Dubai and Abu Dhabi shares declined at the close, reversing the gains made during the first half of the trading sessions. Fund managers say the markets are taking a breather ahead of another strong rally.
"It's normal profit taking, the market has been up for 3 trading sessions," said Haissam Arabi, the chief executive of Gulfmena Alternative Investments in Dubai. "I don't think this is a correction, markets are overbought but they are still being supported by healthy volumes, it just needs a bit of momentum for a second wave of a rally."
Arabtec Holding was up 0.6 per cent to Dh1.64 at 2pm. Shares rose initially as much as 3 per cent at the open, the highest since Feb 15 after the Dubai contractor announced it had announced a chief executive officer for its subsidiary.
The company appointed Grigoris Christofides to head Arabtec Construction.
Dubai's main benchmark, the Dubai Financial Market General Index added 0.2 per cent to 1556.31.
Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's index remained flat at 6285.60. Bahrain's measure added 0.3 per cent to 1427.21. Oman's index lost 0.1 per cent to 6390.46. Qatar's index added 1 per cent to 8392.79. The Saudi Tadawul was trading 0.5 per cent higher to 6541.76.