The sources say the plans are still at an early stage, and the real estate developer may take until late 2010 to conclude any sale.

Union Properties in late 2005 awarded an estimated $275-million, three-year contract to the French/local joint venture of Bouygues Batiment International and Target Engineering Construction Company to build the hotel, which is still unfinished.

The developer is also in talks with a group of about 20 banks to restructure a AED2.8bn ($749m) syndicated loan that it took out in 2007 to build the Motor City real estate development in Dubai.

The loan restructuring is dependent on Dubai bank Emirates NBD guaranteeing to repay the debt. Emirates NBD holds a 48 per cent stake in Union Properties.

The sources say that Emirates NBD has guaranteed to repay the debt and the banks in the syndicate are now seeking internal approval before proceeding with the restructuring plan.

The proceeds from any sale of the Ritz Carlton are not currently earmarked for the repayment of the loan.

Union Properties expects to finish the Ritz Carlton development in the second quarter of 2010.

The real estate developer declined to comment.