Brazilian Property Investment Becomes Shariah Compliant

Brazilian Property Investment Becomes Shariah Compliant


Brazilian property developer Ritz-G5 now offers a Shariah-compliant investment in its Natal-based premium residential project, Majestic Village.

Shariah compliance is founded on the principle of “social justice” where companies are required to adhere to Islamic laws, which include prohibition of liquor, pork and vice, as well as fair and responsible trading practices.

The Brazilian premium residential project is the first independent investment product to be eligible for Shariah-compliant funding. Previously, Islamic funds in Brazil have primarily been the domain of equity houses and banks such as Banco do Brasil SA.

“Having explored the possibilities provided by this region for the last two years, this certificate marks an important milestone for us,” says Arun Rama, Managing Director of Ritz Property Investment Asia Pte Ltd. “The regional Islamic finance market is very strong, and with our worldwide presence, our offering will enable us to tap a much larger funding pool.”

Islamic finance is fast gaining traction worldwide, and Shariah-compliant products have proven to be resilient even in volatile markets. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s estimates that the global Islamic finance industry is worth about USD$1.8 trillion as at 2014, and is set to grow to as much as USD$3 trillion in the coming years withMalaysia being one of the industry’s key drivers.

“The demand has indeed increased exponentially over the last few years,” says Professor Ashraf Mohd Hashim, Chief Executive Officer of ISRA Consultancy. “(Shariah compliance) creates a unique portfolio offering for clients, allowing companies to expand in Southeast Asia, as well as the oil-rich Middle Eastern investors.”

The ICD Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI) which measures the state of the Islamic finance industry globally, ranks Malaysia as its top market, valued at USD$166 billion in 2013, followed by Saudi Arabia (USD$36.4 billion), and the United Arab Emirates (USD$24.1 billion).

Professor Ashraf also adds, “Countries wishing to pursue Islamic finance make-overs are looking to Malaysia as a model, as it is home to the world’s largest Muslim population.”

About Ritz Property Investment Asia Pte Ltd

Established in Brazil in 2008, Ritz Property is a leading international development and investment company with offices in Natal, London (HQ) and Singapore. Over the last five years, Ritz Property has been focusing its efforts in Rio Grande do Norte and its capital city Natal in Northeastern Brazil. With a vision for excellence in lux-living solutions, Ritz Property is shaping a new skyline in Brazil and evolving into one of the most respected developers in this region, thanks to the strong collaborations with partners across the industry and with 4,000 acres of prime beachfront build land.

About Majestic Village

Majestic Village is a 75-hectare serviced land plot condominium development in Parnamirim, an up- and-coming residential area in Natal. The project is designed to appeal to the domestic market and Brazil’s rising middle and upper class population of over 90 million.

Tourism triumphs in Brazil as country welcomes 6.21% more visitors

Tourism triumphs in Brazil as country welcomes 6.21% more visitors

  • Increase of 6.21% in the numbers visiting Brazil from outside of the country from January to October 2014, compared to 2013 (Central Bank of Brazil)
  • New flight routes launched into Brazil including Sao Paulo/Campinas International Airport with Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Orlando with Azul Brazilian Airlines
  • Skyscanner have placed Brazil in first place in their picks for the top destinations for 2015

Lonely Planet calls it ‘one of the world’s most captivating places’. Rough Guides exclaims ‘it’s fair to say that nowhere in the world do people enjoy themselves more’. STA Travel simply call it ‘unforgettable’. Brazil is an addictive land.

A melting pot of diverse experiences, melded together with a captivating culture, the warmth of the local people, and the even greater warmth of the sunshine, this South American country has something to offer to every visitor. From the endless white sands of the year-round beaches, the electrifying furore of carnival, the mysterious depths of the Amazon and all its creatures therein, not to mention its rhythmic heart of shimmering samba beats and Caipirinhas at dawn, Brazil beckons across the seas to great numbers of tourists a year, and it is clear to see why

And this summer, as welcoming hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2014, Brazilian shores saw even more visitors than ever before. Over the course of the tournament, which spanned 12 host cities across the expansive country, 1 million foreign tourists visited, far outshining the predicted figure of 600,000, by an additional 67%. And the knock-on effect of this for the country has been huge.

These healthy visitor numbers resulted in a boost to Brazil’s bank balance of some USD 5.915 billion dollars which, when compared to the previous year’s USD 5.569 billion dollars, is substantial, in fact a growth of 6% year-on-year.

These figures are looking unlikely to be just a flash in the pan for the tourist industry of South America’s largest country, as Luiz Fernandes, CEO of leading Brazilian real estate developer, Ritz Property, explains,

“Amongst the improved infrastructures and gleaming new stadiums that will be used for future sporting events and music concerts, the legacy of the World Cup extends further still, having opened Brazil up to a whole host of new visitors from a diverse range of nations (203 countries were represented by visitors during the World Cup) and this can only spell good things for the growing tourism market.”

This growing worldwide interest in the epicentre of Latino vibes has already been shown in the launching of new flight routes that have increased accessibility for many travellers. Brazil’s third largest carrier, Azul Brazilian Airlines, launched its first ever US flight this December, linking Sao Paulo/Campinas International Airport with Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, with an Orlando route launched soon after. The increasing popularity of Brazil does not begin and end with the US, however. The FIFA 2014 World Cup did wonders for more out-of-the-box associations, with Qatar, for example, near-on doubling the number of visitors to Brazil this summer.

It is due to this success of expansion into new tourism territories that Embratur, Brazil’s tourism promotion agency, has recently released a 30-second promotional video, 4 months on from the tournament, in order to capitalise on the good feeling generated by this summer’s focus on Brazil. Featuring scenes of World Cup visitors enjoying the events and culture of Brazil, the aim is to extend the interest in Brazil into 2015 and beyond. And this does certainly seem to be having an effect, with online booking site Skyscanner placing Brazil in first place in their picks for the top destinations for 2015 (stating that “exploring the country has never been easier”) and online travel agent The Internet Traveller placing Brazil amongst their top destinations to watch in 2015.

As one of the host cities for the World Cup, Natal in Rio Grande do Norte is taking a definitive stance at the core of this growth and as Gina Robinson, Secretary of State for Tourism for the region, commented “more people than ever now know the State of Rio Grande do Norte exists.” With much to offer the growing tourist market, the region’s 420km of pristine coastline and seemingly endless sunshine (the state’s capital Natal, known as the ‘City of the Sun’, basks in more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year) has led to the state being known as the ‘Brazilian Caribbean’, with visitors taking advantage of the ample watersports on offer and relaxed vibe.

The perfect winter sun destination, the city of Natal also boasts a brand new international airport, making accessibility easy and stress-free and an expansive 1,172 hectare urban park, Brazil’s second largest, the Dunas State Ecological Park that provides ample opportunities for tours of the natural vegetation and wildlife, as well as for jogging and exercise. With Business Monitor revealing that they “foresee the long-term potential of Brazil’s real estate market to be strong”, Natal is certain to be part of this success.

Ritz Property are offering the opportunity for people to become a part of this success story themselves through their Palm Springs project. Located close to Natal and nestled in a glorious 100-acre setting, Palm Springs boasts lush landscaped grounds, natural springs and high quality facilities including swimming pools, spa and football and volleyball courts. The development provides the chance for the design of an individual villa to suit specific needs and wants, with prices starting at£53,700 / EUR 52,400

For more information on Palm Springs and the opportunities available with Ritz Property in North-East Brazil, contact the team today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit  

Collaboration is the word for Brazil’s City of the Sun in 2015 as Ritz Property and G5 announce partnership

Collaboration is the word for Brazil’s City of the Sun in 2015 as Ritz Property and G5 announce partnership

  • Natal “treasures investments from partner companies” (Mayor of Natal, 2014)
  • Award-winning Ritz Property and leading Brazilian constructor G5 partner, creating RitzG5
  • JV projects include Mercure Natal hotel, Accor Pirâmide Hotel, Novotel hotel and new shopping malls

If the global credit crunch has taught us anything over the past few years it’s just how interconnected we are. Actions taken in one corner of the globe directly impact on the way of life elsewhere and whilst you might not be a personal fan of UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, he was right in saying “we’re all in this together”.

A snappy political sound bite indeed but its meaning is more solemn; the world has changed and collaboration between nations, between economies, between companies and peoples is the key to future success.

One city which is set on collaboration in 2015 is Natal in NE Brazil. Known as the City of the Sun due to its 300+ days of sunshine each year, Natal saw first-hand the positive effects of collaboration earlier this summer when it partnered with FIFA as a World Cup host city. Indeed the Mayor of Natal, Carlos Eduardo Nunes Alves, was in no doubt of the positive impacts of such collaboration stating that “foreign direct investment is extremely important to Natal and the city treasures investments from partner companies in Natal.”

FIFA however is not the only company to see the benefits of partnership in Natal. Award-winning developer Ritz Property, active in the area since 2008, has further strengthened their commitment to Brazil through partnership with leading regional construction company, G5.

Late 2014 saw the formation of a joint-venture between the two prestigious companies with the first real estate projects already underway. These include the creation of the Riviera residential condominium, renovation of the Pirâmide Hotel, the largest hotel of its class in NE Brazil and the construction of the 252 room Mercure Natal hotel occupying a prime location with direct sea views.

In addition, a number of joint venture commercial real estate projects are also planned (subject to licence approval) including a new shopping mall on Via Costeria (Coastal Way), one of the most important avenues in Natal and another located at the entrance to the city as well as new Novotel hotel in the nearby coastal town and capital of the state of Paraíba, João Pessoa.

The exciting new partnership was structured by André Elali, Master & Doctor of Laws, Professor at UFRN (Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte) and Founding Partner of André Elali Advogados in conjunction with a highly experienced team comprising Fernando Zilveti, Master & Doctor of Law and Professor at São Paulo University, José Henrique Azeredo, Head of the M&A Department and Specialist in Energy and International Operations and Felipe Monteiro, Master & Doctor of Laws and Professor at UFRN.

As one of the leading legal firms in Brazil, André Elali Advogados provides advice for over 5,000 clients including some of the largest financial, real estate and infrastructure companies in the country.

Chairman of the new group, known as Ritz-G5, is Mr Sami Elali, a well-respected and eminent businessman in the region with over 50 years of experience who is also seeking to set up three funds in Sao Paulo with the assistance of Antonio Kandir, previous Brazilian Minister of Finance and BRZ Investments, one of the largest asset managers in Brazil.

Commenting on the new partnership, Mr. Sami Elali, says:

“Over the last 30 years, G5 has grown to become the one of the largest and most respected hotel’s investor and construction companies in Natal, Brazil, and its vision for growth and success is as strong as ever. For any successful company, evolution is essential and in Ritz Property, we have seen our future. Having worked with Ritz on a number of real estate projects already and sharing an innate appreciation and understanding for Brazil, we believe the new Ritz-G5 partnership will not only prove of benefit to us but also our investors and importantly, the people of NE Brazil.”

In charge of the new legal structure of Ritz-G5, including the funds which will manage the new projects, André Elali Advogados has been working for some of the largest companies in Brazil in different sectors. It has been recognized as one of the leading firms in Brazil since 2007 and its partnership with Zilveti Advogados (São Paulo) allows the firm to provide legal and tax advice for several European and American corporations.

For further information on the new RitzG5 partnership, all queries should be directed to the team at André Elali Advogados on +55 84 4005-5555 or visit

Ritz Property Triumphs as ‘Best Developer in South America’ at OPP Awards for Excellence

Ritz Property Triumphs as ‘Best Developer in South America’ at OPP Awards for Excellence


International real estate development and investment company, Ritz Property, has won a coveted ‘Gold’ award at the OPP Awards for Excellence 2014.

