Local developer Nakheel has said its first-quarter net income has risen 8 per cent.

The net profit reached AED1.47bn ($400.26m) in the three-month period ending 31 March, climbing from AED1.35bn for the same period in 2015, according to a Nakheel statement, which did not specify revenues or other financial details.

It attributed the rise in profitability to handover 536 units and “strong performance’’ of its retail, residential leasing and hospitality businesses.

“All of these businesses together contributed to the first quarter results, which are in line with company forecasts,’’ the company said.

The Dubai real estate market, which came to a grinding halt after 2008 financial crisis has softened again since late 2014 after a three-year boom. Prices of residential prices have declined by 10 per cent in the first three months of 2016 compared with the same period last year, according to consultants JLL.

However, despite a slowdown, developers in Dubai, the commercial and trading hub of Middle Easte, are pressing ahead with new developments and finances to fund their growth.

Nakheel is seeking an AED5bn loan from banks to fund its projects, its first attempt to raise sizeable debt since it was forced into a $16bn debt restructuring at the turn of the decade.

The company said it has opened Dragon Mart 2, an extension of its popular mall on the out skits of Dubai in the first quarter, almost doubling the size of the Dragon Mart mall complex to 2.2 million square feet of leasable space.

Nakheel has also opened a 251-room hotel property, its first such development, which is attached to Dragon Mart 2.

The developer is on course to open a 300,000 square feet extension to its flagship Ibn Battuta Mall in the second-quarter of this year. Nakheel currently has several retail, hospitality and residential projects under construction at Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands, Jumeirah Village and Warsan Village