FAQs

The frequently asked questions is a listing of the most repeated questions coming from our clients about SaudiNIC and the registration services, we recommend going through them prior to contact our staff in case of any issues.

  • What is SaudiNIC?

    SaudiNIC stands for Saudi Network Information Centre, SaudiNIC is a non-profit entity that is in charge of administering the domain name space under (.sa) , it was established and operated by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology until the end of 2006 where the task of operating SaudiNIC moved to the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) . SaudiNIC is responsible of managing the two Saudi ccTLDs (.sa) and (.السعودية)

  • What are the tasks that SaudiNIC responsible for?

    The mission of SaudiNIC is to provide an equitable, just and competent technical and administrative management of domain name registrations and IP address allocations for Internet community in Saudi Arabia.
    SaudiNIC main tasks are :
    Setting up policies regulating domain name registrations.
    Domain name registrations
    Maintain the Domain names records and provide Whois services
    Lead the effort toward fully Arabic domain names
    Coordinating with other GCC, Arab, and International ccTLDs.
    Participating in international events supervised by ICANN, RIPE, ISOC, and WIPO related to domain.

  • What is DNS?

    The Internet Domain Name System (DNS) is a set of distributed databases containing IP addresses and their corresponding domain names. Each domain name is mapped to a particular numeric address. DNS, with servers located all over the Internet, performs the translation back and forth between names and numbers.
    This scheme enables users to invoke an easy-to-remember name (e.g. nic.net.sa) instead of a more mysterious string of numbers (e.g. 212.26.18.10) when using the Internet.

  • What is a domain name?

    A domain name represents your organization on the Internet. It is your unique Internet address that will be used by others to reach your web site or to send you email messages (e.g. nic.net.sa). Please note that (www) in front of (www.nic.net.sa) is not a part of the domain name.

  • Why do I need to register a domain name ?

    Based in the current internet protocol it is almost impossible to publish a website working in a normal way without a domain name .

  • How does (.sa) ccTLD differ from (.com) gTLD?

    The (.sa) is the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) designated for domain names in Saudi Arabia. While (.com) is the generic Top Level Domain (gTLDs) designating commercial entities world-wide. The policies and administration of the (.sa) domain name are set and managed by SaudiNIC in CITC. And the gTLDs are managed by ICANN.

  • Do I need to register my domain name under (.com) after I register it under (com.sa) and vice versa?

    The ccTLD sub-domain (.com.sa) is for the commercial entities in Saudi Arabia while (.com) gTLD is open for commercial and non-commercial entities world-wide.
    We recommend for Saudi entities to register their domain names under (.com.sa ) as well as under (.com)

  • What is a suitable domain name? And how long can my domain name be? What characters can I use?

    SaudiNIC offers domain names registration for both Arabic and English domain names, the following explanation is for the English domain names .
    A typical .sa domain name consists of two or three parts separated by (.) and looks like:
    .sa or ..sa
    The portion can contain any combination of letters (a-z) and numbers (0-9) as well as hyphen (-) between 2 and 63 characters long.
    The portion describes the nature of your organization (see the SA domain hierarchy) while the last portion is .sa.
    Please note that a domain name is not case sensitive.
    So the valid characters for use in any domain name are:
    Any of the letters a to z (e.g. nic.net.sa).
    Any numbers 0 to 9 (e.g.123.com.sa).
    You may also use a hyphen (-) (e.g. Saudi-nic.net.sa).
    The domain can be a combination of numbers, letters and hyphens (e.g. a-1-b-2.com.sa).
    The domain can begin and end with a number (e.g. 9to5.com.sa).
    The domain name cannot begin or end with a hyphen.

  • What type of domain name should I apply for?

    This depends on the nature of your organization (see Domains under .SA in the Domain Name Regulation in Saudi Arabia).

  • How do I choose a domain name for my organization?

    It is most probable that online users will try out names that are similar to your organization name (e.g., transliteration, English translation, or abbreviation).

  • Who will be given a domain name if there are two requests for the same domain name?

    The domain name will be registered for the first entity that submits a complete and valid request, if the other entity is still clime that the domain should be given to them, they can submit an objection through the proper objection procedure.

  • How long does it take to register my new domain name with SaudiNIC?

    On average, it takes from 1 to 3 work days if your request is complete and hosted correctly.

  • Can I check if a domain name is available?

    Yes, you can check if the domain name you want is already registered or not by using the search tools available on SaudiNIC website.

  • I would like to register a domain name but I do not have legal documents supporting my request. Can I still register it?

    Yes! Provided that the applicant does not violate any other party rights and there is a reasonable relation between the applicant and the domain name (based on the Criteria to Demonstrate Reasonable Relationship between a Domain Name and a Registrant). He will be responsible if this name infringes in someone else rights. Moreover SaudiNIC may ask the applicant to provide official documents to prove his eligibility to register the domain.

