Microsoft Teams launches United Arab Emirates Data Residency

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Tech Community.

Microsoft Teams will provide data residency for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) starting November 1, 2019. This means that all new Microsoft Teams customers in the UAE will have data for conversations and chat stored at rest in the UAE. New customers are the Office 365 tenants that are provisioned after the date of launch stated above or customers who have not yet used the Teams service prior to the date of launch.


Teams data residency in the UAE, as well as our other Office 365 data residency commitments in the data-centers located in the UAE, help regulated organizations – such as banking, public sector, government, and healthcare, – onboard to Teams and Office 365 while complying with their data residency requirements.


Where your Teams data is stored

Your Teams data is stored differently depending on the content type. Please watch the Ignite Breakout session on Microsoft Teams architecture for an in-depth discussion.


Core Teams customer data: If a customer provisions its tenant in Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, India, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates or the United States (US), Microsoft will store the following customer data at rest only within that location: (1) Microsoft Teams chats, team and channel conversations, images, voicemail messages, and contacts, (2) SharePoint Online site content and the files stored within that site, and (3) files uploaded to OneDrive for Business.

  • Chat, channel messages, team structure: Every team in Microsoft Teams is backed by an Office 365 Group and its SharePoint site and Exchange mailbox. Private chats (including group chats), messages sent as part of a conversation in a channel, and the structure of teams and channels are stored in a chat service running in Azure. The data is also stored in a hidden folder in the user and group mailboxes to enable Information Protection features.
  • Voicemail and Contacts: Voicemails are stored in Exchange. Contacts are stored in Exchange-based cloud data store. Exchange and the Exchange-based cloud store already provide data residency in each of the worldwide datacenter geos. For all teams, customers voicemail and contacts are stored in-country for Australia, Canada, France, South Africa, India, Japan, UK, South Korea, the UAE, and the US. For all other countries, files are stored in the US, Europe, or Asia-Pacific location based on tenant affinity.
  • Images and Media: Media used in chats (except for Giphy GIFs which are not stored but are a reference link to the original Giphy service URL – Giphy is a non-Microsoft service) is stored in an Azure-based media service that is deployed to the same locations as the chat service.
  • Files: Files (including OneNote and Wiki) that somebody shares in a channel are stored in the team’s SharePoint site. Files shared in a private chat or a chat during a meeting or call are uploaded and stored in the OneDrive for the Business account of the user who shares the file. Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive already provide data residency in each of the worldwide datacenter geos. So, for existing customers, all files, OneNote notebooks, Teams wiki content, and mailboxes that are part of the Teams experience are already stored in the location based on your tenant affinity. Files are stored in-country for Australia, Canada, France, South Africa, India, Japan, UK, South Korea and the UAE. For all other countries, files are stored in the US, Europe, or Asia Pacific location based on tenant affinity.

This rollout furthers the in-country data residency capabilities of Microsoft Teams. As of this release, the Microsoft Teams services described above store data at rest in the following locations:

  • New! United Arab Emirates datacenters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
  • South Africa datacenters in Johannesburg and Cape Town
  • France: datacenters in Marseille and Paris
  • Australia: datacenters in New South Wales and Victoria
  • Japan: datacenters in Tokyo(Saitama) and Osaka
  • APAC [Asia Pacific]: datacenters in Singapore and Hong Kong
  • EMEA [Europe, Middle East, and Asia]: datacenters in Dublin & Amsterdam
  • AMER [Americas – North, and South]: datacenters in Bay, CA and Boydton, VA
  • UK: datacenters in Cardiff and London
  • India: datacenters in Chennai and Pune
  • Canada: datacenters in Quebec City and Toronto
  • South Korea: datacenters in Seoul and Busan

Please note that customers that allow users to store files with a third-party storage provider are dependent on the storage location of those services and should, therefore, review the location of data at rest for those services separately.


  1. Tabs: Tabs allow users to pin information from apps and services to a channel. Thus, it varies by type of the tab where the data is stored. The tab itself does not store any data. For example, a SharePoint tab will store data based on where the SharePoint site collection was provisioned. A tab that includes information from a partner will store the data directly in the system used by the partner and only present a view of it.
  2. Other partner apps: Microsoft does not provide any data residency support for apps and services from partners that you might be using within the Microsoft Teams experience. Please review information from those solutions directly to learn about where their data is being stored.

We will continue to roll out Microsoft Teams to more local datacenters aligned with the Office 365 data residency strategy.



Which workloads inside Teams provide data residency in the United Arab Emirates?

Exchange Online and SharePoint Online provide data residency in the United Arab Emirates. Please see the datacenter maps for more information about the location of data at rest for more Office 365 services and for all our geos in the world. 


Where exactly in the United Arab Emirates is this data stored?

Teams chat and media data will be stored in the UAE Central and UAE North Azure datacenters located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively. 


What does this mean for new customers in the United Arab Emirates?

From November 4, 2019 (“Launch Date”), customers from the United Arab Emirates who have never previously logged into Microsoft Teams (i.e., no user in their tenant has ever accessed or signed into any Teams client app) will have data residency in South Africa.


What does this mean for existing customers in the United Arab Emirates?

Customers who are already using Teams will continue to have data residency for their content stored at rest in the EMEA location.


If I have more questions, who should I talk to?

Please do not hesitate to contact your Account Team or FastTrack if you have more questions about Teams deployments and how the availability of data residency in the UAE affects your timelines to deploy. Based on your requirements, they will recommend the best approach for you.


Thanks again for your time in reading this and for all the support you’ve shown towards Microsoft Teams.


Ken Hardy

Principal PM Manager, Microsoft Teams

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