Skipper Mohammad Naveed gave UAE the perfect start with the ball after the hosts elected to field first at the ICC Academy.
Naveed dismissed Nepal opener Gyanendra Malla for a duck in the very first over of the match before dismissing his partner Binod Bhandari in the seventh over.
Nepal skipper Paras Khadka and Sompal Kami tried to resurrect the innings but the visitors were unable to recover after the early blows.
Leg-spinner Imran Haider and medium pacer Amir Hayat shared five wickets between themselves as Nepal’s batting continued to slide.
In reply, UAE’s innings started in similar fashion to Nepal’s with openers Chirag Suri and Ashfaq Ahmed falling cheaply. Wicketkeeper batsman Ghulam Shabber top-scored for the hosts and was looking good on 30 before he became the first victim of star Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane.
Lamichhane also dismissed Fahad Nawaz while Khadka removed Muhammad Usman and Mohammad Boota in quick succession as UAE’s middle-order collapsed dramatically.
From a precarious position of 73-7, Haider and Hayat formed an unbeaten stand of 43 to guide the UAE home in the chase.
The pair backed up their excellent work with the ball with a fine partnership under pressure to hand UAE a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The second ODI between the two sides will also take place at the ICC Academy on Saturday.
Nepal: 113 all out (33.5 overs)
Mohammad Naveed: 3/31 (nine overs)
Amir Hayat: 3/19 (7.5 overs)
UAE: 116-7 (32.1 overs)
Ghulam Shabber: 30 (48)
Sandeep Lamichhane: 2/34 (9.1 overs)
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