Sawafi Arab Language Search Engine to Launch
Seekport is panning on launching the Arab language search engine “Sawafi” (“sandstorm”) later this year which will be specially designed to meet the challenges of the Arabic language. Sawafi will be the project of Dubai based Seekport Internet Technologies Arabia FZ-LLC,, a joint venture between Seekport and the MITSCO Group of Saudi Arabia.
From the release:
The Arabic Internet search market is currently one of the most dynamic and least exploited worldwide, with an estimated 24 million users in 2005 – and as many as 43 million users expected by 2008.
The contracts for the joint venture were signed at the GITEX IT trade show in Riyadh on 23 April 2006, in the presence of Seekport and officials from MITSCO which is a leading provider of innovative technology solutions based in Riyadh.
“We will launch Sawafi this year. It will be the first search engine optimized for the Arabic language, said Hermann Havermann, managing director of the new Seekport Internet Technologies Arabia, at the contract signing ceremony in Riyadh. “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.”
Interesting info on Arabic and Search:
* The ten most popular websites in the Arabic region account for between 16 and 70 million page-impressions.
* Estimates put the total number of Arabic language websites at around 100 million at the present time, doubling every year – which is only a very small proportion of the total worldwide Internet content of more than 12 billion sites.
* One of the reasons for this is the very high requirements that the Arabic language makes for Internet search engines. Current search algorithms in the usual Internet search engines are hardly capable of observing even the simplest morphological conditions required to process Arabic-language contents in a meaningful way for users.