The company, that specialises in the construction of property in the state of Rio Grande do Norte in North East Brazil, achieved the top award in the ‘Best Developer in South America’ category, outpacing rivals Pure Resorts Hotels and Residences and Six Senses Residences Freedom Bay, Saint Lucia who took the Silver and Bronze spots sequentially.

Luiz Fernandes, CEO, spoke proudly on behalf of Ritz Property,

“We at Ritz Property are absolutely delighted to have won the top award in the South American developer category at the OPP Awards for Excellence. The Awards are designed to reflect the very best in the industry and we are extremely proud to be counted amongst them with this Gold award. This badge of excellence is a tribute to the continued hard work of the Ritz team around the world, and the ongoing success of our high quality developments in and around Natal in North East Brazil.”

The ‘Best Developer in South America’ category was one of 30 in the awards that are judged independently. As well as the other Best Developer categories for the other regions, additional categories included: the Best Agent in each region, Best Agency awards for different sized organisations, and awards for additional services, such as Best Marketing Campaign, Best Customer Service and Best Media.

With a focus on luxury developments that offer excellent investment potential, Ritz Property hold over 4,000 acres of prime beachfront land in Brazil, ripe for development and, in turn, ripe for those looking to take advantage of the booming Brazilian property market. With offices in the UK, Singapore and Brazil, the company has a global presence, priding themselves on integrity and dependability, as well as a focus on exceptional customer service and delivering excellent financial returns for their clients.

For more information on Ritz Property, contact the team on +44 207 183 7565 or visit

What’s in a name? Natal welcomes hotel giant as consumer spending increases

What’s in a name? Natal welcomes hotel giant as consumer spending increases

  • Brazil’s domestic spending up 1.4% as consumer confidence rises (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE))
  • Luxe goods market in Brazil grown 5.5% since 2012, predicted to rise 30% by 2018 (Euromonitor)
  • Hotel giant Accor to launch Mercure Natal to capitalise on growing context of brand-awareness in Brazil

Consumer confidence in Brazil is up as South America’s largest country registers an increase in consumer spending. According to statistics released by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), domestic spending reached BRL 799,423.72 million in the second quarter of 2014, up 1.4% from a figure of BRL 788,608.53 million in the first quarter of the year.

Taking consumer spending to new heights and record levels, these figures are a dramatic increase from the BRL 356,610.12 million which marked the average annual spend from 1995 to 2014. Heralding a welcome boost for the Brazilian economy, these new levels of spending reflect a growing middle class, with Brazil being a focal point for Latin America’s ‘middle wealth category’ growth, as has been shown in the Allianz Global Wealth Report 2014. The Report revealed that those belonging to this category had near-on doubled since the end of the year 2000, to a figure of 13% of the population 13 years later.

And predictions are that this is just the beginning.

Euromonitor International claims that consumer spending within Brazil will reach levels of US$2.7 trillion by 2030, becoming the fifth largest consumer market in the world by 2023. With the future looking more focused on consumption and growth of wealth, it is no surprise that this expansion is part of a wider move within the realms of Brazilian society to an increased interest in brands and luxury goods.

Worth around US$4.7 billion by the end of 2013, Brazil’s luxe goods market has witnessed a growth of 5.5% from 2012, surging ahead of the average global growth of 3.1%, according to Euromonitor International. Demand is high and ever-growing, as interest in brand names sparks interest, and more and more people look to own something associated with a ‘name’, a brand that they can trust, and one that fits with their increasing aspirations.

Fashion is becoming of greater importance, designer goods are garnering more and more interest and global names are moving into the once-forgotten Brazilian market with fervour. Predictions are that this will result in a 30% growth in the luxury market by 2018, making the Latin American country number 14 in the world’s luxury goods market.

Amidst this desire for ‘association’ and context of brand-awareness, global hotel giant Accor are set to bring their luxury Mercure brand to theRio Grande do Norte city of Natal, with the launch of Mercure Natal. Taking advantage of the booming hotel industry that saw an impressive increase of 6.7% in RevPAR (revenue per available room) across Brazil’s hotels during 2013 (according to Jones Lang LaSalle), as well as the increased interest in the city following its starring role as one of the FIFA World Cup 2014’s host cities, now is an ideal time to develop the new project.

