It was the second time the race climbed Jebel Hafeet and featured multiple exciting attacks by major protagonists Yates, Pogacar and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) who finished second.
Pogacar took six seconds out of Yates' overall lead by virtue of the winner's time bonus, but the Brit still holds an advantage of one minute and one second with with just two flat stages remaining.
There were celebrations inside the UAE team car as the 21-year-old narrowly beat Lutsenko:
But thoughts now turn to the two confirmed coronavirus cases cancelling the race with riders, staff and press in lockdown as they also undergo widespread testing for the virus.
Earlier tweets from several teams and some press suggested the race was cancelled but the official word from race organisers was only received at 10am, Friday (AEDT).
The email from race organisers reads:
"The Higher Organising Committee has cancelled the remaining stages of the 2020 UAE Tour after two Italian staff members of one of the teams participating in the UAE Tour had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
"The decision has been taken to ensure protection of all the Race's participants...safety comes at the top of all priorities."
No decision on final standings has been made at this stage (Friday 10am AEDT).