The Colombian benefited from a lead-out by Alexander Kristoff, but was forced to start his sprint a long way out with around 250m to go.
Gaviria outsprinted Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s Elia Viviani and Lotto Soudal’s Caleb Ewan to secure a 37th career victory.
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) remains leader in the general classification. Richie Porte, Tom Dumoulin, Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde are set to test the Slovenian when the 179km third stage begins on Tuesday from UAE University to Jebel Hafeet.
“The sprint was really difficult because there were a lot of strong riders,” said Gaviria. “My teammates did a really good job on the stage even in the wind. The peloton took it easy after the wind and it worked perfectly.
“I had a really good lead-out man with [Alexander] Kristoff. It’s not only good for me but for the team. UAE is a new country for me and is the sponsor for the team, it is important for the team and for me.”
UAE Tour 2019 – stage 2 results (Yas Island – Abu Dhabi Big Flag):
|1||Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates)|
|2||Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|3||Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal)|
|4||Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Sky)|
|5||Erik Baska (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|6||Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|7||Sacha Modolo (EF Education First)|
|8||Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|9||Marc Sarreau (Groupama-FDJ)|
|10||Jakub Mareczko (CCC)|
UAE Tour 2019 – general classification after stage 2:
|1||Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)|
|2||Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma)|
|3||Jos Van Emden (Jumbo-Visma)|
|4||Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma)|
|5||Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)|
|6||Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)|
|7||Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb)|
|8||Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb)|
|9||Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)|
|10||Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida)|