The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology ʺictQATARʺ a Qatari Government Organization, established in 2004 by a decree by the Emir of Qatar. ictQATAR is the government body responsible for setting ICT policy, Telecom Regulator Body. ictQATAR serves as Qatar Country Code Top... Read more
MISSION/PURPOSE OF THE .DOHA TLD The mission/purpose of the .doha TLD is to promote the city of Doha including its residents, culture, events, commerce, institutions and landmarks by creating a dedicated, authoritative online space for the exclusive use of entities affiliated with the State of... Read more
BENEFITS OF THE .DOHA TLD The four main beneficiaries who will gain advantage from the .doha TLD are: 1. Government-Affiliated Entities: including, but not limited to, government departments, Ministries and Supreme Councils of the State of Qatar. These entities will be granted the use of .doha... Read more
BENEFITS OF THE .DOHA TLD
The four main beneficiaries who will gain advantage from the .doha TLD are:
1. Government-Affiliated Entities: including, but not limited to, government departments, Ministries and Supreme Councils of the State of Qatar. These entities will be granted the use of .doha domain names related to their executive functions, to promote the city of Doha and its constituents. The .doha TLD will benefit government-affiliated entities by streamlining promotional efforts and leveraging off the TLD's unique online identity. The greater availability of desired domain names through the creation of the .doha TLD will provide these entities with the opportunity to promote Doha using shorter, succinct domain names, leading to more direct intuitive navigation. These benefits will facilitate the .doha TLD's function as the key promotional tool for government departments, ministries and Supreme Councils of the state of Qatar and allow these entities to promote the city of Doha as an ideal place to work and live, improving local investment and the economy.
2. Constituents of the City of Doha: including businesses, those operating landmarks and institutions, those managing events and residents of Doha. Despite not being able to register .doha domain names in their own right, constituents will benefit from the publication of all content through .doha domain names by government-affiliated entities, as such content will always, as mandated by registration and acceptable use policies, serve to promote Doha and its constituents. For example, the Qatar Museums Authority may be granted the use of museums.doha to promote Doha's museums. The constituents of Doha will thus benefit from the online identity created for them and may build this identity into their overall online marketing strategies. The elevation of the city of Doha onto the international stage through the .doha TLD will boost tourism and investment in local initiatives, while continuing to develop an innovative online market which will ultimately benefit the constituents of Doha.
3. ictQATAR will be the registry operator and the sole registrant for all domain names in the .doha TLD, complementing its existing function as the operator of the .qa and .qatar IDN ccTLDs. ictQATAR's mission will be facilitated by the establishment of the .doha TLD as integral to the development of Qatar through the use of information and communications technology (ICT). In addition, the .doha TLD will benefit ictQATAR by functioning as a long-term asset that will be developed in line with the needs of the city of Doha, as well as responding to the ever-changing Internet landscape.
4. Internet Users: the .doha TLD will benefit Internet users by granting them access to authoritative and reliable content, owing to the use of domain names being restricted to government-affiliated entities - the ultimate authorities on legitimate information on Doha. The creation of a single dedicated space to access all information relating to Doha will also provide ease of navigation to Internet users.
GOALS OF THE .DOHA TLD
The specific goals of the .doha TLD are described below, along with the method for their measurement and the benefits associated with each goal.
Reputation of the .doha TLD
Amongst government-affiliated entities, the first goal of the .doha TLD is it's recognition as the official, authoritative online space for promoting the city of Doha.
Amongst Internet users, the goal is that the .doha TLD be recognised as the official online platform for accessing authoritative content relating to Doha - the virtual location of Doha that will be accessible by Internet users around the globe.
Achievement of this goal will be measured by periodic audits, conducted by ictQATAR, which will assess whether the domain name is actually used by these affiliated entities (as evidenced by the publication of up-to-date content) and if so, whether the use complies with the .doha TLD acceptable use policy. Within three years of launching the .doha TLD, ictQATAR's goal is to see at least 75% of .doha domain names registered by ictQATAR for the use of affiliated entities being utilised by these entities as the official domain name to promote the city of Doha.
Furthermore, ictQATAR will conduct surveys on an ongoing basis on .doha sites and various social media sites to obtain feedback from visitors regarding the ease of finding information, the look and feel of sites, their ability to promote the city of Doha and its constituents and the likelihood of repeat visits. The results of these surveys will assist ictQATAR, in its first year of operations, to gauge initial reaction, awareness, reputation and usage of the TLD, to make minor re-adjustments to meet usersʹ expectations and interests.