  • I have chosen a domain name but it was not available! What should I do ?

    Please try another available domain name and remember that there are lots of choices. If you think you have the right to register any already registered domain, you can send an objection that will be settled through the disputes procedure.

  • As a non-Saudi entity can we register a domain name under .sa TLD?

    One of the following should be true for an Applicant requesting domain name registration under SA domain:
    1. Physically in KSA,
    2. A Saudi citizen with a valid Saudi ID card
    3. A registered entity with a permit from a government office
    4. Owning trademarks or trade names that are registered in Saudi Arabia.

  • Who should be the administrative contact?

    The administrative contact should be the person who can speak on behalf of the Applicant (e.g. general manager, director of IT department) and he should be from the organization requesting the domain name. He will be able to contact SaudiNIC and change any information for the registered domain name.

  • What do I need in order to apply for a Domain Name in Saudi Arabia?

    To register your organization domain name, you will need to submit the following:
    filling the proper form
    submitting a letter requesting the domain name. It must be on an official letterhead.
    A legal documents. For-profit entities requesting names under the (com.sa), (net.sa), (sch.sa), (edu.sa), or (med.sa) domains should submit a copy of their legal documents (e.g., commercial registration, license, trade mark registration, ...). For all others, a copy of any official documents showing the relationship between the proposed domain name and the name of the organization is required.
    Two valid DNS name servers that maps IP addresses to their corresponding domain names. Such domain name servers may be arranged through third party providers.

  • Can I register my personal name?

    Yes, but it is only possible under (.pub.sa) or the second level domains (.sa) with some restrictions on the way of choosing the domain.
    Please note that: If a single personal name (e.g. Ahmad, Ali, Alfulani) to be registered under (pub.sa) or (.sa) then it should be followed by at least 2 digits, e.g., ahmad72.pub.sa, alfulani01.pub.sa. Combining names together is allowed without using digits, e.g., ahmadalfulani.pub.sa.

  • I am a Saudi citizen and I want to register a domain name but I dont have any legal documents (e.g. Commercial Registry)?

    You can register the domain name under (.pub.sa). or the second level domains (.sa) with some restrictions on the way of choosing the domain.
    SaudiNIC my ask the applicant to provide a copy of his national ID card .

  • I want to register domain name under (.com.sa) for my clients. Can you explain as to what type of applicants that you accept?

    One of the following should be true for an Applicant requesting domain name registration under SA domain:
    1. Physically in KSA,
    2. A Saudi citizen with a valid Saudi ID card
    3. A registered entity with a permit from a government office
    4. Owning trademarks or trade names that are registered in Saudi Arabia.

  • What are the prohibited activities related to the Saudi domain names?

    The new domain names regulations defined a number of activities associated with the domain names that considered to be prohibited and if committed by the registrant will cause the suspension or deletion of the domain name. as an example of such activities is using the domain name for phishing or for hacking or distribution of viruses or Trojans or using the domain name for spamming or for fraud . It is also prohibited to register domain names for the purpose of (domain warehousing ) which is registering domain names for only selling them .
    SaudiNIC may add more activities the list of prohibited activities, for updates please refer to the domain names registration regulations .

  • If I registered a domain name, can someone else use it ?

    If you registered a domain name, no one else is allowed to use it even for non-profit purposes, which means that it is not allowed for any party other than the registrant to conduct lending, leasing, licensing, registration, wavering or transferring of the domain name by any means .

  • What should I do if I found that a Saudi domain name used to conducting an inappropriate actions ?

    In that case please contact SaudiNIC directly. this will help us stopping those actions and protecting the users from inappropriate actions, and it will also keep the Saudi domain name space save and trusted .

  • What should I do if I have a complaint or an objection on some domain registration or usage?

    SaudiNIC now has a mechanism to submit such objections, it is a part of the CITC official objections and disputes resolution processes.
    For more details please refer to the domain names objections policy.

  • Does SaudiNIC collect any personal information about me, and how it is going to be used ?

    Yes, SaudiNIC collects some personal information from the applicants while signing up for accounts and during the domain registration process. these information is gathered as part of the domain registry responsibility . SaudiNIC gives a very high importance to protecting the applicants privacy, SaudiNIC have a privacy policy published on it is website . the policy defines the limits of using the personal information . For more details please see SaudiNIC privacy policy and the accepted use policy .

  • My organization registered a domain name through an ISP, who owns that domain, our organization or the ISP?

    Domain names are not properties to be owned, but they will be registered by the organizations that will use the domain name and not their agents (e.g., ISPs).

  • The Admin contact does not exist anymore in our company. What can we do to change to the new admin?

