The Emirates, who salvaged a 1-1 draw in their curtain-raiser against Bahrain after a controversial late penalty last weekend, went top of Group A on four points from two games despite a hairy start in Abu Dhabi.
India captain Sunil Chhetri overtook Lionel Messi in international goals as the Blue Tigers stunned Thailand 4-1 in their opening game to earn comparisons with Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli for his heroics back home.
The veteran striker and Ashique Kuruniyan both forced smart saves from UAE goalkeeper Khalid Eisa before the home side drew first blood against the run of play.
Mubarak whipped the ball home from an acute angle four minutes before halftime for the Emirates, who were runners-up the last time the country hosted the Asian Cup in 1996.
Mabkhout sealed the points with a cool finish two minutes from the end -- his 47th goal in 75 internationals -- to give the scoreline a somewhat flattering complexion.
Until Mubarak's strike -- his first for his country -- the 2015 semi-finalists had been largely restricted to speculative pot shots that threatened little but the fleets of luxury cars in the stadium parking lot.
India pushed for the equaliser in the second half, Udanta Singh slamming a shot against the bar 10 minutes after the restart.
But India, who finished runners-up on their Asian Cup debut in 1964 when it was a four-team competition, will still fancy their chances of reaching the knockout phase for the first time.
Thailand, sacked Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac after their humiliating loss to India, bounced back by beating Bahrain 1-0 in Dubai earlier on Thursday.
- (88') Goal! India 0, United Arab Emirates 2. Ali Ahmed Mabkhout (United Arab Emirates) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ali Hassan Salmin.
- (41') Goal! India 0, United Arab Emirates 1. Khaflan Mubarak (United Arab Emirates) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Ali Ahmed Mabkhout.
You can watch the Live Match Stream of India v United Arab Emirates via beIN CONNECT
Team News! Ali Mabkhout leads the line for UAE, the Al Jaizira will be hoping to get amongst the goals! India remain unchanged from the side that thrashed Thailand!
It's a sell out tonight in Abu Dhabi! Expect a spicy atmosphere!
Veteran Indian striker Sunil Chhetri was the dangerman against Thailand grabbing a brace in the 4-1 win. Blue Tigers fans will be hoping their main man will be on form for the UAE tonight!
The #BlueTigers 🐯 face UAE 🇦🇪 tonight in their second match of the group stage at the @afcasiancup.— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) January 10, 2019
Kick-off at 9:30 PM 🙌🏽
Stay tuned for more updates!#BackTheBlue #IndianFootball #AsianDream #INDUAE pic.twitter.com/DlO55v94TD
With the UAE struggling, there had been a big rumour that Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic could be drafted in. That seems a bit rash to me, you have to give time to Alberto Zaccheroni. Still, the Italian boss shrugged off those rumours at the pre-match press conference.
"As a coach I have more than 35 years of experience – I don't care about such stuff. We know that we failed our fans and we apologise to them. We all hoped to win to satisfy the fans. But our focus now is on the game against India. I have enough experience."
India surprised many with their opening game win. Just imagine if they could get a result against the hosts to seal their place into the round of sixteen for the first time since 1964!
Earlier today, Thailand bounced back from their opening defeat to India with a 1-0 win over Bahrain. Chanathip Songkrasin scored the only goal of the game and it was sweet! Watch the highlights here.
Good evening! Welcome to the Live Updates of India Vs UAE. The Blue Tigers put in an impressive performance in their Asian Cup opener defeating Thailand 4-1 and will be looking to register back to back wins against the tournament hosts. As for the UAE, they needed a late penalty from substitute Ahmed Khalil to resuce a 1-1 draw against Bahrain.