AEserver is Middle East’s Largest Domain Name Registrar & Web Host, based in Dubai. In this interview, Founder Munir Badr shares his company’s story and offers invaluable tips for any business seeking to establish an online presence in the UAE market.
Website Planet: Please describe the story behind AEserver.com?
Munir: This is a classic story of a startup that did not have a clear business plan or funding. I’ve always been curious about internet technologies so I just experimented with how websites work, how to register a domain name and how to get a web hosting account, and so on. Over the years, my curiosity developed into a business idea that revolved around local domain names. I discovered a very interesting niche market of local domain names in the United Arab Emirates, which is the AE country code top-level domain (ccTLD).
Back then, the registration process for domain names was manual. You had to print a PDF file, fill it out by hand, and then fax it to the registry along with credit card authorization. I was too young to even have a credit card, so I had to borrow my dad’s. The business came from the fact that only local residents or companies in the UAE were allowed to register AE domain names.
It was a time of economic boom of business abstraction and tourism, and lots of people from all over the world started targeting the UAE market. Internet marketers started looking at ways to build local websites and came to find that they cannot book an AE domain name while sitting at an office in the US, Europe, or anywhere else. They needed a local representative, and this is where we filled in the gap by serving as a local representative for domain registrations, and of course, we bundled it with our web hosting solutions.
In 2007, the UAE government decided to set up an independent regulatory body called the Telecommunication and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA). As part of that, they have a separate entity called the AE Domain Administration (aeDA), which initiated a registry-registrar model that is similar to what is done in most large economies. This meant that any company working online with domain names can apply to become an official registrar like us, get their accreditation, and start selling domains.
Up until that point, I was just a freelancer working from home. In 2008, I quickly set up a company with the most economic licensing option and a small office. We got the accreditation and we started selling domains and hosting services.
Fast forward, we turned into one of the largest domain registrars and web hosting providers in the UAE. We now register all domains, not just. AE ones, and we also operate as registrars in two more GCC countries – Qatar and Bahrain. According to our research & data, we are probably one of the largest registrar of QA domains as well, and we are very proud of that.
If you wish to know more about the world of hosting, need tips on growing your business, require help with the laws, or need that extra Motivation, you must read the complete interview. You can visit the entire interview click the below link.
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