Dot AE vs. dot COM?

This is a necessities for every organization, company, or institution in the region to have its own website. Be it a small mid cap firm or a big business house with an annual turnover in millions of dirhams, having a website is a must for everyone. Some of those who did not have one till now are either in denial, or under the process of building one.
But before building a functional website, the first step is to book a domain in one’s name. And, a company in the region would naturally want to have a domain denoting its geographical location. Most organizations in this region are therefore have started opting for local domain extension such as ‘.ae’, ‘.sa’, ‘.om’, ‘.qa’, etc. This is taken as a representative of the firm’s country.

These nationalized domain names and their localized extensions like .ae denoting United Arab Emirates are referred to as ccTLD standing for ‘country code top level domain.’

Advantages Of .ae Extension
There are a lot of advantages of opting for a local domain. Some of which include:

  1. The localized extensions of the domain names confer a more professional look to a business house and / or a company.
  2. It would also demonstrate the organization’s commitment to its target audiences.
  3. A company located in UAE would definitely target the local market. A local extensionwould maximize the online visibility of the company.

Thus .ae domain may serve as a good opportunity for a business man, a local company, and/or international institution to attract clientele in United Arab Emirates. Not only this, but registering for .ae extension would also seem more proximal to the residents of the UAE. Such domains would also attract the attention of the advertisers. For the advertisements of local products or services can find no better place than these websites.

Advantages Of .com Domain Name
This has been observed over and over again that anyone wanting to make a website on any topic would always seek a .com version of domain names.
And the only reason for this is that .com has become more popular, being the very first version of domain name. It is a common practice among internet users nowadays to suffix .com after every search they type in the address bar.

Maggie, a popular FMCG product was the first ever food item that could be cooked in less than 5 minutes. Its taste and ease to prepare naturally attracted consumers and it became extremely popular with in no time. Thereafter, a lot of companies launched such easy to cook noodles but no brand name could enable the users to distinguish it from Maggie. For the masses, all easy to cook noodles became MAGGIE.

Similarly, the .com domain name also gained a widespread popularity owing to its first impression among the internet friendly people. It was way later that they realized domain names can be very location specific.

.ae versus .com or .net
From a marketing and branding standpoint for a business, .ae domains would definitely be much better for companies and institutions based in the UAE. Here are some reasons for the same –

  • Size Matters: A golden rule in the world of internet is that size of a domain name does matter. The smaller the name, the better it is so it will be easy to be remember, easy to brand, and rules out the possibilities of typos, and so, on.
  • Enhanced Relativity To Local Businesses

Just like the related keywords enhance search engine rankings, similarly .ae domain could be able to help the consumer relate to the firm.

Recent News
As reported in the month of October, 2009, the registrations of .ae domains have observed a 30 percent hike. The telecom regulators reported that most of these registrations took place from Dubai.

In a recent discussion, the Telecommunication Regulation Authority officials told Emirates Business that the former believes this growth to have been caused by a new policy framework thereby putting an end to a sheer non-monopolistic environment prevalent amongst the registrars.

“In the period [August 2008 to August 2009], the number of new registrations increased by 30 per cent compared to the corresponding period the year before. There are more registrars [no monopoly] providing .ae domain name registration. Customers have the choice to select their registrar as competition leads to better service. The registration process brought online has also made it easier,” said TRA.
As a result, even the ccTLDs for Mid East countries also rose globally by 14 percent during 2009’s second quarter. And this growth is over 74.4 million extensions of various domain names.

Registrations Regulations For .ae Extensions
Registrations for the local domain names are only allowed at the second or third level at the unrestricted or restricted zones respectively. In the years 1995 to 2003, commercial entities used to use ‘.co.ae’ extension which was thereon denigrated by UAEnic in the latter year. The authority preferred the use of second-level registrations for all sorts of commercial usage.

The existing domains with such extensions were however permitted to be retained at the sole discretion of the user.

It was five years later, in 2008, that the .ae extension got re-delegated to TRA. Following this, new policies were published by the .aeDA. The policy entailed that ‘.co.ae’ extension was only introduced for the commercial companies operating at the local levels. Moreover, it also implied that this extension is related to the name of the business and is known to the clientele too.

Following is a list of extensions that denote the organizations who can get them registered –
.ae – All types of companies and business organizations
.co.ae – Companies already having a website under the said extension
.net.ae – Available only for the network providers
.gov.ae – Can be registered by the ministers or the government only, and so on

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