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Dubai: If you are setting up an online business, creating a website that is well designed and functional can be extremely helpful in getting new customers on board.

But starting a website, and choosing a website address – also known as a domain name – can be difficult if you do not have the technical know-how.

According to Google Domains - the domain name registrar operated by Google - if you want to target and attract an audience in a particular area or country, having a domain name which is location specific can be helpful in making your website visible in search results. In the UAE, the ‘top-level domain’ is ‘.ae’. But what does a top-level domain mean? And, how can a ‘.ae’ domain name benefit your business? Here is all you need

What is the difference between .com and .ae?

According to the UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), ‘.com’, ‘.net’ and ‘.org’ are all generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) and they are open to internet users around the world.

On the other hand, ‘.ae’ is a country code top-level domain, which is specific to the UAE.

So, if you are a business based in the UAE, catering to a local market, a ‘.ae’ domain name would help you get to reach your target market more easily.

What is a ‘top-level domain’?
Simply put, the last part of your domain name or website address, which follows the last ‘dot’ of the address is referred to as the top-level domain name. Examples of top-level domain names are ‘.com’, ‘.net’ and ‘.org’

Who provides the .ae domain name?

TDRA is the official authority that oversees the use of the .ae domain name. The authority even set up a specific department - .aeDA - in 2007 as the Regulatory Body and Registry Operator for the .ae country code.

This department is responsible for setting and enforcing all policies related to the operation of the .ae country code.

Only .aeDA accredited registrars can sell .ae top-level domains.

According to, one of the accredited registrars in the UAE, the .aeDA department carefully oversees the accredited registrars, ensuring that they work to a high standard.

How do I obtain a .ae domain?

According to TDRA, these are the steps you should follow, if you would like to register a website with a .ae domain name:

1. Check if the domain name is available

You have the perfect name for your business’s website, but what if it is already taken? You can check the availability of a domain name by using the ‘Whois check’ by TDRA.

• Visit

• Select the ‘Whois Check’ service from the top panel.

• Type in the website address in the entry for ‘domain name’

• The checker will then simply provide you with a one-word response, depending on the status of the domain name - 'Available' or 'Not available'.

2. Sign up with an accredited registrar

As mentioned above, in order to get a .ae domain name, you would have to register your website with an accredited registrar in the UAE. There are over 20 accredited registrars listed on the aeDA website, including Etisalat, Du, Tasjeel and .aeServer. You can reach out to any of these registrars in order to set up your .ae web domain. You can find the list of registrars here:

To set up an account with the registrar, you would need to provide your personal details like your full name, email address and contact number.

TDRA provides the following advice that users should consider at this step:

Pay special attention to two things when providing your details:

1. Make sure that your name or your organisation’s name are provided as the Registrant.

It is the Registrant that controls the domain name. Only the Registrant can transfer a domain name, cancel a domain name or make someone else the registrant.

2. Make sure you give the right email address

The email address and administrative contact you provide must be of the person who can be reached. This is the information that will appear in the ‘Whois’ check, for your domain name. It is a good idea to use your own address as the technical contact's address.

3. Register the domain name

Once you have registered as a user, you will be able to register your domain name after making the payment. The cost will depend on which registrar you choose and the length of time for which you would like to register the domain name. According to TDRA, .ae domain name can be registered for a period of one to five years. However, depending on the type of domain name that you are requesting, it may take a few minutes before your .ae domain name is registered and provisioned on the Domain Name System (DNS).

4. Check your domain details on ‘Whois LookUp’

Once you have completed the registration process, TDRA advises users to check their details using the ‘Whois’ service -’ to confirm registrations and your details.

When you are on the website, you would need to select the ‘Whois Lookup’ section, which provides more details on a domain name, like the registratn’s name and contact information. If there is any missing information or the contact details are incorrect, you must inform the accredited registrar to make changes.