Most major Gulf shares fell in early trade on Tuesday, as uncertainty over the economic impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant weighed on investor sentiment.

In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index declined 1.1%, dragged down by a 3% drop in Emirates Telecommunications Group and a 0.5% decrease in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Dubai's main share index slipped 0.3%, with top lender Emirates NBD Bank losing 0.4% and Dubai Investments declining 1%.

The United Arab Emirates, the region's tourism and commercial hub, saw daily cases cross the 2,562 mark on Monday, as it hosts a world fair during its peak tourist season.

All six Gulf states had confirmed Omicron cases in their territories, but official daily coronavirus data does not provide a breakdown by COVID-19 variant.

The Qatari index eased 0.3%, as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory including Commercial Bank, which was down 1%.

Qatar, a small energy-rich state with a population of around 2.8 million, on Saturday reported 3,487 new cases - almost 10% of those tested - outpacing a previous high of 2,355 seen in May 2020.

On Monday, the Gulf state reported 3,878 new infections.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index, however, gained 0.4%, led by a 0.4% rise in Al Rajhi Bank.

Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, rose after two days of losses. 

Separately, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have halted efforts at the World Trade Organization to resolve a dispute over the alleged piracy of content produced by Doha-owned sports and entertainment channel beIN. 


(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich) ((; +918061822788;))