View the Middle East DNS Forum 2019 Agenda

Draft Agenda | 20-21 February 2019 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates


8:00 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 10:30 Opening Ceremony Speakers:

  • H.E. Hamad Al Mansoori | Director General, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, UAE
  • Cherine Chalaby | Chair of the Board of Directors, ICANN
  • Ai-Chin Lu | Chair of the Board, APTLD
  • Paul Rendek | Director, External Relations, RIPE NCC
10:30 – 11:15 Coffee Break and Group Picture
11:15 – 12:45 GDPR: Tales Not to Be Told by the Fireplace [Panel] General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has now become an important part of the operational reality in the domain name industry. Over the past several months, the ICANN community has been working hard to ensure the continued access to domain registration data (WHOIS) in a way that is compliant with GDPR. Discussions around administrative, legal and operational effects of the GDPR on generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) and country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) will take place.

Moderator: Alister Paterson | Head of Government Affairs and Strategic Adviser, auDA


  • Andi Budimansyah | Chairman, PANDI (.ID ccTLD)
  • Elena Plexida | Senior Director, Government Engagement, ICANN
  • Emily Taylor | Director, Netistrar Ltd.
  • Raedene McGary | Director of Legal and Policy, CentralNIC Group PLC
  • Stephen Deerhake | CEO, GDNS Technologies (.AS ccTLD)
12:45 – 13:00 Talk by Etisalat [Talk] TBD
Presenter: TBD
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 14:15 Welcoming Remarks to the ME DNS Forum 2019 [Talk] An overview of the Middle East and Africa Regional Office in Istanbul’s services to the region; with highlights on activities in the region over the past five years.

Presenter: Nick Tomasso | Vice-President of Global Meeting Operations and Managing Director for Middle East and Africa, ICANN

14:15 – 15:30 New gTLDs Future Rounds [Panel] Since the launch of the New generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program in 2012, over 1200 new top-level domains have been introduced. The ICANN community has been reviewing the policy recommendations related to the new gTLDs to improve the program and prepare for a potential next round. The session will explore the outcomes of the ongoing policy efforts, and shed light on the policy aspects of specific interest to the Middle East.

Moderator: Rafik Dammak | Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council Vice-Chair, ICANN

  • Amr Elsadr | Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group, GNSO
  • Caitlin Tubergen | Policy Senior Manager – GNSO, ICANN
  • Mert Saka | Registry Engagement and Outreach Manager, ICANN
  • Mohammad Zeidan | General Manager, Neustar MENA
15:30 – 16:15 Talk by GSMA: Era of 5G [Talk] The session will talk about the commercial launch of 5G networks in 2019 and the implications for different economic verticals. It will include an overview of the current state of the industry, IoT outlook, implications for smart cities as well as identity and commerce.

Presenter: Jawad Abbassi | Head of MENA, GSMA

16:15-17:45 Internationalized Domain Names and their Universal Acceptance [Panel Discussion] The session will start with a presentation on the findings of the UNESCO internationalized Domain Name (IDN) World Report 2018 – It will then discuss the status and challenges of enabling and using IDNs, with a focus on the domain names and email addresses in Arabic script. The panelists will cover the community work towards developing standards to make IDNs secure, enabling their variant labels to promote international access, and encouraging their universal acceptance across different platforms and applications to promote their wider use. Panelists will also discuss how the wider community can contribute to the ongoing work in this area.

Moderator: Sarmad Hussain | Director of IDN Programs, ICANN

UNESCO Report Presenters:

  • Emily Taylor | Director, Netistrar Ltd.
  • Emily Taylor | Director, Netistrar Ltd.


  • Abdelmonim Galilla | Deputy Manager, dotMasr Registry, Egypt
  • Nitin Walia | Director, Data Xgen Technologies
  • Raed Alfayez | General Manager of Internet Services, Communications and Media Commission KSA
18:30 – 19:00 Leave for the Gala Dinner
19:00 – 22:00 Gala Dinner


8:00 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 10:00 Domain Name Market in the UAE [Panel] The session will look at the domain name marketplace in the United Arab Emirates, and will cover experiences shared by the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) and IDN ccTLD registry, registrars and resellers of both national TLDs, and other players.

