Dubai's stock market hit a two-month high on Thursday, led by top lender Emirates NBD (ENBD), while other major bourses in the region also ended higher.
Dubai's main share index advanced 1.9% to its highest since June 9, with ENBD up 2.5%.
The bank is in preliminary discussions with Lebanon's Blom Bank regarding the possibility of a potential acquisition of its shareholding in Blom Bank Egypt.
Elsewhere, Emaar Properties closed up 3%.
DAMAC Properties, however, declined 2.6% after posting a loss of 280 million dirhams ($76.24 million) in the second-quarter, its third consecutive quarterly loss, according to Refinitiv data.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.8%, driven by a 1.1% gain in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 3.5% increase in Banque Saudi Fransi.
In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.6%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 0.9%, while Aldar Properties jumped 3.4%.
The state-linked builder of Abu Dhabi's Formula One circuit made 484 million dirhams in the three months to June 30, compared with 476 million dirhams a year earlier.
The Qatari index added 0.5%, extending gains for a fourth session in a row. Market heavyweight Industries Qatar increased 1.9%, while lender Masraf Al Rayan was up 1.1%.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index traded in positive territory to close up 0.2%, with Commercial International bank gaining 1.1%.
($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))