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Transferring Your .ae Domain: The Complete Guide (2023)

The .ae is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A ccTLD is a two-letter top-level domain (TLD), that is assigned to a specific country or territory. These domains are used to identify websites and online resources that are associated with a particular country or geographic region.

As an example the ccTLD for Pakistan is .pk, for India is .in, for the Philippines is .ph, for Egypt is .eg, and for Indonesia is .id. The ccTLD for the UAE is .ae and there are hundreds and thousands of .ae domains that have been registered over the past two decades of them being available.

The .ae ccTLD is managed by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority or TRDA, and information, processes and policies of the .ae domain are handled by the .aeDA, a department within the TRDA.

.aeDA is the Regulatory Body and Registry Operator for the .ae country code namespace. It is responsible for setting and enforcing all policies related to the operation of the .ae country code top-level domain (ccTLD) and overseeing the operation of the registry system.

If you own a .ae domain, chances are you had registered it at either Etisalat or Du, or at one of the many .ae domain registrars licensed by .aeDA. Knowing who your domain registrar is, comes in handy when trying to transfer your domain from one registrar to another.

Chances are, you’d really never have to transfer your .ae domain from one registrar to another, unless of course there’s one of these reasons: cost, service levels or consolidation.

  1. Cost: One of the main reasons why you want to transfer your .ae domain name to a new registrar is cost. Different registrars offer different pricing structures, and it’s possible that you may find a registrar that offers a better deal or lower fees than your current one.
  2. Service: Another reason why you may want to transfer your domain name to a new registrar is service. If you’re unhappy with the level of service or support you’re receiving from your current registrar, transferring to a new one may be a good option. A new registrar may offer better customer service or technical support, which can be important if you’re experiencing issues with your domain name.
  3. Consolidation: If you have multiple domain names registered with different registrars, you may want to transfer them all to a single registrar for the sake of consolidation. Having all your domains registered with a single registrar can make it easier to manage your domains and streamline your administrative tasks. Additionally, consolidating your domains with a single registrar can make it easier to take advantage of bulk pricing or discounts that some registrars offer.

If you wish to transfer your .ae domain name to a new registrar, there are a few things you need to know.

You can initiate the transfer process with the new registrar, as early as you like, before the expiry date of the domain. However, do remember that the transfer process may take up to five days to complete, and your current registrar will confirm the transfer with you, once the transfer out request is received by them.

If your domain’s expiry is in sight, you can renew your domain with your current registrar and then transfer it safely to the new one. There’s no waiting period on transferring domains to a different registrar once a .ae domain has been renewed. You can initiate the transfer process with the new registrar at any time after the renewal. And, newly registered domains can also be transferred right after registration. There’s not waiting period or lock on that for .ae domains.

If your .ae domain has expired, you can still transfer it to a new registrar after the expiry date, as long as the domain is in the Expired Hold registry status. This status is depicted through the EPP (Extensible Provisioning Protocol) service as either:

  • “serverHold (Expired)”; or
  • “serverUpdateProhibited (Expired)”

The Expired Hold registry status is a 30 day period that follows the expiry date. During this, updates to the domain are no longer accepted by the .aeDA Registry, and the only possible action is to renew the domain name or transfer it. The domain is not active, and any services related to it go down, so your site doesn’t work, nor does your email.

After 30 days of the domain being in the Expired Hold registry period, the domain enters the Expired Hold Pending Purge registry status. This is depicted through EPP as:

  • “serverHold (Expired)”;
  • “serverUpdateProhibited (Expired)”; or
  • “serverRenewProhibited (Expired)”

At this time, renewals for the domain aren’t accepted, nor are transfers. On the 31st day, the domain becomes eligible for Purging from the Registry System. The software in the Registry System searches for domains that are eligible for purging, and performs the purge. At this point, the domain is fully removed from the Registry System becomes available for registration. If this was your .ae domain, it can now be registered by anyone, a competitor or a domain shark.

Let’s say things weren’t that complicated, and given that we can transfer a .ae domain anytime prior to domain expiry, or up to 30 days after expiry, what more do we need to endure?

First, get your Domain Password (also referred to as domain name password, authorization code, auth code or EPP code) from your current registrar or from Password.ae. Your .ae domain name password is a unique code used to verify your ownership of the domain and initiate the transfer process. The term domain password is used in the rest of this article, since it is the preferred term used by .aeDA on their site and in the email notice that sends the code over.

You can retrieve your domain password by simply navigating to your current registrar’s domain control panel and looking for an option called Get EPP Code, if in case they are using WHMCS (a domain and hosting management software for hosting providers).

If you don’t find an option to do this, simply speak to their tech support and they should be able to share the domain password easily. I must warn you though, you may at times have to answer the odd question of ‘why you’re asking for the domain password’, or in more personal terms, ‘what have we done wrong’, so to help you out, I have given a list of answers to use at the end of this article. It can come in handy.