Development of Legitimate Content Online
The second goal of the .doha TLD is that its introduction will advance the development of legitimate, accurate, up-to-date content which promotes the city of Doha online. It is anticipated that the exclusive use of domain names granted to affiliated entities (with an emphasis placed on their role as chief advocates for promoting the city of Doha) will encourage these entities to publish content online. ictQATAR's outreach and communications activities relating to the .doha TLD will focus on encouraging these entities to embrace the benefits of the .doha TLD by publishing legitimate online content which promotes the city of Doha.
ictQATAR considers that attaining the intended reputation and achieving this goal to be symbiotic; for this reason the methods described above to measure the attainment of the intended reputation and subsequent use of domain names will also be utilised to measure whether ictQATAR's goal of promoting the development of legitimate content promoting Doha online is achieved.
ANTICIPATED CONTRIBUTION TO THE CURRENT SPACE
The city of Doha has experienced exponential growth in population, investment and infrastructure over the last two decades and is now considered a global leader in innovation. This growth has translated into a significant expansion of Doha's diverse online presence which is diverse in relation to the TLDs used, the identity of the registrant and the subsequent legitimacy of content published.
While the .qa ccTLD provides an online space for the State of Qatar, it does not address concerns regarding the legitimacy of content, because the registration of domain names is not restricted to the entity that is the ultimate authority on published content. Furthermore, the .qa ccTLD is not restricted to hosting content which only promotes the city of Doha. The .doha TLD will provide a high level of differentiation from existing TLDs, primarily in relation to its unique mission/purpose. No other TLD currently exists that is specifically devoted to the promotion and needs of a single city. The TLD will consolidate Doha's online presence by being one of the first TLDs added to the root in which a city's image and the values of that image are clearly communicated by and through the TLD via authoritative channels. In addition, the unique vertical integration of the .doha TLD model will allow the .doha TLD to become one of the first TLDs added to the root in which domain names are not commercially available, but rather are registered only by and in the complete control of the Registry Operator through an ICANN accredited registrar. This will bring added benefits to the DNS in terms of preventing abuse and infringement, and increasing reliability and trust. The .doha TLD will contribute to the development of a new level of trust and confidence on the Internet.
The TLD will address the needs of government-affiliated entities who are concerned with the publication of inaccurate and illegitimate content and who wish to exclusively promote Doha and its constituents with authority. The .doha TLD similarly addresses the needs of Internet users by providing an easily identifiable and dedicated TLD with assurances regarding the legitimacy of content. Those providing unauthoritative information pertaining to the City of Doha will be easily identifiable by the unavailability to them of a .doha domain name. User experience within the .doha TLD will centre on maintaining a degree of uniformity of the underlying religious, cultural and moral values of constituents of the city of Doha.
The features of the .doha TLD, as described above, clearly differentiate the TLD from existing TLDs given the different needs that it serves to address.
Because the registration of domain names is restricted to ictQATAR, the .doha TLD will not be in direct competition with other TLDs for registrants. Nevertheless, the .doha TLD has a significant competitive advantage in terms of the unique value proposition to government-affiliated entities and Internet users. The clear points of differentiation of the .doha TLD described above will promote competition amongst existing TLDs by offering government-affiliated entities the use of domain names that are registered in a unique TLD environment.
The .doha TLD does not purport to be the sole TLD of choice for government-affiliated entities in the State of Qatar and will not be marketed as such. The requirement that all published content must promote Doha does not extend the TLD to address the needs of government-affiliated entities that do not relate to promoting the city of Doha with authority. As such, the .doha TLD will complement but not replace these entities' use of .qa domain names, thus serving a much broader purpose. Similarly, the .doha TLD will be recognised by Internet users as the dedicated, authoritative online space for the city of Doha, supported by marketing and outreach activities. This reputation will once again complement and not compete with the reputation established by the .qa ccTLD. The .doha TLD ultimately promotes competition by making available a unique TLD for Internet users, hence promoting consumer choice.
REGISTRATION POLICIES IN SUPPORT OF THE .DOHA TLD
The following restrictions apply on what domain name may be registered and who may register them. All domain name registrations in the .doha TLD will be registered to, and maintained by, ictQATAR for the exclusive use of ictQATAR and its Affiliates (as defined in Article 2.9(c) of the Registry Agreement). ictQATAR will not sell, distribute or transfer control or use of any registration in the TLD to any third party that is not an Affiliate of ictQATAR. Entities affiliated with the State of Qatar such as government departments, ministries and Supreme Councils of the State of Qatar are recognised as Affiliates of ictQATAR by virtue of these entities being under the common control of the Emir.