Moderator: Baher Esmat | VP, Global Stakeholder Engagement, Middle East, ICANN

Presenters: Abdulrahman Almarzooqi | Manager, Internet Advancement, TRA UAE

10:00 – 10:10 Technical Break
10:10 – 10:30 Protecting your Domain Name [Talk] TBD

Presenter: Fahd Batayneh | Manager, Global Stakeholder Engagement, Middle East. ICANN

10:30 – 10:50 Dealing with Complaints: ICANN Compliance Perspective [Talk] This session will focus on the highest volume of complaints received by ICANN Contractual Compliance such as, Transfer, Domain Deletion (Domain Suspended for non-response to WHOIS Inquiry) and Domain Renewal. The objective is to describe the content of complaints falling in the ICANN’s contractual scope and explains on how to prevent and address issues related to domain name management.

Presenter: Seher Sagiroglu Ayhan| Contractual Compliance Specialist, ICANN

10:50 – 11:10 ICANN’s Registrant Program [Talk] The ICANN Registrant Program has two primary objectives: 1) educating registrants about their rights and responsibilities, the domain name ecosystem and how to navigate it, and the ICANN policies that impact them and, 2) identifying and raising awareness about issues and challenges that registrants are facing. To this end, the ICANN organization (ICANN org) is publishing semi-annual reports aimed at providing quantitative data to inform community discussions and collaborations. This inaugural report provides data from the ICANN Global Support Center (GSC), ICANN Contractual Compliance and some observations from the ICANN Complaints Office.

Presenter: Mukesh Chulani | Senior Manager, Registrar Services and Engagement, ICANN

11:10 – 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 – 12:30 DNS Operations, Security, and Privacy [Panel] This session will look at DNSSEC and its importance; sharing perspectives from the global level, Asia Pacific (APAC) regional level, and the Middle Eastern level. It will also, look at the recent Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover, and the new security and privacy protocols being devised for the DNS; namely DNS over Transport Layer Security (TLS) (DoT), DNS over Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) (DoH), and DNS Privacy (DPrive).
Moderator: Massimiliano Stucchi | Program Manager, IPv6, RIPE NCCPresenters:

  • Patrick Jones | Senior Director, Global Stakeholder Engagement, ICANN
  • Mohamed Alomran | DNS Engineer, TRA UAE


12:30 – 13:00 Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) [Talk] An overview of ICANN Org’s Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) project will be presented. DAAR is a system for studying and reporting on domain name registration and security threat (domain abuse) behaviors across the top-level domain (TLD) registries and registrars. It aims to report security threats to the ICANN community, which can then use the data to facilitate informed policy discussions.

Presenter: Samaneh Tajalizadehkhoob | Lead Security, Stability and Resiliency Specialist, ICANN

13:00- 13:30 Domain Name Business Talk [Talk] TBD

Presenter: Joe Alagna | Director, Business Development, Afilias

13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30-15:30 Emerging Trends in DNS [Panel] Blockchain technology represents an innovation that is poised to disrupt several industries, from commercial transactions to real estate to patient data. DNS is emerging as a way to integrate blockchain applications with the existing internet. The following applications will be reviewed:

  • Integration of Blockchain and digital wallets for virtual currencies
  • Decentralized DNS for greater security and anonymity
  • Internet of Things
  • Geofence applications for drones, airports and ecommerce
  • The case

Moderator: Tom Barrett | CEO, EnCirca Inc.


  • Alexei Popov | Registrar Partnerships, dotART Registry


15:30-15:40 Coffee Break
15:40 – 16:40 Security in IPv6-Enabled TLDs [Panel] Today more and more registries have deployed IPv6 on their infrastructure. This session will discuss how to properly build your registry to support both IPv4 and IPv6. It will cover Route Origin Authorizations (ROAs) and Internet Routing Registry (IRR), monitoring for IPv6, IPv6 DDoS protection, and getting proper IPv6 connectivity.

Moderator: Hisham Ibrahim | Manager, Technical Services, RIPE NCC

Panelists: TBD

16:40 – 17:00 Taking Stock and Concluding Remarks


We would like to express our gratitude to members of the Middle East DNS Forum Program Committee (PC) for working on the agenda, and for their valuable contributions along the way.