The UAE’s Emaar Properties is looking to raise between AED8bn ($2.18bn) and AED9bn through a share listing of up to 25 per cent of its shopping malls and retail subsidiary. It plans to distribute the funds as dividend to the company’s shareholders.

The secondary public offering is part of Emaar’s strategy to break up the company and allow its fastest-growing subsidiaries to be independently managed.

“Emaar Malls and Retail has been identified as the first subsidiary to be listed in view of its significant size, growth opportunity set and the maturity of the business. In the future, listing of other relevant subsidiaries will also be considered as and when appropriate,” the company said in a statement.

Profiting from rising visitor numbers to Dubai, Emaar Malls and Retail is one of the fastest-growing divisions of the company. The entity includes major shopping destinations such as Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Souk al-Bahar and Gold & Diamond Park. In 2013, the unit recorded revenue of AED2.84bn, a yearly increase of more than 20 per cent. That represents just over a quarter of the company’s total revenues of AED10.33bn.

Emaar Malls and Retail’s operating profit rose nearly 20 per cent to AED2.23bn in 2013.

The developer is targeting more than 100 million visitors at Dubai Mall in the next three to four years, compared with 75 million in 2013, and has plans to widen its fashion and lifestyle offerings through the expansion of the mall’s Fashion Avenue by 1 million square feet.