The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE announced the availability of five applications that residents can have access to from their home networks. Image Credit: NYT

Dubai: The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced the availability of five applications to support distance learning and remote working amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, the TRA explained that residents will now be able to use Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Blackboard, which are available on all networks in the country. Microsoft Skype for Business and Google Hangouts are compatible with fixed internet networks.

In a statement, the telecom authority said: “In context of the current situation, and as part of the TRA’s efforts to support distance learning and working from home, the TRA – in coordination with the UAE telecom operators – announces the availability of a group of applications, exceptionally until further notice.”

The announcement was made following the UAE’s decision to make distance learning mandatory, and after a number of employees started to work from home as part of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

The regulator said it will periodically review the list of available applications.

Apps compatible with all networks in the country

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a hub for teamwork in Office 365. All your team conversations, files, meetings, and apps live together in a single shared workspace, and you can take it with you on your mobile device.


This app brings video conferencing, online meetings and group messaging into one easy-to-use application. You can stay connected wherever you go with crystal-clear, face-to-face video, high quality screen sharing, and instant messaging, for free.


The Blackboard App is designed specifically for students. It enables students to quickly view updates to courses and content, take assignments and tests, and also view grades for courses, assignments and tests.

Apps compatible with fixed internet networks

Microsoft Skype for Business

This app is different than the regular Skype for consumers. Skype for Business lets you add up to 250 people to online meetings, provides enterprise-grade security, allows you to manage employee accounts, and is integrated into your Office apps. You can also make instant messaging (IM), audio and video calls, online meetings, availability (presence) information, and sharing capabilities all from one program.

Google Hangout

You can message contacts, start free video or voice calls, and hop on a conversation with one person or a group. You can include all your contacts with group chats for up to 150 people, and turn any conversation into a free group video call with up to 10 contacts.