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FAQ

FAQ

What is a domain name?

How do domain names Work?

What domains are managed by the Qatar Domains Registry ?

What is an Internet domain name registry?

What is the Domain Name System (DNS)?

What is a Nameserver?

What is a Top Level Domain (TLD)?

What is a ccTLD?

What is a Registry, a Registrar and a Reseller?

How do I get my own domain name and start using it?

How can I check a domain name to see if it is available?

Can I register a domain name before I have a website or a hosting service arranged?

How long does it take to process a .qa domain name registration?

Is it possible for individuals or companies not located in Qatar to register a .qa domain?

I want to know who is the current owner of a specific .qa domain or find out if the domain names is available, how can I do that?

What can I do if the domain I would like to have is already registered by someone else?

What are the valid characters and valid lengths for domain names?

When Can I register an expired domain name?

What is a WHOIS listing?

How to transfer a domain name?

How to renew a domain name?

What is ICANN?

Domain name disputes – should this go under Registrants?

What is a Sunrise Period?

 

General Domain Questions

 

What is a domain name?

Domain names are the human-friendly forms of Internet addresses, and are commonly used to find web sites. For example, the domain name ictQATAR.qa is used to locate the ictQATAR website at IP address : 212.77.192.10. A domain name also forms the basis of other methods or applications on the Internet, such as file transfer (ftp) or email services.

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How do domain names work?

Registering a domain name does not automatically activate a website that displays when visitors enter your domain name into a Web browser. The domain name must have a hosted website that includes a numeric address, called an IP address, for visitors to access the website using your domain name.Your domain name and its associated IP address are stored in a common database along with every other domain and associated IP address that are accessible via the Internet.

When visitors enter your domain name into a web browser, the browser request uses your domain name to find the domain name's associated IP address and, therefore, the website. People use domain names instead of IP addresses because it is easier to remember a name rather than a series of numbers.

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What domains are managed by the Qatar Domains Registry ?

Qatar Domains Registry manages eleven distinct domains, five of which are offered through approved registrars and six of which must be obtained directly from the Qatar Domains Registry. Qatar is among the first countries to be able offer domain names in Arabic.

The Qatar domains available through approved registrars are: .qa, .com.qa, .net.qa, .name.qa and قطر. 

The domains that require direct registration from the Qatar Domains registry are .gov.qa, .mil.qa, .org.qa, edu.qa, .sch.qa. These domain names are dedicated for Qatar Government, Education, Military, Schools and not-for-profit organizations.

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What is an Internet domain name registry?

In order for the Internet to properly function and prevent duplicate domain names there has to be one authoritative place to register a domain name. Each Top Level Domain (TLD) has an authoritative registry, which manages a centralized database. The registry propagates the information about domain names and IP addresses in TLD zone files to enable communication over the Internet. A registry provides direct service to registrars who provide direct service to domain name registrants.

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What is the Domain Name System (DNS)?

The domain name system is essentially a global addressing system. It is the way that domain names are located and translated into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and vice versa. A domain name such as ictqatar.qa is a unique alias for an IP address (a number), which is an actual physical point on the Internet.

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What is a Nameserver?

Nameservers are the Internet's equivalent to phone books. A nameserver maintains a directory of domain names that match certain IP addresses (computers). The information from all the nameservers across the Internet is gathered in a central registry.

Nameservers make it possible for visitors to access your website using a familiar domain name, instead of having to remember a series of numbers.

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What is a Top Level Domain (TLD)?

A top-level domain (TLD) is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet. For all domains in lower levels, it is the last part of the domain name, that is, the last label of a fully qualified domain name. For example, in the domain name www.example.com, the top-level domain is com. Management of most top-level domains is delegated to responsible organizations by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which operates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and is in charge of maintaining the DNS root zone.

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What is a ccTLD?

A ccTLD is a country code top-level domain .QA is our country code top level domain for Qatar. Our ccTLD is administered independently by the regulatory authority department at ictQATAR. There are currently 252 ccTLDs reflected in the database of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

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What is a Registry, a Registrar, and a Reseller?

The Registry holds the database of all domain names registered in a top-level domain and operates the computers that make domain names visible on the internet. The Registry does not have direct contact with Registrants.

Registrars are certified by the Qatar Domains Registry to provide domain name registration services to potential and existing registrants. These services include domain name registration, transfer, cancellation, renewal and information updates. Registrars issue domain name license to Registrants. They decide whether or not your domain name application meets the policy rules.

Resellers buy domain names and manage domain name records for their customers through an interface with their registrar. Resellers do not have direct access to the registry system. Some Registrars use Resellers to provide customer sales and support. They are appointed by the Registrar.

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How do I get my own domain name and start using it?

