PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Dubai, UAE, United Arab Emirates, 2006/05/31 - Madar Research contributes knowledge of Arab Internet use to new search engine, Sawafi, whose beta version will be launched before year end..
Madar Research Group has signed up to be a key player in the development of the first Internet search engine designed to offer users full Arabic-language search capabilities, along with a set of unique services targeting Arab business and individual users. The project was launched by a joint venture announced last month at GITEX-Riyadh between leading European search technology provider Seekport and Saudi Arabia-based MITSCO Group to develop the new engine which will be known by the brand name Sawafi (Arabic for “sandstorm”).
Under an agreement signed with the new venture, which will be based in Dubai, Madar Research Group will carry out research and consultancy services covering market studies and surveys of Internet users and online publishers, search engine specifications, implementation, product testing and Arabic content development, among other tasks.
“Developing an Internet search engine with sufficient Arabic language capabilities has always been a daunting task due to the linguistic complexity and technical difficulties associated with Arabic. This has posed a handicap for Internet users looking for information in the Arabic language, especially since a search engine has become the most valuable single tool to get real benefit from the Internet in our information-dependent age,” said Abdul Kader Kamli, president and research director of the Dubai Media City-based Madar Research.
“Today, with Seekport’s advanced search technology, MITSCO’s market reach in the region and Madar Research expertise in the Arabic language, culture and market, we have the opportunity to furnish Arab users with the same language capabilities available to searchers in English,” said Kamli.
“We will launch Sawafi this year,” said Hermann Havermann, managing director of the new venture. “This joint venture is pioneering work, because it is the first Internet search engine to take up seriously the challenges of the Arabic language and culture. Sawafi will not only serve as a powerful Arabic search engine; a full host of innovative services built around its linguistic and technology capabilities will bring a whole new experience to Arab users to optimize their benefits from the Internet,” said Havermann.
“We have already used Madar Research services during our preliminary study of the region’s Internet market, and we are fully confident that our partnership will be very fruitful,” he added.
Fahad Al Sudairy, chairman of MITSCO underlined the role the new search engine will have in increasing the relatively small Arabic language content on the Internet, which Madar Research estimates to be limited to some 100 million web pages, compared to more than 12 billion web pages worldwide. “The availability of a comprehensive and reliable Arab search engine will, on the one hand, generate more traffic driven by users eager for Arabic content to existing websites, while on the other hand it will encourage online publishers to increase the size of their content and, most importantly, enhance the quality of Arabic content,” said Al Sudairy. “We are confident that Sawafi will live up to its name and take the Arab Internet arena by storm,” he added.
The Sawafi engine index will provide a complete range of all Arabic language websites, whether based in Arab countries or abroad, in addition to English and French language content published in the Arab world. The range of services built around the Sawafi engine will combine services similar to those found on global search engines, such as news gathering, in addition to a number of unique services.