Dubai developer Nakheel has made a significant move into the Australian market

The Dubai World-owned company has bought a 6.51% stake in listed property trust Mirvac as part of plans to expand abroad.

Nakheel did not say how much it paid for the stake, which was worth about A$400m (£175m) at the closing price of Mirvac's shares on Friday.

Nakheel, which has developed residential, commercial, retail and leisure sector projects in Dubai, said it was seeking joint venture opportunities with Mirvac.

Mirvac chief executive Chris O'Donnell said: ‘The investment represents a strategic holding and we expect to be a long-term partner. We believe there are many potential opportunities for Mirvac and Nakheel to work together.

‘As Nakheel looks to move forward its international mandate, it makes perfect sense to look at the possibility of joint developments with a like-minded company.’

Mirvac, which has A$26.3bn (£11.5bn) of properties under management and development, is currently in merger talks with rival Lend Lease,

Nakheel, which is working on $60bn (£30bn) of developments, is merging with Dubai World’s property investment company Istithmar World Real Estate.

Dubai World, which is controlled by the Dubai royal family, is next month expected to announce details of the merger, which has been designed to create ‘one of the world’s largest property companies’.