Dubai Holding, owned by the ruler of the Gulf emirate, and leading developer Emaar Properties are in advanced talks to merge four local property companies.

The move would consolidate Emaar, which is building the world's tallest tower in Dubai, with three developers owned by Dubai's ruler, Dubai Properties, Sama Dubai and leisure developer Tatweer, that are all prominent players in a sector badly hit by the global financial crisis.

Dubai Holding and Emaar are being advised by Royal Bank of Scotland and Merrill Lynch

‘Consolidating these three companies with Emaar is a natural progression in the evolution of the Dubai real estate landscape, providing benefits to all stakeholders,’ Mohammed al-Gergawi, chairman of Dubai Holding, said.