Dubai's stock index plunged on Sunday, recording its biggest daily percentage drop in six years, in a broad sell-off as investors dumped stocks in response to the collapse of the oil price.
The Dubai benchmark tumbled 7.6 percent to 3,321 points, wiping out all its year-to-date gains. Developer Emaar Properties and builder Arabtec Holding, the two stocks which topped trading volumes, lost 8.0 and 9.7 percent respectively.
Dubai Islamic Bank and Union Properties fell their daily 10 percent limits.
Logistics firm Aramex was one of just a handful of stocks that bucked the trend, gaining 0.7 percent after announcing it had bought the master franchise for South African retailer PostNet for $16.5 million from OneLogix Group.
Dubai's market is particularly volatile because some investors have heavily leveraged their purchases and investors from around the Gulf treat Dubai as a venue to make short-term profits.
But other bourses in the region are also being swept up in the selling panic, which is fuelled by fears that cheaper oil could prompt governments to slow their spending as energy export revenues shrink, hurting corporate profits.
Abu Dhabi's market dropped 3.6 percent, also wiping out all its 2014 gains, and Qatar's benchmark tumbled 5.9 percent.
Brent crude dropped nearly 3 percent and settled at below $62 a barrel on Friday after the International Energy Agency cut its outlook for demand growth in 2015.
The head of OPEC said on Sunday the cartel had no target price for the commodity and it had fallen further than market fundamentals should have dictated.For all the latest market news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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