With total hotel revenue in Brazil increasing by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.08% from 2009 to 2013 (according to the Timetric report) and luxe hotels seeing an even greater growth rate of 19.22% CAGR, the new Mercure Natal is looking to capitalise on this.

Andrew Thompson, Group Sales Director of Ritz Property, who are developing the project for Accor, explains,

“The launch of the Accor brand in Rio Grande do Norte’s standout city of Natal is an exciting one. The Mercure Natal project is sure to benefit from its association with the worldwide brand name, and will form part of an impressive recent growth in the number of chain-affiliated hotels in the country (12% in 2013, according to Jones Lang LaSalle).

“The Accor name provides confidence, assurance of quality, and feeds into the emerging interest in Western brands and well-known names within Brazilian society. Associated with a French name, Mercure Natal is on track to be a great success, notably within the domestic market, but with interest also being piqued internationally too, buying into the project is a sound investment.”

Home to some of the most fashionable beaches and neighbourhoods in Natal, Mercure Natal is a contemporary 252-suite, 4-star hotel located in the upmarket district of Ponte Negra, set to open in 2015. The development offers an array of excellent amenities including a business centre, private swimming pool and 24-hour concierge. Just metres from Ponta Negra beach and on a 30 degree elevation, residents have stunning direct views towards the Atlantic Ocean and the Brazilian landmark of the Morro do Careca. Prices start from £110,000.

For more information on the Mercure Natal and the opportunities available in North-East Brazil with Ritz Property, contact the team on +44 207 183 7565 or visit

Investor confidence on the up as RICS seeks to raise real estate standards in Brazil

Investor confidence on the up as RICS seeks to raise real estate standards in Brazil


As a BRIC nation with an emerging economy and relatively young real estate market, it is only natural that some, especially post-recession, may be cautious about investing in Brazil. Many experts agree that lucrative real estate opportunities abound in the Latin American powerhouse but enabling investors to access these hasn’t always been easy.

Identifying the massive growth opportunity present, RICS, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, has recently opened a new office in Brazil with the aim of raising standards within the real estate market.

Speaking exclusively to Ritz Property, a leading real estate developer in North East Brazil, from her Sao Paulo head office, RICS Brazil Country Manager, Marcia Ferrari, explains exactly why RICS has decided to now open the new office, the challenges that the Brazilian real estate market faces and steps RICS will be taking to improve standards in the future.

RICS Brazil is a relatively new office for the organisation, why do you feel that now is the right time to have an office in Brazil?

Due to growing international investment in Brazil, there is an increasing need for professionals to be able to work with international standards such as Red Book International Valuation Standards. RICS has decided to invest in Brazil in order to meet this need.

RICS’ ethos is to “enforce standards and protect consumers”, how will this be implemented in the RICS Brazil office?

In Brazil, as in any other country that RICS operates, we follow the same drivers. We reinforce to the market the RICS Ethical Code that must be followed by all our members and the importance of the Professional Experience Route pathway.

What do you feel are the main issues / challenges facing the Brazilian real estate industry today?

The Brazilian real estate industry is young relative to markets such as Europe and the US.  The learning curve is a natural challenge but Brazilians have a huge appetite to learn and this is a great opportunity for RICS.

In what ways will RICS Brazil be looking to address these challenges?

Capacity building is the best way to address this issue. RICS is prepared to deliver tailor-made training packages to speed up the education process of real estate professionals.

Why is it important that the Brazilian real estate sector adopts a more professional and accountable approach?

A more professional and accountable approach is the hook to attract international investors. Without that the risk is bigger and can be costly.

How important is foreign direct investment to the Brazilian real estate sector?

Foreign investment can speed-up the development of the country. Brazil is a land of opportunities with clear demands for improved Infrastructure and housing, with more investment this gap can be fulfilled faster.

