Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most prevalent cancers and the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women worldwide with a steadily increasing global annual incidence. This study aims is to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and practice of females in the UAE toward BC and Breast Self-Examination practice in the seven Emirates. This was a face-to-face questionnaire-based study using CAM (Breast Cancer Awareness Measure) conducted over 3 months (from March to June 2019) on a random sample of females across the UAE. Of the 400 females who filled the questionnaire, 112 (28%) did the CBE at least once, and 184 (46%) practice BSE. Only 33% of participants were aware of the incidence of the BC in the UAE and those females were more likely to practice BSE (P < 0.05). In contrast, the majority showed a high awareness level in identifying cancer as a curable (91.5%) and non-transmittable (87%) disease that can be diagnosed at its earlier stages (93%). Only 11% of the participants identified weight reduction as a way to prevent BC. Knowledge of breast cancer sign/symptoms were good, as 41–87% of respondents were able to identify at least a single sign/symptom. The lack of awareness of BC among females in the UAE is of concern as it leads to low practices of screening and early detection, which ultimately will result in increased morbidity, mortality, and treatment costs. Further initiatives should be taken to increase practice, knowledge and awareness on early detection and screening for BC in the UAE community. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature.