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ICANN launches Arabic URLs: Rock the address bar

ICANN has launched three Arabic country codes, creating the first URLs to entirely do away with Latin characters

As-Salāmu 'Alaykum, Crave readers! Arabic today became the first non-Latin language to be used in URLs. Domain name regulators the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today launched the first country codes to fully do away with the letters and numbers English speakers are used to.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates now have their own national suffixes in Arabic script. Egypt switches to مصر from .eg. Egyptian companies TE Data, Vodafone Data and Link Registrar are the first companies to use the Arabic .masr domain -- Masr is Arabic for Egypt.

Saudi Arabia will now have السعودية as well as .sa. The UAE switches to امارات from .ae. The new URLs won't look right for everybody just yet, but will eventually lead to URLs written entirely in a country's native script, and even read from right to left. They should also work on mobile phone browsers, as pictured above.

Twenty-one countries have applied for their own non-Latin country codes, or country code top-level domains (CCTLDs). Chinese, Russian and Thai are on the way.

Image: ICANN