Dubai shares recorded a strong rally on Sunday as the threat of an imminent attack on Syria eased following an agreement between the US and Russia  to destroy the strife-torn country’s chemical weapons.
The benchmark DFM General Index, which had been on a consistent slide  over the past several weeks since reaching a five-year high on August 2, jumped 4.8 per cent to 2,659.93 points, the highest in almost three weeks as shares in Union Properties hit their highest level in more than three years.
As real estate shares led gains, Union Properties surged 11.6 per cent to a near four-year-high. The stock has risen 89.9 per cent in 2013, mostly in the last four weeks. It was briefly suspended at the opening while the company notified the market of a board meeting.
Shares of other property giants also showed a jump. Emaar Properties rose 4.7 per cent as Deyaar Development surged 9.1 per cent. Emaar rose to Dh6.02, the highest since August 26, and Deyaar soared to 61.4 fils, the highest since January 2010. The DFM index has climbed 64 per cent this year, more than any of the 50 largest equity markets.
Abu Dhabi’s index gained 1.8 per cent to 3787.30 points. Elsewhere in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia’s All Share Index advanced 1.5 percent at 1:18pm in Riyadh and Qatar’s rose 1.7 per cent. Kuwait’s benchmark increased 1.9 per cent, Oman’s 0.7 per cent and Bahrain’s 0.3 per cent. Egypt’s EGX 30 was little changed.
Sunday’s surge came amid report that investment by Gulf states in the UAE stock market surged almost 40 per cent in 2012 to $2 billion in shares.
According to the UAE Ministry of Finance annual report on the Gulf Common Market in the UAE 2012, the Securities and Commodities Authority recorded 126,684 GCC nationals investing in 80 publicly-listed companies accessible to GCC residents.
The report said the total size of the shareholding in joint stock companies was $2 billion, up 38.9 per cent from $1.45 billion in 2011.
Saudi investors made up for the bulk of the shares by GCC citizens, investing $810 million, or 40.3 per cent of the total. Kuwaiti investors represented $359 million, or 17.8 per cent of the total, the report said.