.ME has truly come a long way from the country code domain for Montenegro to the universally accepted synonym for personal online presence. Shortly after the public launch in July 2008, over 100,000 domains were registered in the first 48 hours and the .ME extension became the favorite domain for building brands committed to establishing a closer relationship with a customer.
All these years, we’ve been working hard to amplify the .ME’s ability to add a personal flavor to a site, app or email and, as always, the hard work paid off. Just last year, we celebrated one million registered domains. And in the same year, .ME became NameCheap’s choice for the top ccTLD (country code top-level domain) of the year.
Currently, .ME portfolio includes over 1.2 million domain names, with more than 350 accredited vendors worldwide and customers from more than 200 countries and territories.
Just recently, our efforts were recognized by Forbes Middle East, and our CEO Predrag Lešić had the pleasure of being interviewed by their team!
What is the secret of .ME’s success – Our CEO Talks With Forbes Middle East
Lešić was happy to speak with Forbes Middle East about .ME and its success in the market.
Lešić also talked with Forbes Middle East about .ME’s investments in cyber security, technological development in Montenegro, as well as its numerous CSR activities. He starts by highlighting how unique .ME is:
“.me is different from generic domain extensions such as .com, .net, and .org, because it’s used by companies to add a personal flavor to their website, businesses, and brand and to facilitate a closer and more personal connection to the customer.”
The unique value of the .ME extension is visible enough even on first sight. Compared to other domain extensions, .ME has a global appeal, is personal, and can be used for call-to-action.
.ME is virtually the synonym for a more personal approach to online presence and business. This makes the .ME domain unique, accessible, and memorable.
Of course, these aren’t the only benefits of .ME. For one, .ME is proactive when it comes to keeping the domain zone safe from abuse. Security of our users is of the utmost importance, and we committed to keeping .ME domains safe from abuse. As Lešić mentioned:
“We have multiple layers of top-notch security and use a proactive approach when dealing with abuse, spam, and phishing on a daily basis. We also offer security products like the registry lock to make sure that no one in the world can unlock your domain name without authorization.”
.ME Premium Domains
Some notable .ME premium domains include Work.ME & fb.me (both registered by Meta, formerly Facebook, Inc.). Then there is zm.me registered by Zoom, pp.me registered by PayPal, and wp.me registered by WordPress. And it’s interesting how these companies use two-character domains to provide a short and customized website URL. Lešić explains:
“Short links have become extremely popular with the rise of mobile and social media. For instance, because of Twitter’s limitations to the number of characters you can use, the demand for short domains skyrocketed and they play a huge role in our marketing.”
The value of two-character domains is not limited to shorteners that save you characters on Twitter or similar social media sites. For instance, companies such as PayPal use .ME to create more memorable and recognizable links to the customer accounts and make the payment processes more user-friendly. As Lešić explains:
“PayPal created a personalized service where you can send money using a memorable link. So instead of providing you with something that is not so easy to recall, the only thing you need is pp.me/my account.”
How .ME Is Used In The Middle East
Having experienced significant growth, Domain.ME seeks to remain strong in its established markets but also expand into new territories. Domain.ME is well established in Europe, the US, and Canada, but there is room to grow in the Asian, South American, and Middle Eastern markets. According to Lešić, there is a discrepancy between these markets’ sizes and the number of people who create content online. In Lešić’s words:
“We are fighting for our place in these markets, especially the Middle East, because there is a clear connection between .ME domains and the widely accepted regional abbreviation for the Middle East which is ‘me’.”
So, instead of having to use specific country-level domains for Middle Eastern countries (such as .il, .ir, or .eg), companies can simply use .ME. “Now they can build everything in one place, in one online hub, for all Middle Eastern countries,” adds Lešić. Companies can thus highlight that they do business multi-nationally (rather than locally). Indeed, some companies have already done that, like KFC (kfc.me), Pizza Hut (pizzahut.me), and Vogue (en.vogue.me). We’ll get back to these examples below.
Read the full article by Forbes Middle East here.
Looking At The Numbers, Waiting For The Future
Compared to the pre-pandemic period, the average number of newly registered domains in the Middle East during the pandemic increased by 7% in total. More specifically, .ME had the highest growth rate in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, with the average number of newly created domains in these countries increasing by 68%, 19.5%, and 38%, respectively.
Whereas the growth can be partially attributed to the necessity of going online to survive as a business, we are seeing more quality content in both individual and business use of the .ME domain. This is one more indicator that the Middle East is not only becoming more than an emerging market for the.ME domain but also an important global player that will likely become home to disruptive startups (if not unicorns) in the near future.
Top Brands Use .ME for Middle East
Now let us see how brands (both global and local) use the .ME domain extension to highlight that they operate across the entire “Middle East” area rather than being limited to a single country or region. By the way, we will be very disappointed if you are not familiar with these companies!
Global Brands that use .ME for their online presence in the Middle East
KFC.ME – KFC uses .ME to show that they think regionally. They are all about great food, great teams, and partnerships that help them cater for the Middle East community needs. Their formula is: great food + great teams + great domain = success.
Pizzahut.ME. Pizza Hut pays a lot of attention to their customers’ different needs. The .ME is the best domain choice to help deliver the message that pizzahut.me stands for the Middle East.
Vogue Arabia (vogue.ME). Vogue uses the .ME domain for their online home to make a fashion statement. And not only that – they also create a strong personal bond with their customers from the Middle East.
Top Local Uses of .ME for Middle East
Arabnet.ME. The vision of ArabNet is to help grow the web and mobile sectors in the Arab world. .ME domain is a perfect cornerstone for reaching their goal – building business bridges across the MENA. ArabNet is leading events and innovation programs primarily focused on tech business in the MENA region. They organize major conferences for the tech sector in Dubai, Riyadh, Kuwait and Beirut. Additionally, they publish news and analysis of the sector in our online news portal and produce original research and reports focused on the tech sector.
Upmedia.ME. A popular Iranian platform for watching movies and serials. Both Iranian and foreign movies are available, and users are provided with Persian dubbing for foreign movies. To top that, each movie is supplemented by thorough information, including the release date, synopsis and reviews. Upmedia.ME keeps its movie collection up to date. Since all movies shown on the platform are family friendly, with Upmedia.ME you can easily watch movies with your family.
IranApp.ME. Another Iranian platform. Only this time, it’s a platform for Iranian and international apps. IranApp started its activity in the field of Android games and apps. Their goal is to provide the latest version of Iranian and international apps to its users.
becomeamom.ME. The Become a Mom Boutique has a goal to provide pregnant women with all the necessary clothes that’s of high quality and reasonably priced. Their co-founder, Sereen Shanawani, summarized why they use the .ME for their business, and also allowed us to bring this article to its fitting conclusion. In her words:
“We decided to go for .ME because it stands for the Middle East – exactly where our business and our targeted customers are!” – Sereen Shanawani