.AE Domain VS .COM Domain | How to Choose Your Domain Extension?

Launching a website can be confusing for many reasons. One of the tough choices that many business owners have to make is: which domain extension should we use? AEserver offers users the choice between purchasing .COM vs. .AE Domain extension. As is the case with most things, each comes with its strength and weakness.

Unfortunately, sometimes having a choice can make things harder for business people. Choices can confuse a person even more. Sadly, they can derail the creative process for many people instead of boosting their thought processes.

We live in a digitized world, where everything has moved online. We turn to google for the smallest of things because we have grown dependent on the internet. A business isn’t credible if it doesn’t exist online. Therefore, having a website to represent your business (whether new or old) is a must. Even if you don’t plan to do any business online, people can still discover your business and find out more about it (location, services offered, reviews, etc.) which is why having an online presence matters so much.

Google will automatically include your business in relevant search results. If people search in Google Maps (as they often do), they will expect to see a website with the contact information to get more details.


What is .COM?

.COM is an abbreviation for commercial sites. It is the most famous domain extension used on the internet. Any website that makes money online, like retail businesses (including blogging, portfolios, eCommerce sites, etc.), is a .COM site.

Due to the high popularity of the .COM website, domain business name generator tools might suggest a .us and .ae extension. However, it is unwise to get a domain extension that doesn’t reflect the nature of your site. It can result in less credibility and a high bounce rate. All of these things are bad for your website and should be avoided.

What is .AE?

The.AE is a country-bound top-level domain used to establish an outfit located in the UAE on the internet. .AE is a local extension widely used in Dubai. Therefore, it represents businesses and websites that stem from the UAE. This extension is used mainly by Emirati locals, citizens, or residents of the UAE to represent their business or services.

.COM Vs. AE Domain

.COM is widely used as it can suit businesses all around the world. Moreover, this is generally well-known and a people’s favorite because it has been around for a longer time. This was the first version of a domain extension. The name comes from the word “commercial,” which was initially why businesses and organizations registered their names under .COM. Today, many have moved away from this idea and use it as a suffix to end their website name simply because it is available and popular. It helps websites have a more substantial online presence and makes your website look appealing and charismatic. This is why many fast-growing companies opt for the .COM domain.

The use of .AE indicates that ccTLD or the country code top-level domain is used as the domain extension. Since this is a domain name system used in the UAE, it is operated and regulated by .AE Domain Administration (.aeDA). It handles and manages all rules and policies related to the operation of the .AE domain extension. The .aeDA is a critical member of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. If you are a local in the UAE, or your business operates or targets citizens of the UAE, then opting for the .AE domain name will indeed be a wise choice.

Deciding between these two domain extensions needs time and research. Since .COM and .AE can both be used as a suffix for commercial websites; you must deliberate over which one of the two will accurately represent your business before selecting it for your website. It is a crucial part of the process as it can easily make or break your website. The relevance of the domain name can depend on your geographic location or the place where your business is centered.

Geographical Location:

Where is your company located? The geographical location of your business goes a long way in helping you determine what extension to use for your website. Moreover, the geographical location of your targeted clientele is another factor that you may want to look into when deciding on a domain name.

If your business is based in the United Arab Emirates, if you use a United Arab Emirates IP address and UAE based Servers, or if your clientele is based in the United Arab Emirates, you can use the .AE extension.

If your website will cater to people’s needs in various countries, then .COM is the better choice. If your website isn’t situated in the United Arab Emirates or has a UAE IP address, then it is better to opt for the .COM extension.

Search Engine Optimization:

In this .AE vs .COM comparison, the search engine optimization factor matters greatly, although many people overlook it. Based on popular preference and frequency of usage, the presence of the .COM extension in a web address fosters trustworthiness in the mind of visitors. As such, many people are more inclined to finish their web addresses with the .COM extension when inputting this into the URL box of their web browsers. Additionally, most smartphones come equipped with the “.COM” buttons when users type in the URL box.

Due to all these reasons, you can also notice how most advertisements and pop-up websites also use .COM for their extension. If you are concerned about your website’s quick visibility, the .COM extension would better suit you. But if you aren’t too worried about SEO, then you can use the .AE extensions.

Country Code:

Any person can register the code extensions .COM and .AE, in the world. Even if you wish to register with .AE, you can do so from any part of the world.
So, there is no restriction on the registration part. However, there is a significant difference between the two, and that is the country code.

The .AE extension uses a CCTLD country code (country code top-level domain). What this translates to is that .AE is best used for all the websites that need to target the UAE audience and users.

Whereas .COM uses a gTLD (the generic top-level Domain). It means that it can be used for any website with a global reach.

Most new website owners choose an extension based on country codes. Suppose it is generic, then .COM is selected, and if it’s for Arabs, then typically.AE is selected. More prominent companies usually go for a .COM extension because of its strong appeal.


