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Status: Withdrawn
Registry Provider: CoCCA
Type: Culture
Priority #: 553 - Ummah Digital Limited

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.ummah is a Brand TLD being proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant is Ummah Digital Limited.[1] The applicant had applied for financial assitance, meaning that its application depended on qualifying for $138,000 of waived application fees. ICANN's Support Application Review Panel concluded that the applicant did not meet the criteria for the program, and did not publicly specify its shortcomings. Thus, the application was excluded from continuing in the current New gTLD round and was refunded the $47,000 application fee they had submitted.[2]


Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) filed an objection against the TLD, an Arabic word meaning "community."[3]

Application Details

The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"A .ummah gTLD will help ICANN meets its important AoC commitment to ensure that the expansion of gTLDs has brings about competition, consumer trust and choice, as well will help mitigate risks involved in the program. In the first place, .ummah will provide the estimated 1.6 billion Muslims who form 20 percent of the world’s population with an identity hitherto unavailable on the Internet. The .ummah gTLD will finally provide Muslims and Islamic organizations a means to translate to the Internet, the Muslim identity that has been used since the birth of Islam about 1,400 years ago. Beyond that, .ummah will also provide a much-needed choice that will help them build their sense of community, and build bridges between the Islamic and non-Islamic world. Internet users will thus be able to find Islamic organizations, institutions, government agencies, businesses much easier with .ummah than without it. In the same vein, non-Islamic entities will find .ummah domain names an effective route to reaching their target audiences in the Islamic world.

The introduction of the .ummah gTLD will also introduce another important aspect of trust, and key AoC commitment in the new gTLD program, and that is the need for ICANN to reach out to developing countries. With only 49.4 million or less than 1 percent of the estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world are found in Europe and the Americas, with the rest being in many developing countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East (http:⁄⁄pewforum.org⁄uploadedFiles⁄Topics⁄Religious_Affiliation⁄Muslim⁄FutureGlobalMuslimPopulation-WebPDF-Feb10.pdf). As such, a .ummah gTLD that will serve Muslims and Islamic organizations will certainly help increase ICANN’s profile in these countries, increase their trust in the organization, and help strengthen relations between ICANN and these countries.

Why Ummah Digital? Ummah Digital Limited is a startup Gambian company created to apply for the .ummah gTLD and re-position the Islamic world to better participate in and exploit the emerging digital economy, and contribute to the progress of humanity at large. The company was co-founded by Dr. Katim S. Touray, an international development consultant and former ICANN Board member, along with investors from Singapore, and The Gambia.

Ummah Digital was co-founded by Dr. Touray the basis of experience he gained while on the ICANN board, and learning of the need for, and difficulties to get greater participation of developing countries in the Internet economy, and specifically the domain names industry. For this reason, Ummah Digital was incorporated in The Gambia, Dr. Touray’s home-country, and an African developing country with a majority-Muslim population that exists harmoniously with their non-Islamic fellow citizens. The country is also a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and classified by the UN (http:⁄⁄www.itu.int⁄ITU-D⁄ldc⁄who.htm) as a Least Developing Country (LDC).

The Gambia thus provides a model in building bridges between the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds, as the .ummah gTLD is aimed at being. In the same vein, the country is a developing country with significant technological and infrastructure challenges, and hence, devoid of a company that is a player in the domain names industry. Against, this background, Ummah Digital aims to become one of the first African companies to become a registry operator, through a partnership with investors from Singapore. This approach is especially welcome in the context of a new thinking in international development cooperation based on South-South partnership. For this reason, Ummah Digital is a model of partnership between emerging and developing economies. Although based in The Gambia, Ummah Digital will seek additional investors and partners from other countries, especially Islamic countries to provide better services to the global Islamic world.


As mentioned above, the primary goal of the .ummah gTLD is to help build a strong Isamic identity on the Internet, and build bridges between Islamic and non-Islamic worlds. Toward this end, Ummah Digital will require that the content of Web sites under the .ummah gTLD must be sensitive to Islamic values and norms, involve or abet criminal activity, and⁄or promote hatred or violence and terrorism in any form.

Ummah Digital recognizes that it cannot, and is not responsible for determining the faithfulness of registrants to Islam. However, registrants of .ummah domain names will be required to provide identification details, as detailed in the agreement they will need to sign before their domain names are registered."[4]