Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and sent Sri Lanka in to bat on a lively looking green wicket at Sheikh Zayed Stadium for the first Test on Tuesday.
Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad and fast bowler Bilawal Bhatti made their debuts as Pakistan left out Shan Masood and left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman.
Mohammad Hafeez, who scored three centuries in Pakistan's 3-2 win in the one-day series last week, forced his way into the playing eleven with test regular Azhar Ali to sit out.
Sri Lanka had to leave out Lahiru Thirimanne, still nursing an ankle injury, while off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake was awarded a Test cap to partner experienced left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
Sri Lanka is strengthened with the return of middle-order batsman Mahela Jayawardene and Herath. Jayawardene was given paternity leave while Herath skipped the one-day series due to the death of his mother earlier this month.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (captain), Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Prasanna Jayawardene, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Khurram Manzoor, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Bilawal Bhatti, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali.