If you live in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and you’re interested in developing Windows Phone 7 (WP7) apps, now you can get help developing and deploying them to Marketplace. Students get to do that for free.

Yalla Apps is a joint project between Microsoft and Prototype Interactive that technically lets you submit your WP7 app via its portal, and in turn it will submit your app to the Marketplace for you.

At the moment, students can only develop and deploy free applications through the portal. Upon registration, students get 100 credits that can be used on Yalla Apps to deploy and update their apps. Everyone else from the region can deploy both free and paid applications for an annual subscription fee of $99, which can also be used as prepaid credit on the portal. Non-MEA residents must use the App Hub and are not supported in this initiative.

Paid or free, if you upload your app through Yalla Apps, the developer name will appear as Brought to you by Yalla Apps on behalf of [Your Developer Name].

Developers also avail from downloading application templates, sample code and components. In terms of pricing, submitting a paid application to Yalla Apps will set you back $25 with another $10 per update submission.

With the increasing production of WP7 devices in the region, the encouragement of apps is critical for Microsoft to contribute to the availability of relevant and local apps on the marketplace for the Middle East and Africa.