The UAE has been drawn in Group C of the Asian Cup alongside Iran, Hong Kong and Palestine.
The draw for the group stages of the tournament was conducted in Doha on Thursday.
Holders and hosts Qatar will take on China, Tajikistan and Lebanon in Group A, while Group B will feature 2015 champions Australia alongside Uzbekistan, Syria and India.
Japan, winners of the competition on a record four occasions, have been drawn in Group D to face Indonesia, Iraq and Vietnam.
Saudi Arabia meet Thailand, Kyrgyzstan and Oman in Group F, while South Korea face Malaysia, Jordan and Bahrain in Group E.
Qatar, who won the title for the first time when the tournament was held in the UAE in 2019, will open their defence on January 12 against the Lebanese.
The tournament, originally scheduled to be played in June and July this year, will run from January 12 to February 10.
It is being held in Qatar after original hosts China stood down due to the country's COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
- Group A: Qatar, China, Tajikistan, Lebanon
- Group B: Australia, Uzbekistan, Syria, India
- Group C: Iran, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Palestine
- Group D: Japan, Indonesia, Iraq, Vietnam
- Group E: South Korea, Malaysia, Jordan, Bahrain
- Group F: Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Oman