    Admin contact can be changed either in the normal way or by requesting the special change. The difference between the two is the availability of the admin in both cases, if he is available and willing to corporate the change is done in the normal way, but if he is not available or not cooperating, then the special change procedure is needed. It can be reached from the accounts under the special operations section ( change Admin due to unavailability ) .

  • How can one become a Registrar for SaudiNIC?

    Currently there are no registrars with SaudiNIC and SaudiNIC havent opened the Registrars system. You can send Domain requests directly to SaudiNIC for your clients.

  • My company is the sole agent for a product in Saudi Arabia. Can I register that product name or trade mark under (com.sa) ? and How?

    Yes, and it is registered in the same way as other domains, but you need to provide a valid Trade Mark certificate as part of the documents submitted to SaudiNIC .

  • Is it necessary that the name server be located in Saudi Arabia?

    No, they can be in any place on the Internet.

  • I want to change my Internet Provider, what should I do?

    All what you need is to perform a (domain modify) request and send us the needed official documents. For more information see the domain modification service.

  • Can I delete a registered domain name?

    Yes, domain name deletion is one of the services provided by SaudiNIC, the registrant may need to provide a delete request letter explaining the reasons of the domain deletion.

  • Can I register a doami under (pub.sa) and use it for commercial perposes?

    The registrant can use his domain in any legal way as long he is adhering to the registration regulations.
    I am concerned about my privacy specially in the information published by the Whois service
    As part of the registry obligations SaudiNIC must publish enough information about the registrants, but the published information are only general information like the entity name and the admin name, all the other sensitive information are not published .

  • What is the main change regarding eligibility in the new regulations?

    In the new domain names registration regulations ( version 2.0 ), the definition of local presence was changed . One of the following should be true for an Applicant requesting domain name registration under SA domain:
    1. Physically in KSA,
    2. A Saudi citizen with a valid Saudi ID card
    3. A registered entity with a permit from a government office
    4. Owning trademarks or trade names that are registered in Saudi Arabia.
    If I am not eligible to register my domain name according to the new domain name regulation (version 2.0 ), does that mean I will lose my domain registered based on the old regulations ? In case you have completed a correct registration based on the old regulation (version 1.3 dated Decemper-22-2006), you will continue to have your registration, but you will have to comply with the new version of the regulations, and any new registrations will be based on the new regulations.

  • Can I transfer a domain name?

    Yes, according to the latest domain names registration regulations (version 2.0 ), it is possible to transfer a domain name from one registrar to another. Keeping in mind that registering domain names for only trading in them is prohibited. If SaudiNIC discovered any ( domain warehousing ) case, it reserves the right to suspend the registration or perform similar actions .
    SaudiNIC also has the right to reject any transfer request that does not provided reasonable justifications. As part of the transfer procedure, the new registrant ( how will receive the domain ) must also be eligible for registering the domain under the current regulations .

  • Is there any fee/charge for registering domain names with SaudiNIC?

    Currently there are no fees for registering domain names under any sub-domain under (.sa) or (.C????I?E) but fees may be applied in the future.

  • What should I do if I want to transfer the domain name ?

    Domain name transfer is now allowed based on the (version 2.0 ) of the domain names registration regulations , in any case of transfer, both the current registrant and the new registrant must submit a transfer request letter to SaudiNIC, which must include the explicit request of transferring the domain name along with reasons of the transfer, the new registrant must be eligible to register the domain in question according to the latest domain names registration regulations (version 2.0 ) . SaudiNIC may reject the transfer request for several reasons, especially if one or all of them are not eligible to register the domain .

  • Can I transfer a domain name?

    Yes, according to the latest domain names registration regulations (version 2.0 ), it is possible to transfer a domain name from one registrar to another. Keeping in mind that registering domain names for only trading in them is prohibited. If SaudiNIC discovered any ( domain warehousing ) case, it reserves the right to suspend the registration or perform similar actions .
    SaudiNIC also has the right to reject any transfer request that does not provided reasonable justifications.As part of the transfer procedure, the new registrant ( how will receive the domain ) must also be eligible for registering the domain under the current regulations .

  • If I register a Domain name when will it expire? Does it require any renewal procedure and when?

    Currently there are no fees applied for obtaining domain name registration services under (.sa) or (.السعودية). However, you need to follow the information renewal procured every year in order to keep you domain name information complete , accurate and up-to-date. This is done to make sure that we can reach you in case of important issue such as introducing fees. As well as to avoid deleting your domain name if you fail to response.

  • What are the differences between domain name hosting and web hosting and which one of them comes first?

    A domain name hosting is to setup two active name servers on the Internet that store all the information about the domain name and replay for any query about it. While a web hosting is a service that comes after domain name hosting which hosts the web pages related to that domain name.

  • Why SaudiNIC needs the domain name to be hosted before registering it?