The better way, of course, is to use the service provided by .aeDA, you guessed it, Password.ae and recover the domain password with lesser hassle. Simply follow the following the steps:

  • Visit the https://password.ae website.
  • Enter the domain you want to receive the domain password for. Fill out the captcha and click the Recover button.
  • On the next screen note down the Contact Email. This is where the password will be sent.
  • Click the Email button to receive the code at that email address.

For the sake of writing the article, I retrieved the domain password for spiderz.ae, a domain we’ve kept for years, well, only to redirect it to spiderz.com, our main website. Once I followed the above password recovery steps, an email was sent to our Contact Email. It took under 5 minutes though, so the email was not instant. The content within this email is as follows:

Sender: [Your Host Name] <noreply@aeda.ae>
Subject: AE Registry – Recovered Domain Name Password for spiderz.ae

AE Registry
Domain Name Password Recovery

The domain name password for spiderz.ae is ********

This email is automatically generated by the registry system. Please do not reply to this message.

If you have any further queries, please contact our support team.

Kind Regards,

[Your Current Domain Registrars Name and Domain]

You must keep in mind, this email seems to originate from your present host, but it’s generated and sent by .aeDA. The above sections where I have used [square brackets] have your present registrars information in place, and the email also gets CCed to at least four email addresses (which I am not going to share here, for sake of privacy). I’m really not sure when this email script was written, but for the sake of correctness, it’s due for an update.

The next step really is to figure out who’s a good registrar. And to what extent you can take this article in and continue with this arduous process. Honestly, by this time you’ve burned more energy than it would take you to run half a mile, or say a quarter. Here’s where my team and I play a vital role – we take care of everything for our clients, from start to finish, and register and renew domains all the time. So in the interest of saving you time and for plugging the Spiderz .ae domain name services, let us know if you’re planning a domain transfer and we’ll help you out transferring your domain to Spiderz.

Still if you’re happy with DIY, trust me when I say this, if you have the domain’s password at this stage, the worst is over! Simply create or log in to your account at the new registrar and initiate the domain transfer process. Every registrar’s system is a little different, but generally speaking, you have to place an order for a transfer for the .ae, provide the domain password during the transfer process and wait for a confirmation request from your previous registrar.

I had recently transferred one of our clients’ domain names from Etisalat.ae to another provider and here’s the message that was received:

Sender: ETISALAT DOMAINS <***al**@**n*.com>
Subject: ***gul**.ae – Transfer

Dear Customer,

We have received a request to transfer the subject domain name to another domain service provider. We are writing to you to ensure that this was an authorized request from your side.

If yes, may you please advise us why you transferred the domain to another provider for our records?


Etisalat Domains

Didn’t I say that at some point in time, you may have to reply to a human and give a reason as to why you’re transferring your domain away to a different registrar. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered at the end of this article.

Once a confirmation request like the one above comes from your present registrar, go ahead and confirm the transfer. Then wait for the domain transfer to complete. In the case of .ae domain names, this can be between 2-3 days from confirmation.

That’s it really, transferring a .ae domain from one registrar to another may seem like a daunting task, but it can be made easier by knowing the right steps and having the necessary information at hand. Whether it’s for cost, service levels, or consolidation, there are several reasons you’d want to transfer your domains to another registrar. Just remember to retrieve your domain password and choose a reputable registrar before initiating the transfer process. And if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted domain name service provider like Spiderz to handle the transfer for you.

Ah yes, and when one of the UAE .ae registrars ask you as to why you want to transfer you domain name from them over to someone else, use some of these nice responses:

  • “I’m unable to give you an exact reason for the transfer at this time.”
  • “I appreciate your inquiry, but I prefer not to disclose the reason for the transfer.”
  • “I’m unable to provide a specific reason for the transfer, but I assure you it’s for personal reasons.”
  • “While I’m unable to provide an exact reason for the transfer, I’ve decided to explore my options.”
  • “I understand your curiosity, but I’m unable to give a specific reason of why I’m transferring the domain name.”
  • “I’ve decided to transfer my domains to another registrar, but I’m not at liberty to share the exact reason for the transfer.”
  • “I’m exploring different registrar options, and while I’m unable to provide a specific reason for the transfer, I appreciate your understanding.”
  • “While I can’t disclose the exact reason for the transfer at this time, I appreciate your interest.”
  • “I’m unable to provide a specific reason for the transfer, but I assure you that it’s part of our new strategy.”
  • “I understand your inquiry, but I prefer not to disclose the specific reason for the transfer at this time.”
  • “I’m unable to provide an exact reason for the transfer, but I assure you that it’s a well-considered decision for our business.”

If you ask me, that’s the politest way to put it. Like any asset that one owns, the ability to transfer one’s domain name from one registrar to another should be simple, if not free of the need to explain our reasoning behind it. After all, we’re rational beings, aren’t we? 😉

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