Dubai's shares rose the most in two weeks yesterday on improved investor optimism that Europe's leaders are making headway in tackling the continent's sovereign debt crisis.
Arabtec Holding, Dubai's biggest contractor, jumped 3.7 per cent to close at Dh1.39 a share. Drake & Scull International, the emirate's second biggest, gained 1.6 per cent to 84 fils after third-quarter earnings increased 71 per cent.
Dubai's benchmark, the Dubai Financial Market General Index rose 0.7 per cent to 1,392.71 points.
"It's definitely a move in the right direction," said Saleem Khokhar, the head of equities at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
"There was a decent amount of local buying as investors are speculating about a potential upgrade of the UAE to emerging markets status."
MSCI, the index compiler, is expected to make a decision next month on whether to upgrade the UAE from its current frontier markets status.
Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, resigned yesterday after the government approved austerity measures on Friday.
In Greece, Lucas Papademos was sworn in on Friday to replace George Papandreou as prime minister of the indebted country.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.5 per cent to 2,492.33 points. Dana Gas, a UAE gas explorer and producer, jumped 3.7 per cent to 55 fils.
ExxonMobil, the US oil giant, reached an agreement to explore six blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan, signalling that other regional companies with interests in the area, such as Dana Gas, could also pick up contracts.
Elsewhere in the region, Qatar's index rose 0.4 per cent to 8,741.50 points. Oman slipped 0.1 per cent to 5566.41 points. Bahrain's measure was unchanged at 1,154.20 points. Kuwait's index lost 0.7 per cent to 5,868.50 points. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul was little changed at 6,257.27 points.