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IDNs in Arab States

Following the deployment of IDNs in Arab States

IDNs enabling the next generation of Internet users

Arabic script is used across by one billion people across multiple languages, and the Arabic language itself is used by around 422 million speakers. Despite this, uptake of domain names in Arab States generally has been limited, and uptake of IDNs even more so.

Technical communities across Arabic script languages have been working diligently to standardize the encoding of Arabic characters in domain name labels and registries. Arab States have been deeply involved in furthering Universal Acceptance initiatives, particularly in email.

As a right-to-left writing system, Arabic is an example of the challenges of mixed script domain names, which can become bi-directional, and confusing for users. The implementation of IDNs at the top level is particularly important for right-to-left scripts.

In our 2014 World Report on IDNs, we looked at ICANN’s Task Force on Arabic script IDNs - an initiative of the Middle East Strategy Working Group.

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