Land Rover forecasts Middle East and North Africa sales to reach a new peak of 4,000 units over the next 12 months, Gulf News reported.

Last year, the company sold 3,100 units in these markets and the UAE is expected to account for about 1,000 units, making it the biggest market for the brand in the region, the paper said.

Land Rover has also just signed up a new dealership in Lebanon, and the initial response has been encouraging, a senior official told Gulf News.

Sizeable demand for the new flagship Range Rover has a lot to do with the optimism: priced at Dh265,000 and over, the model has just been introduced in the UAE, and the pan regional rollout will be completed in the next few weeks, the paper said.

"We expect a shortage of supply for the new model in the early months. However, we have seen enough buoyancy in our operations and expect to meet our targets," Bill Begg, regional director for Land Rover told Gulf News.

"The decline in automobile sales has been seen in some sectors, but we have not been affected. We could have charged more for the new Range Rover.

"However, we felt that our positioning should be for the long term and the present price tag reflects that," Begg added in his Gulf News interview.

Land Rover is likely to introduce the new Discovery in September, the paper added.