Dubai's bourse rose to a 32-month closing high in heavy trade on Sunday as it tested, but failed to break, long-term technical resistance. Most regional markets also gained.
The Dubai index, buoyed by a budding recovery in the real estate market and the belief that the emirate has largely put its 2009-2010 corporate debt crisis behind it, climbed as high as 1,803 points before it finished up 1.0 percent at 1,792 points, its highest close since April 2010.
The index was testing major chart resistance between 1,778 points, the 2012 high hit in March last year, and the October 2010 peak of 1,793 points.
Any clean break - a close above that area for at least two successive sessions - 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.
"The market has the potential to break the 1,800 level, which was tested today - the volumes were significant and a continuation on last week's volumes," said Musa Haddad, head of investment advisory services at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
Investors may decide to book gains in the next few sessions, but this could merely allow medium- and long-term investors to buy at lower prices.
"This is a huge recovery for the Dubai market, heading to 2,200 to 2,400 points," added Haddad. "The market has been basing out for a few years and this is a bullish confirmation on the Dubai market, which should continue for a couple of years."
The market traded 446 million shares during the day, a little below the peak of 505 million shares traded on Jan. 9, which was the highest in about a year.
Bellwether Emaar Properties rose 4.1 percent, National Central Cooling (Tabreed) added 2.4 percent and Union Properties climbed 6.3 percent
Abu Dhabi's measure gained 0.6 percent to its highest close since November 2010. Heavyweights First Gulf Bank and Etisalat climbed 2.1 and 0.1 percent respectively.