Dubai: You can now add .abudhabi and .dubai to your Internet lexicon. The internet regulator Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) on Wednesday took the wrapping off new domain names that will expand the internet beyond the existing domains, such as .com, .org and .net.

Both emirates have submitted their applications along with etisalat (.etisalat). Abu Dhabi and etisalat will also have Arabic version of their names as UAE organisations picked up 46 domains.

“It’s going to make the internet more approachable,” Icann’s CEO Rod Beckstrom told Gulf News from London via remote access.

Icann received 1,930 proposals for 1,410 different internet suffixes.

Companies will be able to keep their existing .com names.

The price to apply for a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) was $185,000, with an annual fee of $25,000, although experts estimate each name costs around $1 million to set up.

Icann expects the first batch of new gTLDs to be operational in the beginning of next year.


The Dubai-headquartered Directi Group has invested around $30 million (Dh110 million) for the application of 41 domain strings, which includes several generic and mass market names.

“We have invested significant resources to developing intelligent, responsible, secure and thorough proposals for what could serve as the foundation for this new era on the Internet,” said Bhavin Turakhia, founder and CEO of Directi Group. Top extensions on Directi’s list of applications include: .web, .bank, .loans, .insurance, .law, .shop, .app, .website, .click, .online, .music, .hotel .doctor, .baby and .shop.

However, those domains could still be challenged.

“The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposals. Someone can claim a trademark violation or argue that a proposed suffix is offensive. Companies and organisations will have seven-month objection period,” Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice-President of Icann, said.