Companies which have recently announced dividend payouts to shareholders were the top performers in early trading.
Dubai Investments, the owner of stakes in more than 40 companies, said its board recommended a cash dividend of 5 fils a share for last year.
That compares with the 6 fils dividend the company paid in 2010 and 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. However the announcement was well received by the market. The company's shares were up 4 per cent to Dh0.91 a share this morning.
Dubai Islamic Bank, the UAE's biggest bank complying with Shariah rules, was up 0.46 per cent to Dh2.2 a share in early trading, after it said it will pay a dividend of 12.5 fils a share for 2011, in an announcement to the Dubai bourse today.
The bank raised the dividend payment for last year after cutting it to comply with central bank's directions.
Etisalat was also up after its board confirmed a prior announcement that it will pay a dividend of 60 fils a share. The stock was up 0.32 per cent to Dh9.33 a share.
UAE markets were higher in early trading, though property stocks weighed on both the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index and the Dubai Financial Market General Index. The ADX was up 0.07 per cent to 2,588.43. The DFM edged 0.09 per cent higher to 1,644.74.
In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties was down 3.03 per cent. Sorouh Real Estate fell 2.36 per cent. On the Dubai bourse, Arabtec Holding was down 1.40 per cent. Emaar Properties fell 1.01 per cent. Drake and Scull International was 0.99 per cent lower.
Global markets closed down in a sea of red last night. Asian stocks led the decline on Chinese slowdown fears. Markets in the United States followed the Asian indices down as commodities were hit on the China demand concerns. European stocks also closed down ahead of the budget in the UK today and manufacturing data from Germany.