In what was an evenly contested fixture throughout, neither team was able to carve out a many meaningful scoring opportunities during the 90 minutes.
As such the clubs will play at Al Ain's stadium in next week's return leg, and coach Cosmin Olaroiu will be pleased to have home advantage then.
In fact, it was the Romanian coach's side that shaded the opening exchanges, with Habib Al Fardan going wide with a shot from range 10 minutes in.
On the 20 minute mark, Majed Hassan played in Everton Ribeiro, who returned the ball with a neat pass but Al Ain goalkeeper Khalid Eisa was quick off his line to smother the attack.
As the half progressed, the home side got more and more into the match and Ibrahim Daiky had Al Ahli's best chance of the first half when his shot was shielded away by Ahmed Ashoori in the Al Ain goal.
The hosts had the better of the second half, marginally and Everton Ribeiro and Jires Kembo-Ekoko both were both off target with their efforts.
The best chance of the match fell to the hosts in the 74th minute when Everton Ribeiro's cross from the left cause mayhem in the Al Ain box and Ismail Al Hammadi's left foot shot beat Eisa but the hosts were denied by the crossbar.