By Firouz Sedarat
Real estate developer Emaar and Dubai Holding announced merger plans on Friday.
Emaar Properties said on Saturday it expects the completion within about four months of a proposed merger with three real-estate units of Dubai Holding, which is owned by the ruler of the Gulf Arab emirate.
"It is currently estimated that the process of consolidation will take approximately 4 months to be completed," Emaar said in a statement about the merger plans with Dubai Properties, Sama Dubai, and leisure developer Tatweer - that are all prominent players in a sector badly hit by the global financial crisis.
It said steps towards the consolidation would include "due diligence of the entities, detailed valuation exercise, completion of legal documentation, agreement with regulatory authorities in respect of the structure and the process, and shareholders approval".
Emaar, the largest listed Arab developer which is 31.2 percent owned by Dubai's government, and Dubai Holding announced the merger plans on Friday.
Emaar's projects include the world's tallest tower in Dubai, the Gulf's tourism and trade hub.
Property prices in the seaside emirate -- with its iconic palm tree-shaped islands - have slumped since last year when the global economic crisis and a drop in oil prices ended an economic boom in the Gulf region.
The slowdown has led to project cancellations worth hundreds of billions of dollars. (Reuters)