The UAE's markets extended gains on the first day of trading after a long-weekend, but investors booked most of the intraday gains on Dubai's measure.
The courier company Aramex climbed 1 per cent. The stock had jumped 14.4 per cent mid-session on what traders said was a technical error.
Dubai recovered nearly 19 per cent since slumping to a seven-and-half-year low on January 16 and analysts expect further upside to the market as it heads into next year.
"People have to believe in the next 12 months, banks will reach peak non-performing loan ratio - then impairments will come down and profits will increase," said an Abu Dhabi trader, speaking on condition of anonymity. "There are plus points that people will bear in mind for 2013. You may see buying coming in on weakness in UAE."
Abu Dhabi's benchmark closed up 0.09 per cent at 2,676.97, up for a third straight session.
Elsewhere, Doha's index rose 0.3 per cent to 8,353.95, easing away from Monday's four-month low.
Oman's measure ended 0.1 per cent higher at 5,564.44, while Kuwait's bourse fell 0.8 per cent to 5,907.11, down from Monday's seven-week high. Egypt's bourse rose 2.9 per cent to 4,991.59 points.
Saudi Arabia's market fell from a two-week high, down 0.2 per cent to 6,716.46 points. The bourse fell to a 10-month low on November 27 as regional tensions and worries over the king's health weighed on the Tadawul.