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After nearly six months since the initial announcement that Internationalized Domain Names (IDN.IDN) for country codes was approved by ICANN’s board, ICANN staff notified the Internet community and the world that the first non-Latin character domains can be registered representing the domain name and top-level extension in three countries. The first IDN country-code top-level domains were inserted in the DNS root zone last week allowing them to be used for live Web sites.

The initial launch includes three countries, and their respective IDN ccTLDs are:

Egypt: مصر (Egypt)

Saudi Arabia: السعودية (AlSaudiah)

United Arab Emirates: امارات (Emarat)

While Arabic has now become the first non-Latin script to be used as an IDN ccTLD, we expect this to be the first of many languages that will be available for IDN.IDN domains.  To date ICANN has received a total of 21 requests for IDN ccTLD(s) representing 11 different languages.  ICANN has stated that 13 requests have successfully passed through the “String Evaluation” (the second stage of the process) and are nearly ready for the requesting country or territory to initiate the request for TLD Delegation (the final stage of the application process).