Dubai's stock index edged up 0.1 percent with activity focusing on low-priced stocks favoured by local retail investors. Builder Arabtec, the most heavily traded stock, was flat.

Blue chip First Gulf Bank, up 1.1 percent, buoyed Abu Dhabi's index, up 0.4 percent.

Qatar gained 0.3 percent. United Development added 1.9 percent after saying on Thursday that it had signed a deal to borrow 738 million riyals ($203 million) from two local banks to fund its Medina Centrale property project.