If you advertise your site in person or mouth-to-mouth to potential visitors, keep in mind that most people are likely to assume all websites end with the .COM extension. As such, you are advised to use the .COM extension for your website. This comes especially handy if there are websites with similar domain names as yours, as your use of the .COM extension trumps others and prevents you from losing visitors.

However, if your web address will be penned down, you can use the .AE extension as you can be assured that many people will consult your card before inputting your outfit’s URL into their browser. You can also use the .AE extension when you have a domain name that requires cross-checking its spelling from a business card.

Purpose of The Website:

If your website is for commercial purposes, you could use the .COM extension irrespective of your location. But, if your website is for personal or commercial use and you reside in the United Arab Emirates, then the .AE extension will be more suitable for you.

Reasons You Should Pick .COM:

  • You want to attract an international customer or visitor base.
  • You want your company to seem more legitimate.
  • You want your company to rank higher on general Google searches.


  • International or worldwide companies
  • UAE-based companies that sell items overseas
  • Websites that benefit from international fan bases
  • UAE companies that serve European customers, not just UAE

Reasons You Should Pick .AE:

  • You want to attract primarily UAE-based customers and visitors.
  • You want to imply domestic services, fees, and shipping times.
  • You want to put UAE customers more at ease.
  • You want a good domain name, but the .COM version is already taken.


  • Online news websites that deal with local UAE news.
  • Real estate companies that only deal with UAE real estate.
  • International companies that primarily sell their services to UAE customers.
  • Local tradespeople, like plumbers, carpenters, etc.

What if my chosen Domain is already taken?

When you start searching for a domain name, you might find that another business has already taken the .AE domain.
In this case, you will have to get creative with your domain name or develop a different character if another business has a very similar name.

For example, if you planned to call your website www.clouddubai.com but it is already taken, you can add a hyphen in between, as www.cloud-dubai.com is different. But it is also easily confused with the original site, so you might prefer to change the name to something different, potentially adding in your name or location, such as www.cloud-uae.com.

Advantages of a Local Domain Extension:

While using a global domain extension has its benefits, local domain extensions have certain benefits that cannot be overlooked. These include:

  • This indicates the business’s commitment to stay true to the target audience and provide local customers with the best possible experience. UAE residents are more likely to shop from websites ending with “.AE” instead of websites that use “.COM” as a suffix.
  • Using local extensions can be more appealing to local audiences.
  • Local domain extensions make a company look authentic.
  • It increases the online visibility of the business.

Easier to advertise local products or services on local websites, so you are building a network.

If you intend to target the local audience, it is best to opt for a local domain name. This will attract locals to your business and make it seem more professional. A resident of the UAE will be more inclined to opt for services that they need within their region. For example, if a person lives in Sharjah and needs legal advice, he is more likely to select law firms in the area that use .AE as their domain name extension.

Registration Regulations For .AE Extensions:

Enrolling and registering for the local domain names is permitted at the second level at the unrestricted zone or the third level at the restricted zone. Businesses previously utilized the ‘.co.ae’ extension widely.

However, recently this was stigmatized by the UAEnic. Following this, companies and businesses opted to use second-level registrations for all commercial purposes. Companies that already used such extensions were allowed to continue using them, but this was a choice left to the business owner’s discretion.

Not long after this, the .AE extension was re-delegated to TRA. As a result, new policies were introduced by the .AE Domain Authority. Under this, it was provided that the use of ‘.co.ae’ extension had been introduced for commercial businesses operating locally. The policy also implied that this extension is related to the business’s name and is known to the clientele too.

Below is a list of domain extensions, with guidelines for the types of organizations allowed to register them:

  • .edu – Only educational institutes can register under this.
  • .net Only network providers can register under this.
  • .gov.ae – Only government or government officials such as ministers can register under this.
  • .AE – No restrictions on the types of businesses, companies, and organizations that can register under this domain extension.
  • .co.ae – Only for companies that already have an existing website with this extension.

Note: These above extensions require a Trade license issued from the UAE Government.


In the end, the question remains: .COM or .AE? Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer. At the end of the day, it depends on your preferences and budget.

.COM domain extensions are ideal if you are interested in attracting an international market and visitor base. However, it’s not necessarily a death knell if you choose a .AE extension for the same reasons. .COM extensions are typically more expensive, and you may have to get more creative with your domain name to grab a good one which is why many just go for the .AE extension instead.

If you were deciding upon a domain name extension, we hope that this article helped you. When the time comes, you will be able to make the right decision. Remember to trust the process and go with what you ultimately feel is appropriate for your business. If you are still confused and struggling to make an informed decision, please reach out to us so our team can guide you. If you have any other questions or queries, please leave a comment below, and our team will be happy to assist you.

Good luck!

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