Registrars Can Now Apply For Accreditation To Offer .SA Domain Names [updated]

Saudi Arabia is moving from the current allocation of domain names directly from the registry to the more common registry/registrar model.

The change was announced in February when the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) updated the ‘Saudi Domain Name Registration Regulation’ which is described as one of the most efficient practices in the domain name industry.

This month the CITC launched the first application phase of accrediting registrars for domain names for the Saudi Arabia country code top-level domain (ccTLD). In phase one registrars must be Saudi Arabian entities. This will give entities from the private sector the chance to obtain accreditation as an official Registrar to provide .sa domain name registration services in the Kingdom.

The CITC invites all those who wish to obtain accreditation as a Registrar to fulfill the regulatory requirements described in the official website of SaudiNIC (nic.sa) and to submit their request using the form designated for that during the application period from (10-18-1441H – 10/6-2020 AD) until (12-1-1442 AH – 8-31-2020 AD).

To apply for accreditation in the first phase the following eligibility criteria must be fulfilled:

  1. The applicant must be an entity officially registered in Saudi Arabia.
  2. The applicant must be licensed or registered with CITC to provide either ISP or cloud services. The issue date of the license or registration must be before 10/6/2020.

The regulation includes a set of administrative and regulatory requirements, among them: the applicant must provide a detailed proposal explaining the technical plan for interfacing with the registration systems, the mechanism for providing registration services to the end-user, the marketing plan for Registration services, the technical support services, in addition to fulfilling the technical requirements. CITC has ensured that all registration services are provided by accredited Registrars and to all registrants with the same terms and conditions; this contributes to providing a competitive environment characterised by the highest standards of fairness and transparency.

The adoption of Registrars will allow a one stop shop where domain registration services are able to be bundled with various other add-on services (e.g. hosting, email, and other important services). Additionally, registrants will get 24 hour customer care as well as there will be marketing to Saudi domain locally and internationally.

Note: this article was updated on 21/6 following a clarification by Bashar Al-Abdulhadi to note that only Saudi Arabian entities are entitled to apply to act as a registrar in phase one.

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