Each government-affiliated entity may be granted use of an associated .doha domain name to promote, the city of Doha. To facilitate the use of .doha domain names by government-affiliated entities, a representative of the relevant entity, responsible for the publication of content, will be delegated as the Technical Contact for the domain name. ictQATAR will remain as the Administrative Contact for all .doha domain names and will thus retain the highest level of control. To ensure this restriction on eligibility to register and use .doha domain names is adhered to, access permissions to the authenticated web portal (allowing for the registration and management of domain names in the .doha TLD) will be limited to the technical contact and the administrative contact. The safeguards that will be implemented against allowing for registrations in violation of this eligibility restriction are discussed in the response to question 28 - Abuse Prevention and Mitigation.
ictQATAR, while remaining as the single registrant, will register certain domain names for its own use in its capacity as:
- The registry operator for the .doha TLD.
- Qatar's independent and fair regulator of the telecommunications market.
- The government body that nurtures innovative technologies to benefit those who live and work in Qatar.
In addition, ictQATAR will register .doha domain names that fall within the executive functions of certain government-affiliated entities, as determined by ictQATAR in its sole discretion, for the use by those entities.
ictQATAR will maintain a list of words which it will not register in the .doha TLD. This list contains words that may:
- Violate public morality, or are contrary to public order, or are against a religion or a religious character.
- Deceive the public.
- Be prejudicial to the interest or security of the city of Doha and the State of Qatar.
In addition to restrictions on what domain name may be registered and who may register them, restrictions will also be imposed on how domain names may be used.
ictQATAR will only grant use of an associated .doha domain name to a government-affiliated entity by delegating the legal representative of the relevant entity as the technical contact for the .doha domain name. The identity and contact information of the delegated entity's legal representative will be determined and verified through established intergovernmental communication channels. ictQATAR, as the Administrative Contact, will ensure that:
- The publication of the content is within the executive functions of the government entity.
- The content complies with the acceptable use policy.
The content promotes the city of Doha and its constituents.
While other efforts may encourage the development of content to promote the city of Doha online, restricting eligibility to register domain names to ictQATAR ensures that the published content is, and remains, authoritative and legitimate. As the Administrative Contact, ictQATAR, retains ultimate control and responsibility for all .doha domain name registrations. This control by ictQATAR allows the .doha TLD to convey a consistent, official, undiluted message. The retainment of ultimate control facilitates the implementation of a cohesive marketing strategy and allows ictQATAR to promote the intended reputation of the .doha TLD.
Restricting the use of domain names to the scope of a government-affiliated entity's executive functions ensures the entity is capable of providing the most accurate, up-to-date and authoritative content pertaining to a constituent of Doha and is thus in the best position to promote that constituent. The resultant increase in authoritative content similarly promotes the attainment of the .doha TLD's intended reputation. The maintenance of a list of words that ictQATAR will not register ensures that the .doha TLD is operated in a manner consistent with the religious, cultural and moral values of the constituents of Doha. The operation of a globally-recognised, but regionally-significant, online space representative of the constituents' values allows for the accurate promotion of these constituents owing to an informed familiarity with their needs.
PROTECTION OF PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
Despite there being no legislation in Qatar that specifically relates to data protection and privacy, some protection exists in legislation governing specific industries. This protection is limited in nature, as the laws are not wide enough to cover information collected by companies, organisations and authorities outside of those industries. The telecommunications industry is one such industry in which consumer's data and privacy is protected. ictQATAR, as the country's independent and fair regulator of the telecommunications market is responsible for ensuring telecommunication service providers operate with "due regard for the privacy rights of their customers" under Article (52) of the Telecommunications Law. The service providers are required to protect information and any data related to customers or their communications. This Article also guards against the misuse of customer data by prohibiting service providers from collecting, using, retaining or advertising any customer information. ictQATAR will ensure that its operation of the .doha TLD complies with Article 52.
OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATIONS ACTIVITIES
The ictQATAR communications department has significant experience in implementing outreach and communications activities associated with the launch of a TLD in Qatar (.qatar(IDN) and .qa ccTLDs). The department will conduct a number of outreach and communications activities in relation to the .doha TLD. The objectives of these activities include:
- Generating awareness and demand of the .doha TLD amongst government-affiliated entities.
- Encouraging and increasing utilisation of .doha domain names by government-affiliated entities.
- Generating awareness and understanding of the unique focus of the .doha TLD amongst Internet users.
