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ICANN Releases a Study on the Digital Economy in the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey in the Run-Up to ICANN60

Istanbul, Turkey…The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) is pleased to announce the release of a study on the status of the regional digital economy, titled “Accelerating the Digital Economy in the Middle East, North Africa, & Turkey” [PDF, 422 KB]. Commissioned by ICANN, the study identifies the dynamics of the current digital economy and recommends points of development in the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey (MENAT). ICANN had commissioned a similar study in 2014 with the same aim in a international context: “Greasing the Wheels of the Digital Economy” [PDF, 983 KB].

This study serves as part of ICANN’s efforts to foster engagement between ICANN & the broader Internet community, and to help build a strong & competitive domain name industry in the region. The study focuses on 410 million people living in 15 countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, & the UAE. It tackles issues such as social media usage, content in local language, Internet connectivity, Internet start-ups, e-friction and legislations in the Internet sphere.

“ICANN commissioned the study to investigate the current status of the digital economy in the MENAT region & to outline the opportunities of growth in various areas, including the domain name market, that can help us make better use of the digital potential in the region,” said Baher Esmat, ICANN’s VP of Worldwide Stakeholder Engagement in the Middle East. He further added “We presume the recommendations that derive from this study provide a guide for policy makers and businesses to nurture digital transformation in the region.”

The findings of the study indicate that there is a need for governments to lead by supporting long-term efforts in four areas:

  • Provision of ubiquitous, affordable connectivity
  • Availability of relevant content
  • Building of digital capabilities
  • Establishment of supportive policies & practices

It concludes that in order to enhance the digital economy of MENAT, a collective effort by all stakeholders, from public to private sector, is required.

The study will be discussed in the upcoming ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Remote participants will be able to join this discussion here.

To read the study click here [PDF, 422 KB].

To read David Dean’s blog on the study, click here.

For your questions & feedback, please email

Media Contacts:

Luna Madi
Communications Director, EMEA
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 533 0313505

Buket Coskuner
Global Communications Coordinator, EMEA
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 533 4876254

About ICANN:

ICANN’s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified intercontinental Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address into your computer or other device – a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate & support these unique identifiers across the intercontinental. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation & a community with participants from all over the world. For more information, please visit:


Updated: October 10, 2017 — 5:00 am

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