Most major Gulf share markets traded in negative territory early on Tuesday as many stocks, notably First Abu Dhabi Bank, traded ex-dividend.
The Abu Dhabi index fell 2.1% with FAB, falling 5.1%, roughly equivalent to the dividend payment.
In Dubai, the index eased 0.7%, extending losses for a fourth consecutive session. Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties declined 1.9%, while Dubai Islamic Bank retreated 1.3%.
Dubai's non-oil private sector recorded its third straight month of expansion in February, but growth remained sluggish due to a downturn in the travel and tourism sector, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The Qatari index opened 0.1%, also dragged down by shares trading ex-dividend, including Barwa Real Estate and Qatar Fuel, which dropped 4.2% and 1.8% respectively.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.3%, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 1% and Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic) increasing 0.4%.
Saudi state news agency SPA said late on Monday that King Salman approved initiatives aimed at assisting firms and individuals operating in support of Islamic pilgrimages.
Separately, Investments by Saudi Arabia's wealth fund Public Investment Fund will support credit growth among Saudi kingdom, ratings agency S&P Global Ratings said on Monday.
The fund plans to inject at least 150 billion riyals ($40 billion) annually in the local economy until 2025.
(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet) ((email@example.com; +918067497252;))