    SaudiNIC performs domain registrations and not reservations and that follows the recommendation of RFC 1591.

  • What is the meaning of ( Not hosted domain name ) ?

    That means the domain name in question was not added to the domain name servers, or it was added incorrectly or partially. all those cases will lead to a technical problems that might prevent the users from reaching the website with the domain in question .

  • Will the domain name be deleted automatically if the hosting failed after the registration?

    No, SaudiNIC will not re-check the hosting automatically after the registration succeeded, but any modification request will need a correct hosting as a precondition .

  • Is it mandatory to host the domain names locally or it is possible to host them anywhere?

    No, it is not mandatory to host the domain names locally, they can be hosted anywhere with only two conditions, the domain name servers must be reachable and operating correctly.

  • Dose SaudiNIC provides Web/Email hosting and Web designing?

    No, it does not and does not also give any recommendations in this regard, However, you can get them from any entity that provides these services on the Internet (like ISPs in Saudi Arabia).

  • Are there any companies that provide domain name hosting? Is it possible to recommend any of them?

    Yes, there are many available companies whether locally in the Kingdom or outside that offer domain name hosting services mostly ISPs. SaudiNIC staff are not allowed to give any recommendations regarding those companies .

  • Do I need to have a web site (ready or hosted) to register a domain name?

    No, you only need to have your domain name hosted, provide SaudiNIC with the two name servers hosting your domain name, and have your domain registered. All this does not require having your web-site ready.

  • What is the Arabic domain names ?

    This name refer to a specific type of domains that are registered by SaudiNIC, They are a second level domain names written totally in Arabic, as in the following example :
    Example : ??? C???C?>.C????I?E >
    The < ??? C???C? > part represent the entity name or the brand name or what is derived from it , and it must be in Arabic.
    Arabic domain names are used exactly like the normal domain names .

  • How can we host Arabic domain names, and where ?

    Hosting Arabic domain names is exactly like hosting any other domain and it is done in the same way, but the first step is to convert the domain name from IDN to ASCII using any tool ( one is published on SaudiNIC website) , the result from the converting is what will be actally hosted .

  • Can Arabic domain names be sold ?

    No it is not allowed to do that .

  • We are a forgin company , and would like to register an Arabic domain name, how can we do that ?

    The illigiblity conditions must apply for such company, one of the following must be true for the intity :
    1. Physically in KSA,
    2. A Saudi citizen with a valid Saudi ID card
    3. A registered entity with a permit from a government office
    4. Owning trademarks or trade names that are registered in Saudi Arabia.

  • Can I register a domain name directly under (.sa) (e.g. : saudinic.sa)?

    Yes it is will be possible to register a second level domain name directly under (.sa)

  • What is the second level domain names ?

    This name refer to a specific type of domains that are registered by SaudiNIC, They are normal domain names but without the second part ( com, net, org, etc) which make the second level domain composed of only two parts as in the following example :
    Example : .sa
    The represent the entity name or the brand name or what is derived from it , and it must be in English. Sometimes the registration of such domains is called flat registration.

  • What do we mean by opening the Saudi domain names space for flat registration?

    Opening the Saudi domain name space (.sa) for flat registration means allowing and beginning the registration for second level domain names composed of only two parts . for example : (xyz.sa) or (yourcompany.sa)

  • What is the benefit of having a second level domain name?

    Having a shorter domain names is very desirable, it makes the domain name easier to write and remember.

  • How are the second level domain names going to be opened ?

    Opining the second level domain names will be done in two separate phases, a special phase and an open phase, each one of them is dedicated to a specific category of registrants in order to protect their rights and to avoid overloading SaudiNIC resources .

  • Who can apply for second level domains in the special phase ?

    During the special phase only current registrants who already have third level domain names ( regular domain names ) or how already submitted a complete and valid requests prior to the beginning of this phase .

  • I am currently a registrant for a Saudi domain name, does it mean that I am automatically eligible for the second level domain names ?

    No, to be eligible you have to comply with the eligibility conditions which is a part of the new domain names registration regulations (version 2.0 )

  • Why DNS query returns NS records in a random order? Is it possible to impose strict ordering for the name servers?

    Most name server implementations do not provide or support strict ordering of NS records. This is due to the fact that the domain system was designed with the assumption that all NS records listed for a zone give the same answer for a given query in that zone. Fortunately, the domain system achieves load-balancing and failover between name servers (NS'es) automatically. This is because that most well-known name resolver implementations (e.g., BIND) keep track of how quickly name servers answer, and will prefer faster name servers over slower ones. Thus, no need to impose a strict ordering on NS records for performance or capacity reasons. For that reason, strict ordering of NS records is not implemented by the domain system.

    For further reading, please see:
    RFC 1033: DOMAIN ADMINISTRATORS OPERATIONS GUIDE
    http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1033.html.