Local bourses opened with a whimper after the Eid holiday as investors waited to take their cue from global markets.
Abu Dhabi's and Dubai's bourses closed lower after the six-day shutdown. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was down 0.12 per cent at 2,612.82 points. The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 0.59 per cent lower at 1,483.71.
"The turnover is very low and there's been very little activity as nothing is causing momentum," said Julian Bruce, the director of equity sales at EFG Hermes in Dubai.
"They're all being driven by global market performance and in the absence of that today there's nothing for them to peg their direction to."
In Abu Dhabi, investment and financial services stocks were among the worst performers, closing 1.54 per cent down. Aldar Properties earlier rallied to its highest intraday gain in a month after the developer said its Al Falah villa project would be completed in the next year.
Aldar's stock closed 0.01 per cent higher at Dh1.25.
In Dubai, despite a positive opening Emaar Properties, the market bellwether, closed 0.70 per cent lower at Dh2.84.
Earlier in the day, UAE markets had been tracking gains in Saudi Arabia the previous day.
The kingdom's Tadawul All-Share Index rose 2.1 per cent on Saturday, its largest gain since March 26. Yesterday, the index was trading 0.66 per cent higher at 6,147.4 an hour before closing.
Kuwait's market also ended the day higher, with the Kuwait Stock Exchange Index rising 0.91 per cent to 5,843.80.
Before Eid, local markets had been mirroring the lacklustre performance of global bourses last month.