
The successful delegation of the geographic TLD ‘.doha’ by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), in March 2015, came as a good news for Qatar Domains Registry as it will help raise greater awareness for all TLDs. In fact, one of the reasons new TLDs were originally introduced by ICANN was to offer registrants greater availability in domain name choice.
With the onset of new TLDs being released in the market the dynamic scenario in the domain name world has opened up newer challenges for Registry Operators and for Registrars across the world. However, with every challenge there are even bigger opportunities, precisely why Qatar Domains Registry has witnessed a steady increase in the number of Registrars willing to expand their portfolio of offerings to their diverse customer base. 5 out of the total of 17 Registrars that the Registry has accredited are based in Qatar and few more have approached to get accredited to realize the potential of offering geographic TLDs. Meanwhile, international Registrars are taking leverage of their customer base to register the domains for those wanting to secure their trademarks and brand names in the new extensions. An updated list of the Qatar Domains Registry’s accredited registrars is available at this link
Qatar-specific domains provides businesses and individual users with a means of differentiating themselves as distinctly Qatari and also of getting noticed in search engines and country-specific directories, all of which can help target both local and global audiences. Likewise, the new city domain extension opens up a range of new opportunities for our local minds to innovate by securing a unique online space fundamentally associated with Doha.