Nakheel aims to become the biggest shopping centre operator in Dubai with a retail portfolio three times bigger than The Dubai Mall.

The palm islands developer is set to tender a raft of big projects in the new year as it switches focus to generate more recurring revenue.

It will seek bids next month for its Deira Islands Mall which could cost about Dh1.7 billion to build with about 2.8 million square feet in shop space. The developer has also teamed up with an international resort operator to help manage the vast project.

At the other end of the city, Nakheel revealed plans for a further expansion of its Ibn Battuta Mall that will take its total shop space to about 2 million sq ft.

The Deira Islands project will be the key focus for the developer next year as it targets a part of the city that had attracted little large scale construction activity for decades.

“There are good leasing rates in Deira,” said Ali Rashid Lootah, the Nakheel chairman.

The Deira Islands Mall is expected to take about three years to build, and the development will include about 300 serviced apartments and 600 hotel rooms.See more