To get your own domain name up and running, you will need to:

  • Register your domain name through one of the Qatar Domain Registry's accredited Registrars or their Resellers. 
  • Make arrangements for your domain name to get "hosted".  A hosting service provides a location for your web site. Your existing Internet Service Provider (ISP), other ISPs, or any "webhosting" service providers can host your domain name. There are chances that some Registrars or Resellers provide web hosting as part of their domain name service.
  •  Create your web page and set up your email addresses. You can do this yourself, or your Registrar, Reseller, ISP, or someone else can handle it for you.

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How can I check a domain name's availability?

By using our public WHOIS service you can check the status of an existing domain name, and find out whether a name is available for registration.

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Can I register a domain name before I have a website or a hosting service arranged?

Yes, you can register a domain name well before you have a website or a hosting service arranged.

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How much time does it take to process a .qa domain name registration?

Depending on the type of .qa domain name that you are registering, and your chosen Registrars systems, the information in our database is shared with the Internet's zone files worldwide once the Registry has been updated.

This sharing process is called 'propagation', because the new information about your domain spreads or propagates across the Internet. The zone files are propagated frequently, every day of the year. We cannot control the rate at which the millions of name servers on the Internet are updated, but generally your domain should be available to Internet users across the globe within a very short period.

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Is it possible for companies or individuals not located in Qatar to register a .qa domain?

Please read the Domain Name Registration Policy to know all the details regarding this.

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How do I find out who the current owner is of a specific .qa domain, or find out if the domain name is available?

You can check the status of an existing domain name, and find out whether a name is available for registration, by using our public WHOIS service.

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What do I do if the domain I would like to register is already registered by someone else?

Domain names are registered on a first come, first served basis. The Qatar Domains Registry have a Domain Name Eligibility Policy which defines the eligibility criteria for .qa domain names.

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What are the valid characters and valid lengths for domain names?

 

.qa domain names must:

  • Use the English character set and may contain letters (a-z), numbers (0-9) and dashes (-) or a combination of these;
  • Neither begin nor end with a dash; 
  • Have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 63 characters;
  • Not include a space. 
  • Not contain a dash in the third or fourth positions (www.xx- -yy.qa) 
  • Other conditions are outlined in the Domain Name Eligibility Policy which can be found on the Policy Page.

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When can I register an expired domain name?

Usually, a domain name is not available for re-registration as soon as it expires. Most registrars allow a grace period that can be as short as one or two weeks or as long as a year for registrants to renew expired domain names. The actual grace period can be different for each individual registrar and domain name extension. Please contact the registrar for more details on the actual grace period and to help you with further re-registration details.

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What is a WHOIS listing?

The WHOIS database is a repository of information associated with registered domain names and is available online. Domain name information like creation and expiration dates, the registrar of record, and its various contacts (administrative, technical, etc.) is stored in the WHOIS database. When you register a domain name, this information is recorded, per Internet Corporate of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regulations for domain name registrars. It's public information. The WHOIS information is available to anyone who does a WHOIS search for a particular domain name. All information entered in the WHOIS must be valid. If it is not, the domain name owner risks losing the registration.

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How do I transfer a domain name?

Domain name transfer is notated by the registrant responsibility to choose which accredited registrar will be contacted to initiate the domain transfer.

Please see Qatar Domain Registry's domain name Transfer as well as Renewal policies from the below links:

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How do I renew a domain name?

The Domain names renewal is managed by the domain names renewal process. 

For more information see Renew Your Domain Name in Current Registrants page.

Domain names are leased and used, not owned. An expired domain name will be deleted from the registry system after 1 month in the case of failure to renew the domain names.

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What is ICANN?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit corporation created on September 18, 1998, and incorporated in 1998 to oversee a number of internet-related tasks previously performed directly on behalf of the U.S. government by other organizations, notably the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

ICANN is responsible for managing the Internet Protocol address spaces (IPv4 and IPv6) and assignment of address blocks to regional Internet registries, for maintaining registries of Internet protocol identifiers, and for the management of the top-level domain name space (DNS root zone), which includes the operation of root nameservers.

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Domain name disputes – should this go under Registrants?

Domain names are a valued commodity and often disputes occur, especially disputes related to trademarks and intellectual property. href="http://www.domains.qa/en/policies" title= "Domains.qa">Domains.qa identifies the World Intellectual Property Organization “WIPO” Arbitration and Mediation Center, which is the global center specialized in Domain Names Dispute Resolution, as the provider of Domain Names Dispute Resolution.

If you have a dispute over a domain name, contact support@domains.qa.

You can view the dispute resolution policy and rules of procedures here.

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What is a Sunrise Period?

The term "Sunrise Period" refers to the period of time at the launch of a new top-level domain or second-level domain during which owners of trademarks may register a domain name containing the owned mark.In other words a "Sunrise Period" is the time at the launch of a new top level domain (TLD) before public domain registration for the TLD has begun, allowing brand/trademark owners (mainly companies) to register related domain names. The sunrise period may help brand/trademark owners avoid falling prey to domain grabbing or cybersquatting and possible legal disputes. After this time, domain registries normally work on a "first come, first served" basis for all registrants.

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