View the Middle East DNS Forum 2019 Agenda


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





8:00 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 10:30 Opening Ceremony Master of Ceremony: Baher Esmat | VP, Global Stakeholder Engagement, Middle East, ICANN


  • 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
  • Chris Buckridge | Manager, 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. | View Slides
  • Raedene McGary | Director of Legal and Policy, CentralNIC Group PLC
  • Stephen Deerhake | CEO, GDNS Technologies (.AS ccTLD)
12:45 – 13:00 Talk by Etisalat: Telco as your DNS Security Partner [Talk] This talk will aim to cover threats, attack vectors and role of an ISP in safeguarding the society. DNS security right from traditional Enterprise, SMB’s, Government’s networks to next generation smart networks such as Smart City’s, Connected Cars, Smart meters, IOT and Cloud, etc.

Presenter: Imran Bulan Khan | Digital Security Architect, Etisalat, UAE | View Slides

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 | View Slides
  • Julie Hedlund | Policy Director, SSAC Support and GNSO, ICANN | View Slides
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 – 16:15 Talk by GSMA: Era of 5G [Talk] An overview of the current state of the industry, 5G deployment, IoT outlook, and the implications for different economic verticals, smart cities and commerce.

Presenter: Jawad Abbassi | Head of MENA, GSMA | View Slides

16:15 –17:45 Internationalized Domain Names and their Universal Acceptance [Panel] 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 | View Slides

UNESCO Report Presenters:

  • Emily Taylor | Director, Netistrar Ltd. | View Slides
  • Giovanni Seppia | External Relations Manager, EURid | View Slides


  • Abdelmonim Galilla | Deputy Manager, dotMasr Registry, Egypt | View Slides
  • Nitin Walia | Director, Data Xgen Technologies | View Slides
17:45 – 18:00 Wrapping-up Day 1
18:30 – 19:00 Leave to 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


  • Abdulrahman Almarzooqi | Manager, Internet Advancement, TRA UAE
  • Munir Badr | Founder and CEO, AEServer | View Slides
  • Anoop Sherda | CTO, Buziness Ware


10:00 – 10:10 Technical Break
10:10 – 11:10 What Registrants Need to Know about their Rights and Responsibilities Moderator: Fahd Batayneh | Manager, Global Stakeholder Engagement, Middle East. ICANN
Dealing with Complaints: ICANN Compliance Perspective [Talk] This talk 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 explain how to address issues related to domain name management.

Presenter: Seher Sagiroglu Ayhan| Contractual Compliance Specialist, ICANN | View Slides

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 | View Slides

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 NCC


  • Jan Žorž | Operational Engagement Programme Manager, ISOC | View Slides
  • Mohamed Alomran | DNS Engineer, TRA UAE
  • Patrick Jones | Senior Director, Global Stakeholder Engagement, ICANN | View Slides
  • Pavel Khramtsov | DNS Projects Manager, MSK-IX | View Slides
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 | View Slides

13:00 – 13:30 Unleash your Registry, How to Reach the Largest Audience [Talk]Technology is has always been a hot topic, but how often do we think about the business development, marketing, and growth aspects of it? In this session, we’ll take a closer look at the intriguing combination of art and science when it comes to the promotion of technology.


Presenter: Joe Alagna | Director, Business Development, Afilias | View Slides
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30-15:30 Emerging Trends in DNS: Provenance, IoT, and Blockchain [Panel] This session will discuss the latest innovations from top-level domain name registries. Applications reviewed will include:

  • Provenance of art works
  • Internet of Things
  • Integration of ICANN TLDs with Blockchain
  • Blockchain-only TLDs

Moderator: Tom Barrett | CEO, EnCirca Inc.


  • Alexei Popov | Registrar Partnerships, dotART Registry
  • Tom Barrett | CEO, EnCirca Inc. | View Slides
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 | Middle East Technical Program Manager, RIPE NCC


  • Jan Žorž | Operational Engagement Programme Manager, ISOC | View Slides
  • Massimiliano Stucchi | IPv6 Program Manager, RIPE NCC
  • Maher Yamout | Kaspersky | View Slides
  • Mohamed Ali Gharghi | Asiatech
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.