The following activities, targeted at government-affiliated entities and Internet users, will form part of ictQATAR's outreach and communications activities:
- The ictQATAR communications department will directly contact each of its established contacts within the government-affiliated entities to educate them on the focus, benefits and differentiation of the .doha TLD. Following this, ictQATAR will provide more detailed information regarding eligibility and allocation of .doha domain names to government affiliated entities during various government forums. These efforts will facilitate the demand and utilisation of .doha domain names by these entities.
- The ictQATAR communications department will issue press releases and conduct a press conference highlighting the introduction and the benefits of the .doha TLD to government-related affiliates, constituents of Doha and Internet users in general. Local Internet users and constituents of Doha will be targeted to ensure that the .doha TLD is recognised as the dedicated and authoritative space for the city of Doha.
- The ictQATAR communications department will similarly issue press releases and publish advertisements in various international publications and media outlets regarding the introduction and benefits of the .doha TLD. These efforts are targeted towards international Internet users and similarly promote the recognition of the .doha TLD as the dedicated and authoritative online space for the city of Doha. The ictQATAR communications department will incorporate the .doha TLD in its current social media marketing activities for the .qa ccTLD.
- The ictQATAR communications department will host a launch event for the .doha TLD. The event will include speakers from various government-affiliated entities and will focus on generating awareness amongst constituents and Internet users.
- ictQATAR will recruit high-profile Brand Advocates to deliver the .doha message with maximum cut through, effectiveness and impact. The chosen Brand Advocates will include known business identities, entertainment personalities or leaders within key Qatari industry.×
INTRODUCTION All domain name registrations in the .doha TLD will be registered to, and maintained by, ictQATAR for the exclusive use of ictQATAR and its Affiliates. ictQATAR will not distribute, or transfer control, or grant use of any registrations in the TLD to any third party that is its... Read more
We have engaged ARI Registry Services (ARI) to deliver services for this TLD. This response describes protection of geographic names as implemented by ARI. 1 PROTECTION OF GEOGRAPHIC NAMES In accordance with Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement, the registry operator must initially... Read more
We have engaged ARI Registry Services (ARI) to deliver services for this TLD. This response describes protection of geographic names as implemented by ARI.
1 PROTECTION OF GEOGRAPHIC NAMES
In accordance with Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement, the registry operator must initially reserve all geographic names at the second level, and at all other levels within the TLD at which the registry operator provides for registrations.
ARI supports this requirement by using the following internationally recognised lists to develop a comprehensive master list of all geographic names that are initially reserved:
- The 2-letter alpha-2 code of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list, including all reserved and unassigned codes [http://www.iso.org/iso/support/country_codes/iso_3166_code_lists/iso-3166-1_decoding_table.htm].
- The short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list, including the European Union, which is exceptionally reserved on the ISO 3166-1 List, and its scope extended in August 1999 to any application needing to represent the name European Union [http://www.iso.org/iso/support/country_codes/iso_3166_code_lists/iso-3166-1_decoding_table.htm#EU].
- The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Technical Reference Manual for the Standardisation of Geographical Names, Part III Names of Countries of the World. This lists the names of 193 independent States generally recognised by the international community in the language or languages used in an official capacity within each country and is current as of August 2006 [http://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/ungegn%20tech%20ref%20manual_M87_combined.pdf].
- The list of UN member states in six official UN languages prepared by the Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the standardisation of Geographical Names [http://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/UNGEGN/docs/9th-uncsgn-docs/econf/9th_UNCSGN_e-conf-98-89-add1.pdf].
Names on this reserved list in ARI's registry system are prevented from registration.
A corresponding list of geographic names will also be available to the public via the registry operators website, to inform Registrars and potential registrants of reserved names. The lists noted above, are regularly monitored for revisions, therefore the reserved list (both within the registry and publicly facing) will be continually updated to reflect any changes.
In addition to these requirements, ARI are able to support the wishes of the Governmental Advisory Council (GAC) or any individual Government in regard to the blocking of individual terms on a case by case basis. ARI's registry system allows such additions to be made by appropriately authorised staff, with no further system development changes required.
The following applies to all Domain Names contained within the registry's reserved list:
- Attempts to register listed Domain Names will be rejected.
- WhoIs queries for listed Domain Names will receive responses indicating their reserved status.
- Reserved geographic names will not appear in the TLD zone file.
- DNS queries for reserved domain names will result in an NXDOMAIN response.
2 PROCEDURES FOR RELEASE
We understand that if we wish to release the reserved names at a later date, this will require agreement from the relevant government/s or review by the GAC, and subsequent approval from ICANN.×