This retrospective study was performed at the Al-Ain Hospital, Al-Ain, in the United Arab Emirates. The objective of the study was to determine the common types of cancer in Al-Ain, and involved 612 cancer patients diagnosed and treated between 1981 and 1995 at the Al-Ain Hospital, which is the main referral teaching hospital in the Al-Ain Medical District. We analyzed the admissions of cancer patients to the hospital during this period, categorizing their age, nationality group and type of cancer. About 37% of the 612 patients were UAE and Omani citizens, followed by 35.5% who were of Asian origin. The male to female ratio was 3:2. The median age for males was 43 years and for females was 45 years. The most common male malignancy was gastric carcinoma (17.6%), followed by lymphoma (16.8%), colorectal cancer (14.9%), and skin cancer (14.5%). In females, the most common cancer was of the breast (31.6%), followed by cervix (27%), thyroid (8.3%), and colorectum (7.9%). The frequency of lymphoma, stomach, skin, lung, liver and esophageal cancer was higher in males than in females. Conversely, thyroid cancer was more common in females than males. The frequency of cervical and gastric cancers was significantly higher in the UAE and Omani citizens than in the others. We hope that this valuable information will help in the identification of possible risk factors that will help in plans for early cancer detection.