Air Arabia, the largest low-cost carrier in the Mena region, led UAE equities lower after paying a dividend.
The company reached its lowest closing price on the Dubai Financial Market General Index since its 2007 initial public offering, closing 9 per cent lower at 76 fils after distributing a dividend of 8 fils a share.
Arabtec Holding, Dubai's biggest contractor, was unchanged at Dh1.64 despite the company's chief financial officer, Ziad Makhzoumi, saying he maintained a positive outlook for the first quarter despite civil unrest in the region.
The Dubai index declined 0.8 per cent to 1,542.94.
"It was a quiet day with low volumes," said Khaled Masri, a partner at Rasmala Investment Bank. "We've had a few good trading sessions benefiting from favourable regional and global trends. It is normal that markets just quiet down after a strong week."
Trading was similarly muted in the capital, where the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index declined 0.07 per cent to 2,632.92. RAK Ceramics was up 1.3 per cent at 78 fils. Aldar Properties fell 1.9 per cent to Dh1.45.
Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's measure slipped 0.4 per cent to 6,294.50; Bahrain's rose 0.4 per cent to 1,432.91; Oman's fell 1.7 per cent to 6,225.36; and Qatar's closed 0.1 per cent lower at 8,386.87. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was up 0.4 per cent at 6,546.36.