Traders remained on the sidelines in early trading as signs of local growth proved elusive, causing volumes to remain in the doldrums on local exchanges despite tentative signs of a rally on Asian markets.
The Dubai Financial Market rose 0.3 per cent to 1,491.08, while stocks in Abu Dhabi fell 0.2 per cent to 2,598.71.
Despite a rally in Asia, most UAE stocks remained unchanged and those that did move experienced sluggish trading.
The release of HSBC's monthly Purchasing Managers' Index for the UAE provided little cheer for traders, falling to a 15-month low of 50.9.
A reading above 50 signals expansion among the non-oil sector, while a figure below 50 suggests a pessimistic outlook among business leaders polled.
"Underlying the weaker headline figure were slower rises in both new business and employment, a stagnation of output and a fall in input stocks," the bank said in its report.
Asian stocks rallied in the early hours of the morning, with the Nikkei 225 rising 2 per cent to 8,763.41, and the Hang Seng Index increasing 1.6 per cent to 20,033.55.
Oil futures cooled in early trading, with Brent crude futures falling 37 cents to $113.26 per contract.