Development on Nakheel's The World islands, one of the assets the troubled state-linked developer may look to sell amid a debt crunch, is slated to begin within months, according to a newspaper report on Thursday. Nakheel's parent company, Dubai World has asked creditors for a standstill on $26 billion in debt, including $6 billion related to its property units, Nakheel and Limitless.

Dubai repaid Nakheel's $4.1 billion Islamic bond earlier this week after receiving a $10 billion lifeline from neighboring emirate, Abu Dhabi.

The National newspaper, based in Abu Dhabi, quoted a Nakheel spokeswoman as saying that about 70 percent of the 300 islands have been sold on the man-made archipelago shaped like a map of the world.

We anticipate that several developers will be ready to start construction on their islands in the coming months, the spokeswoman told the newspaper.

Thirty-three islands have been handed over to developers in the past year and they have been working to obtain the necessary permits and design and planning approvals.

(Writing by Amran Abocar; Editing by Jason Benham and Mike Nesbit)