Investors in the UAE sold shares amid a lack of positive news and as regional tensions escalated amid increased attacks on Gaza. The declines have dampened sentiment for fund managers who were betting on a traditional end-of-year rally, which usually takes place in the last two months of the year.
"This is the time where you load up and ride the wave," said Haissam Arabi, the chief executive at Gulfmena Investments, an asset manager in Dubai. "You don't sell."
Dubai's index fell to its lowest in more than a month, down 1.3 per cent to 1,579.12 points. Property and construction stocks led the declines on the Dubai Financial Market.
Emaar Properties, the developer of the Burj Khalifa, fell 1.3 per cent to Dh3.57. Tabreed, also known as National Central Cooling, fell 4.1 per cent to Dh1.17.
Meanwhile, Israel was ready to invade Gaza if truce efforts failed, the Israeli finance minister told Bloomberg.
"Investors are being rattled with what is happening regionally," said Julian Bruce, EFG Hermes' director of institutional equity sales. "It is a worry."
On the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Sorouh fell 3.1 per cent to Dh1.22. First Gulf Bank fell 1.9 per centto Dh10.25. Dana Gas, the Sharjah-based gas explorer and producer, fell 4.8 per cent to 39 fils. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index fell 0.7 per cent to 2,660.17 points.
Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure added 0.2 per cent to 5783.36 points. Bahrain's index fell one per cent to 1,043.18 points. Oman's MSM 30 Index slipped 0.2 per cent to 5,601.94 points. Qatar's QE Index was little changed, up 0.04 per cent, to 8,380.92 points.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index moved 1.46 per cent lower to 6,666.46.