The Government of Dubai Media Office has announced the launch of the Arabic domain name of the website of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai.
The move follows a historic breakthrough after the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority won approval from the Internet Corporation Assigned for Names and Numbers (ICCAN) to use the internet domain in Arabic, placing the UAE among the first four countries in the world to register domain names in their official languages and not in Roman script.
Sheikh Mohammed's website can now be reached through either of the following addresses when typed in Arabic script: "sheikh-mohammed-bin-rashid.emarat" or "mohammed-bin-rashid.emarat", newswire WAM reported on Saturday.
The Government of Dubai Media Office said that this remarkable achievement reflects Sheikh Mohammed's keenness to promote the Arabic language, and reaffirms the UAE's deep-rooted Arab identity.
With a substantial increase in the number of internet users in the region, Arabic domain names will allow a greater audience of Arabs to access information online, WAM said.
Emphasising the importance of the Arabic language as a key symbol of national identity, the UAE government decided in March 2009 to authorise Arabic as the official language at all federal institutions and entities, it added.
Available in both Arabic and English, Sheikh Mohammed's official website is the leading source of news and information about his activities, with an archive of more than 30,000 articles, 18,000 photographs and 1,500 video clips.
The latest figures put the number of visitors to the site at about 85,000 per month, at a rate of 3,000 hits per day. Since its launch, the site has received 180,000 e-mails and over 7,000 visitors have left messages on the guestbook, according to WAM.
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