The Dubai stock market advanced on Monday after the emirate said it would allow tourists to enter from July 7 in a further easing of its coronavirus lockdown, while the Saudi bourse retreated with broad-based losses among its constituents.
Dubai's main share index rose 1.6%, with sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD Bank both up 1.8%. Budget airline Air Arabia jumped 5.3%.
Dubai will also allow those with residency visas to enter from Monday, the government media office said in a statement on Sunday, more than two months after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced strict measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Last week, the UAE allowed citizens and residents to travel to countries deemed low-risk for catching the coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index retreated 1.2%, pulled down by a 2.3% fall in petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries and a 2.7% decline in Riyad Bank.
"It's not surprising that the market is weak, since there is no catalyst left," an analyst said, as the kingdom completed the final phase of joining the FTSE emerging market index.
The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.3%, supported by a 0.8% gain in Emirates Telecommunications.
In Qatar, the index lost 0.3%, driven by a 3.2% slide in Qatar International Islamic Bank. However, the index's fall was cushioned by a 0.5% rise in Qatar National Bank (QNB).
The Gulf's biggest lender by assets is set to raise 1.2 billion Chinese yuan ($169.61 million) through the sale of 3.85% five-year bonds on Monday.
Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.8% with Commercial International Bank down 1.3%, while tobacco monopoly Eastern Company fell 4.5%.
($1 = 7.0752 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))