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TRA Launches ICANN’s 60th Public Meeting
(30 October 2017)

 

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has officially opened the activities of the 60th International Public Meeting (ICANN60) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today Monday 30 October 2017, in the presence of highly recognized officials, specialists and stakeholders at the global level.

The meeting, which is hosted by TRA and started in Abu Dhabi last Saturday, took place in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), and lasts until 3 November 2017. The meeting provides a platform for developing policies and procedures of Domain Name System (DNS), which supports the country’s efforts in transitioning to the future, internet of things, knowledge economy, future foresight of internet, as well as supporting the UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

The meeting confirms the global leading role of the UAE in the ICT sector, as well as the international community’s confidence in the UAE and its ability to organize and host international activities and events. The meeting is also of a great importance to TRA as the regulatory entity of the ICT sector in the UAE, and it supports its efforts in developing a fair regulatory environment for ICT sectors, to enhance competitiveness and sustainability, in addition to the key role of the Internet in achieving the UAE’s strategy and policies for the future.

H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, welcomed the attendees, and expressed TRA’s pleasure to host ICANN60 meeting, in the presence of international experts in DNS, to discuss policies and exchange views with international partners, to reach best practices and applied procedures in the ICT sector, and to effectively contribute to serving communities. 

H.E. Al Mansoori said: ‘The internet has evolved enormously in recent years, but today’s rapid changes on the global level require us to look at things with greater vigilance and seriousness. The internet itself is witnessing a historic leap between two times: the time of internet of human, and the time of internet of things.  According to latest assessments, the number of ‘things’ connected to the internet today exceeds 8.4 billion devices. This number is expected to reach more than 20 billion devices in 2020, which poses new challenges to power of data transfer to meet modern requirements.’

H.E. Al Mansoori confirmed that: ‘In the UAE, we have foreseen the importance of Internet. In 1999, less than one year after the foundation of ICANN, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, launched the first internet city in the region, with the task of keeping abreast of developments, foreseeing the digital future, and making the UAE a regional hub for ICT. While some people speculated the feasibility of this project, the digital technology and internet companies were eager to build their businesses in the UAE, using available incentives, most notably the wise leadership support and the advanced ICT infrastructure, particularly the internet.’

The TRA, as the event host, organizes a workshop entitled ‘The Middle East’ on the sidelines of ICANN60, to discuss the reality and policies of DNS in the Middle East, as well as the importance of internet in achieving development goals in the countries of the region.

ICANN general meetings provide a platform for agreement on International DNS policies and procedures, as well as providing opportunity for business and acquaintance on the meeting sidelines. The ICANN 60 meeting allows stakeholders in the region to better understand ICANN’s work, enabling them to have a greater contribute to shaping the future of the internet.   

The meeting will gather diverse international stakeholders from governments, civil society, NGOs, research institutions, technical communities and others, to share experiences and perspectives on the latest developments in the field of internet domains. The sessions will allow discussions on a wide range of topics related to internet as well as DNS policies.

ICANN’s mission is to help creating a stable, secure, and unified global internet network. It coordinates and supports the global internet system of unique identifiers (DNS). ICANN, which was established in 1998, is a non-profit public benefit company with participants from all over the world.

Furthermore, the UAE has made great achievements in terms of global leadership in the field of ICT. The UAE is ranked first globally in the rate of smart phones use, compared to the number of population. Additionally, the rate of smart phones connected to the internet out of the total registered phones on the UAE networks reached 81.5% according to mid-2017 statistics.

At the governmental level, the UAE is now ranked eighth globally in reading the Online Services Index (OSI) according to the UN eGovernment Survey 2016, and the 7th globally in eParticipation according to the Japanese report ‘WASEDA’ for 2017. Moreover, at the end of 2015, the rate of smart transformation of government prioritized services reached 96% in the UAE.

The UAE is making significant achievements in the transition toward the knowledge economy, the latest of which was the launch of the UAE Centennial with the UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy, and the direction towards the era of the bid data and the internet of things. This would challenge the strength and efficiency of the internet to meet the new requirements, as the volume of data produced by humanity in the last few years is equal to what man has produced since the Stone Age. Nevertheless, the amount of existing data will double in 2020.

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