DUBAI  - The Nasdaq Dubai exchange plans to allow individuals to invest in sukuk (Islamic bonds) by 2019, the chief executive officer said in remarks published on Monday.

Over the past few years, the exchange has been looking at ways to sell sukuk directly to retail investors, expanding the primary market beyond institutional buyers.

The bourse is consulting with Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC) to launch a "product which provides a minimal investment limit and a Shariah-compliant interest rate", CEO Hamed Ahmed Ali told the Arabic-language al-Bayan newspaper.

He said the technological infrastructure for the offering is being prepared and that a simplified system would be developed.

The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, a government body which promotes the emirate's initiatives in the sector, said in April it was collaborating with Nasdaq Dubai to introduce retail sukuk instruments.

(Reporting by Tuqa Khalid Editing by Davide Barbuscia) ((; +971522604297; Reuters Messaging: