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Background Breast cancer screening can reduce morbidity and mortality and improve the survival rate for this malignancy. Low participation in screening programs has been attributable to many factors including lack of knowledge. The aim of this study was to assess breast cancer screening knowledge, attitudes and practices among women of screening age (≥40 years old) in the city of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2013 using the Breast Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM). Four out of twelve cultural and religious community centers in Al Ain city were randomly selected. Two hundred and forty seven women were interviewed. Chi Square test and regression analysis were used to analyze the data. Results Despite the increase in the uptake of screening modalities in our study group, a lack of knowledge about breast cancer screening is still evident. Almost half (44.8%) of women who never had a Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) and 44.1% of women who never had a mammography expressed a lack of knowledge about the existence of these screening techniques. Nearly one third of the participants interpreted the presence of a breast lump incorrectly and, moreover, expressed fewer worries about the nature of the lump than would normally be expected. Conclusions The National screening program needs to be improved and directed towards more efficient and targeted utilization of resources. Healthcare professionals play a major role in alerting women to the importance of periodic screening.