The United Arab Emirates’ Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) moved to allow the use of remote working and study services which were previously blocked, in an effort to keep people at home during the global Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

From today, users in UAE have access to video conferencing services Google Hangouts Meet, BlueJeans and Cisco Webex; meeting tool Avaya Spaces; and messaging platform Slack.

In a statement, TRA said its move was in alignment with government efforts to contain the spread of the outbreak, and was taken in cooperation with operators Etisalat and du.

The move adds to prior approvals for people to access collaboration tool Microsoft Teams, messaging service Skype for Business, video conferencing tool Zoom and virtual learning app Blackboard.

It explained the list of available services was subject to occasional reviews.

The regulator said the UAE’s decision to open access to the services, which also includes VoIP offerings, was taken on an “exceptional basis”, with such services typically classified as prohibited content.