Authorities in the United Arab Emirates say they have arrested suspected members of an al-Qaida-linked "terrorist cell" that sought to carry out operations in the country and the region.

The statement on Thursday reflects growing claims by the UAE and other Gulf nations that militant groups are seeking to battle the region's Western-backed rulers after the Arab Spring.

The UAE is currently holding a mass trial of 94 suspected coup plotters with alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The statement, carried by the official WAM news agency, says the latest arrests include seven people of "Arab nationalities," but gave no further details.

The report said officials believe the cell was planning to carry out acts "affecting the security of country" and recruit others for wider attacks around the region.