By Farah Halime

The property bellwethers Emaar Properties and Arabtec Holding surged yesterday as UAE markets staged a recovery from losses earlier in the week.

Emaar climbed 4.9 per cent to Dh2.56 and the contractor Arabtec advanced 5.8 per cent to Dh1.26, the most since December 6, as its board met to discuss financial results and a rights issue.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index rose 2.7 per cent to close at 1,412.51 and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index edged 0.9 per cent higher to 2,573.05.

Much of the bourses’ gains were also led by shares in so-called “defensive” stocks – those that tend to do better in times of economic instability, such as shares in Air Arabia. The Sharjah low-cost carrier was up 2.07 per cent to 79 fils and analysts backed the stock.

Ankur Agarwal, an analyst at Nomura said in a recent note that civil unrest in Egypt, where Air Arabia has six flights from Alexandria, was unlikely to have a significant effect financially.

Apart from Bahrain’s index, which ended 0.3 per cent down at 1,393.15, other regional markets gained.

Qatar’s index rose the most in a year, finishing 4.3 per cent higher at 8,011.77; Oman’s measure ended 0.07 per cent up at 6,292.25; Kuwait’s market added 0.06 per cent to 6,138; and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul traded 2 per cent up to 6,073.79, after a sharp gain at the opening bell.