UPDATE 8: Abu Dhabi closes at 3-week high while Saudi ends higher for fourth session.
Final-hour selling pressure on Emaar Properties wiped out most of Dubai's early gains, although a late spurt enabled the index to end higher for the second session in three.
Emaar ended flat at AED4.02, a day after opening its flagship project Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest structure.
The developer's shares peak intraday at 4.12, but then fell back through a support at 4.04, with the next prop at 3.95.
It accounted for more than a third of all shares changing hands on the index, underlining its influence on the wider market.
"Burj Kahlifa is on track and the cash flow from this project will kick in, helping market sentiment – there isn't aggressive buying, but upside potential remains," said Chamel Fahmy, Beltone Financial regional senior sales trader.
Dubai Financial Market fell 0.5 percent and Shuaa Capital dropped 3.5 percent.
The index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,819 points.
Telecoms and banks were the main gainers as Saudi Arabia's index ended higher for a fourth day on increasing volumes, buoyed by rising oil prices and gains on global markets.
Saudi Telecom Co climbed 2 percent, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) rose 2.9 percent and Samba Financial Group added 2 percent.
The index climbed 0.6 percent to 6,239 points. Volumes rose for a fourth day, although remained significantly below the three-month moving average.
Oil is up 0.4 percent at $81.82 a barrel at 4.48pm Dubai time, rising for a ninth day, while world stocks reach their highest level since September 2008 as optimism about the global economy boostes investor risk appetite.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi's index ended at a three-week high as volumes more than tripled from the day before, with investors switching the cash from Dubai to the UAE capital.
Energy and property stocks were main beneficiaries. Dana Gas climbed 5.3 percent after the firm said its Egypt subsidiary lifted 2009 average daily production rate by 20 percent compared to the year before.
Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate rose 3.4 percent and 3.7 percent respectively, with the former hitting a two-week closing high.
The index climbed 0.6 percent to 2,775 points, its highest finish since December 15. Oman's index hit a fresh 10-week closing high, marginally eclipsing Sunday's finish, although volumes fell by a third from the day before.
Bank Muscat climbed 2.1 percent, while Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) and Raysut Cement each rose 0.9 percent.
The index climbed 0.8 percent to 6,471 points, its highest finish since October 27 and eighth gain in nine sessions.
Property and bank stocks were main gainers as rising oil prices helped lift Qatar's index.
Qatar Real Estate Co climbed 2.9 percent and Doha Bank added 2.4 percent, with this pair two of the three most active stocks. The other, Masraf Al Rayan, was unchanged.
Qatar's index climbed 0.7 percent to 7,006 points, only its second gain in the past six sessions.
"If you look at the last few years, there is normally good activity in the market in the first quarter due to fourth-quarter results and dividend announcements and I expect this year to be the same," said Mohamed Abu Ghoush, head of equities brokerage at Ah-Ahli Bank.
"The announcement of fourth-quarter results will have a positive impact on the market."
Bahrain's measure climbed 0.2 percent to 1,450 points.
Kuwait's index made its largest gain for more than two weeks, clawing back most of the previous day's losses as heavyweights Zain and Agility rebounded.
Agility jumped 9.6 percent and Zain added 2.1 percent.
The index ended 1.2 percent higher at 6,970 points as volumes more than double from the day before.