Dubai World will present a standstill offer to banks in early January as the state-owned holding company attempts to restructure about $22bn of debt, three bankers who attended a presentation on the matter yesterday said.

Dubai World, which owns property unit Nakheel, port operator DP World Ltd. and private equity company Istithmar World, told lenders it needs time to allow its assets to recover from the drop in value following the credit crunch, said the bankers, who declined to be identified because the meeting was private. Some assets may be sold over time to repay debt, they said.

'They need to sit down and talk it over in more than one meeting,' said Hesham Bakry, Dubai-based institutional sales manager at Al-Futtaim HC Securities Co. 'The positive thing is that they are meeting and both parties want to find a better way to handle this issue. It should have happened a lot earlier.'