DUBAI - Stock prices in Gulf states nosedived on Sunday in a massive market sell-off sparked by descending oil prices, with the Saudi and Dubai bourses leading the slide.

The Tadawul All-Shares Index in Riyadh, the Gulf's leading market, shed 549.51 points or 6.86 percent to close at 7,463.32 points. The kingdom's all-important petrochemicals industry lost 7.94 percent, while the real estate sector tumbled 9.50 percent.

In Dubai, the leading DFM Index slumped 6.96 percent to close at 3,451.48 points. Real estate developer Emaar Properties lost 8.31 percent while builder Arabtec Construction, another market leader, dropped 9.6 percent, nearing its 10-percent daily limit.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange plunged five percent, while Qatar Exchange, the second largest in the Gulf, lost almost 5.3 percent.

The Kuwait Stock Exchange shed 2.36 percent, while Muscat Securities Market and Bahrain lost 2.94 percent and 0.37 percent respectively.

The falls across the region come after oil prices slid to new lows during trade Friday, with New York's light sweet crude plunging to $40.04 per barrel, the lowest level since March 2009.

World stock markets were also hammered with heavy losses on Friday, as China's economic woes triggered European and Wall Street equity sell-offs and stirred up fears for global growth.