(Bloomberg) -- Dubai has picked banks including Emirates NBD Capital and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to work on the planned initial public offering of construction firm ALEC, according to people familiar with the matter.

Moelis & Co. is also advising state-backed Investment Corp. of Dubai on the share sale that could take place as early as in the second half of this year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. 

Details including size and timing are still under discussion and could change, the people said.

Representatives for ALEC, Emirates NBD, JPMorgan and Moelis declined to comment. A spokesperson for ICD didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

An IPO of ALEC Engineering & Contracting LLC would be the latest by Dubai, which has been selling stakes in state-owned firms for the past two years as part of a push to deepen its capital markets. The most recent one was the $429 million IPO of the city’s public parking business, which has jumped 26% from its offer price.

The emirate has raised $9 billion from six IPOs since 2022, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Its plan, unveiled at the end of 2021, envisaged listing 10 companies as it sought to match IPO booms in neighboring Abu Dhabi and Riyadh

Governments in the Persian Gulf are raising funds to diversify their economies away from fossil fuels by listing state assets, which has made the region a bright spot for IPOs even as they dwindled in other markets. The deals have drawn strong demand from both local and international investors, attracted by the juicy dividend yields they offer.

Housing Boom

ICD acquired ALEC in 2017 from Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group. The company has worked on leisure, airport and commercial projects, among others, according to its website. Its projects also include residential and commercial developments in the United Arab Emirates. 

The potential listing would come amid a rebound in Dubai’s housing market, where prices are closing in on records and rents have surged to unprecedented levels. The turnaround from a years-long slump has been fueled by an influx of wealthy investors, relaxed visa laws and easier job permits.

The city’s commercial real estate market has also boomed. Occupancy is at record highs in contrast to slumping demand in other cities including London and New York.

Still, the emirate’s construction industry has a history of booms and busts. UAE-based Arabtec Holding PJSC was dissolved in 2020 after debts piled up as governments pulled back on spending.

Many construction companies that sprung up more than a decade ago as a building spree swept Dubai and other Persian Gulf countries have since struggled with project delays and thin profit margins.

--With assistance from Nicolas Parasie.

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