Dubai's heavyweight banking and property stocks lift the emirate's index to a fresh 33-month high above a long-term resistance level.
Emaar Properties climbs 3.6 percent and top lender Emirates Bank rises 1.5 percent.
Dubai Financial Market, the Gulf's only listed bourse, adds 2.4 percent, accounting for nearly a quarter of all shares traded on the index.
Hopes for strong fourth-quarter earnings, dividend payouts and an improving outlook for equities in 2013 have buoyed investor sentiment.
"UAE markets are making a real turnaround," says Musa Haddad, head of investment advisory services at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. "The economy is growing faster than others, new projects are coming in and confidence is back in the debt market."
Dubai's index rises 1.5 percent to 1,819 points, its highest finish since April 2010. It closes above major chart resistance at 1,778 points - the 2012 high hit in March last year - and the October 2010 peak of 1,793 points.
For a break-out, it would need to close above these levels for at least two successive sessions, which would trigger a major double bottom formed by the 2012 and early 2011 lows, with a technical target above 2,200 points in coming months.
"Volumes are picking up and any dip at this time is a good buying opportunity," Haddad adds.
"We see more potential in prices for 2013 - valuations are still low because we're coming off a low base."
Abu Dhabi's benchmark rises 0.6 percent to finish at 2,800 points, its highest since February 2011.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi climbs 0.9 percent. Analysts polled by Reuters on average expect the bank's fourth-quarter net profit to rise 21.1 percent.
In Qatar, the measure slips 0.6 percent to 8,641 points, easing from Thursday's two-week high.
Qatar National Bank sheds 1.5 percent. Masraf Al Rayan and Commercial Bank of Qatar each fall 1.6 percent.