RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

World Cup announcement throws spotlight on Natal’s infrastructure

15th November 2011 Print
Golden Fields, Natal, Brazil

FIFA has this month announced its schedule of dates and venues for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Natal, capital of Rio Grande do Norte, will stage four matches in its new Arena das Dunas stadium including a high-profile ‘Group A’ game, the very Group that host nation Brazil will find itself in. Now all that remains is for key infrastructure to be in place – not least the stadium, transport networks and showpiece international airport.

Samantha Gore, Sales Manager for estate agent uv10 and full time Natal resident, comments, “The FIFA World Cup match announcement has suddenly made the tournament feel very real and the local authorities are excited about the significant number of visitors who will be attracted to the region. They promise that Natal will take part in World Cup 2014 “in style” and also leave a great legacy behind for the city and its people. The pedal has now been put to the proverbial metal in order to complete major infrastructure projects in time for D Day”

Samantha continues, “As a local resident, I am taking a particular interest in improvements to the road networks, especially around the Arena das Dunas site where congestion is a daily occurrence. Not so long ago the word “traffic” was barely invented in Natal but, with middle class expansion and affordable credit, private car sales have been growing at double digit percentage rates over recent years. It’s good news for now, and for our future property market, that the local authorities have a specific mandate to improve the flow of vehicles in the areas directly affected by the 2014 FIFA World Cup.”

The stadium itself has come under fire for being behind schedule – 17 months according to some reports – yet Demétrio Torres, Natal State Secretary for matters relating to the World Cup, assures that stadium works will be completed by 30 December 2013 as is contractually obliged. The reason for his confidence is the fact that the company behind the project, Arena das Dunas Concessões e Evento, does not have any outstanding licensing issues with the justice or inspection bodies. He claims that Natal is the only city that has commenced construction entirely lawfully, unlike other cities that began either before, or in parallel with, inspections and legal proceedings. The overall estimated cost for works is 400 million Reais, 75% of which is funded by a loan from the National Development Bank (BNDES). At the time of writing, the existing stadium had just been demolished, to make way for Arena das Dunas.

The ultimate piece of the infrastructure jigsaw is São Gonçalo do Amarante Airport which, thanks to a combination of Brazilian bureaucracy and enduring global economic uncertainty, had been delayed. Various earthworks such as the runway were tackled several years ago but it’s only now in 2011 that the real business of creating the largest airport in Latin America has been set into motion. São Gonçalo do Amarante joins an élite club of just two Brazilian airports - the other being the diminutive airport of Cabo Frio in the state of Rio de Janeiro - that are privatised. Inframérica Consortium won the 25 year contract in August 2011 and it now has less than three years to build the passenger and cargo terminals ready for the World Cup. Passenger traffic is expected to reach three million people by 2014, 4.7 million by 2020 and 7.9 million by 2030.

Therefore, after a somewhat rocky start, it seems that Natal will indeed be ready for World Cup 2014 and its real estate market will of course take great strength from the event spotlight. Back in April of this year, the Mayor of Natal, Micarla de Sousa, spoke passionately about the significance of the tournament for the area, “Nearly a million people live in Natal and they can now see that the FIFA World Cup is really happening and is going to transform our city. This is a story of change we are creating here. This is not just about Natal hosting the World Cup and getting known throughout the world. Some things won’t go when the World Cup goes. There’s a legacy for our city, and when it’s over the viaducts will still be here, along with the transport and sanitation infrastructures, and the languages that workers will learn and the jobs it will create. We’re doing all that for ourselves, for everyone.”

Within striking distance of Arena das Dunas in a chic city-beach hotspot is Golden Fields. Located in Capim Macio, one of Natal’s top four income-per-capita suburbs, Golden Fields is the ideal hands-free investment for foreigners as it cannot fail to deliver returns based on simple supply and demand principles in a local market that is being fuelled by increased wages and domestic mortgage lending. The 50-unit gated development has 24hr security, a deluxe swimming pool and leisure area and a 6% four year renewable rental guarantee. Prices start from 155,700 Brazilian Reais (approx 64,942 euros or 55,425 GBP). Completion will take place in June 2014.

For information on Golden Fields, visit

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Golden Fields, Natal, Brazil