Air Arabia provided lift for the Dubai bourse yesterday, injecting some New Year cheer to the index.
The biggest budget carrier in the region rose the most in almost 12 months, amid frenzied buying.
Air Arabia's shares surged 4.2 per cent, the biggest one day gain since January 24, to close at 83 fils each. It was the top traded stock, with 32.7 million shares changing hands, an increase of 176 per cent from Thursday's trading session.
"Investors are buying the shares with the expectation of decent dividends," said Nabil Al Rantisi, the managing director of brokerage at Mena Corp, an investment company in Abu Dhabi.
Positive investor sentiment helped to lift stocks across the broader market.
The Dubai Financial Market Company, the only publicly listed stock market in the region, gained 1.9 per cent to Dh1.04.
The Dubai Financial Market General Index advanced 1.1 per cent, outperforming regional indexes, and closed at 1,629.07 points.
Abu Dhabi's index was little changed, though one bank hit its daily price limit floor. The National Bank of Fujairah dropped 9.7 per cent to Dh4.55.
"It's a very illiquid stock," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, the managing director at National Bank of Abu Dhabi's brokerage arm. "It's a cross trade, so when investors agree on a price it tends to move."
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index added 0.06 per cent to 2,626.97 points.