Debt restructuring of the Dubai Group played its part on the last trading day before Eid as UAE markets slipped ahead of the holiday.
Dubai Group debt moves affect UAE markets
Local markets slipped on the only day of trading this week as Dubai Group's restructuring played on trading confidence and investors again booked profits ahead of Eid.
Dubai Group has missed two payments on separate loans in recent weeks and the company last week announced proactive measures to deal with its debt.
"[Dubai Group] is in the restructuring phase but decisions could lag for another week because of Eid," said Omair Ansari, vice president and chief strategist at Gulf Mena Alternative Investment.
"Volumes are very low and people are not really participating. People are sitting back till after the holiday," he added. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index both fell 0.3 per cent to 2,748.92 points and 1,687.43 points respectively.
Emaar Properties fell 0.5 per cent to Dh3.65 as the builder of the world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai said the loan due from Amlak Finance, the Islamic mortgage company being reorganised by the United Arab Emirates government, is "fully recoverable."
The Dubai bourse's top gainer in early trading was Dubai Islamic Bank, which rose 1.4 per cent to Dh2.23.
Air Arabia, the most active stock by volume, gained 0.1 per cent to Dh0.79.
Elsewhere in the region: Qatar ticked 0.1 per cent higher to 8083.87; Bahrain rose 0.1 per cent to 1452.01 and Oman slipped 0.2 per cent to 6606.69.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index and the Kuwait exchange were both closed for the Eid Al Adha holiday.
The UAE markets will be closed from 16th to 19th this week.