In what way can RICS Brazil assist international real estate companies such as Ritz Property enter this market?

RICS can assist international players by promoting international standards amongst Brazilian real estate professionals, building strong relationships with the government to support our efforts and promote the market and its clear appeals worldwide.

And in what way will the presence and work of RICS Brazil be of benefit for individual property buyers / investors?

At its heart, RICS promotes professional development and transparency for the public good. By raising standards within real estate, we aim to help property buyers and / or investors have a better, more successful experience.

Andrew Thompson, Ritz Property Group Sales Director, comments,

“As a committed and responsible developer operating in the Brazilian real estate industry, Ritz Property fully supports the work of RICS in raising international standards. With members of the Ritz Property team coming from established property markets including the UK and Singapore, professionalism and transparency are already at the heart of this company and will remain cornerstones for the future.”

For more information on Ritz Property, the team and its developments in Brazil please call today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit   

Ritz Property marks 2nd anniversary in Singapore with glittering evening reception

Ritz Property marks 2nd anniversary in Singapore with glittering evening reception


On Friday 26th September 2014, leading Brazilian real estate developer, Ritz Property, marked its second year of successful operation in Singapore.

The anniversary was celebrated by a prestigious, invitation-only event held at the stunning Gardens by the Bay on Singapore’s waterfront.

Senior members of the Ritz Property Brazilian, UK and, of course, Singaporean teams treated guests to an outstanding dinner reception with first class entertainment and high caliber speakers.

Held in conjunction with Ritz Property’s authorized marketing partner, Shenton Holdings, over 1,400 investors, affiliates and professional suppliers were in attendance.

Speaking at the glittering second anniversary event, Ritz Brazil CEO, Luis Fernandes, enthused:

“Tonight we celebrate a true milestone for Ritz Property – two highly successful years of operation here in Singapore. In today’s complex world, collaboration is key which is why I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to our authorized marketing partners, Shenton Holdings, and to each and every one of our investors for their commitment and support over the last two years.”

Established in Brazil back in 2008, Ritz Property has invested £millions into North Eastern Brazil, Rio Grande do Norte and its capital city Natal. With a vision for excellence in lux-living solutions, Ritz Property is shaping a new skyline in Brazil and evolving into one of the most respected developers in this region.

Meeting the ever-growing appetite for high quality credible investments in emerging markets such as Brazil, Ritz Property has presented thousands of Singaporean investors with a choice of residential and commercial real estate opportunities over the past two years with clients already receiving returns.

For more information on Ritz Property’s second anniversary in Singapore and future events please contact +65 6432 6278 or visit

Interest in Brazil increases as US investors fly south

Interest in Brazil increases as US investors fly south

  • 10% of visitors to 2014 World Cup were from US, staying longer than the average traveller and spending the most money (Vicente Neto, Head of Embratur, Brazil’s tourism promotion agency)
  • 20.46% increase in flight-volume from Miami to Brazilian cities during June and July (Brazilian Ministry of Tourism)
  • US corporation General Motors investing additional US$2.8 billion in Brazil over next 5 years

The 2014 Brazil World Cup was undoubtedly a great success. With over 1 million overseas tourists from 200 countries visiting during the tournament alone, the knock-on effect for the Latin American powerhouse is that international tourist figures for the year are on track to reach 7 million, up dramatically on 2013’s figures.

One country that added great weight to these statistics was the US, whose visitors made up more than 10% of those arriving in Brazil during the World Cup, behind only Argentine visitors, according to Vicente Neto, Head of Embratur, Brazil’s official tourism promotion agency. Not only this but tourists from the US stayed on average two additional days (a total of 15 days) when compared to the standard traveller, and bought more match tickets than any other nation after Brazilian home fans, thus highlighting their impressive engagement with the tournament.

And with the World Cup raising £7.5 billion for the country, it is clear that US visitors helped add great weight to this figure, with Neto reporting that they were the demographic that spent the greatest amount of money throughout the tournament too.

Interest in the 2014 World Cup from US shores was heightened by a visit from Joe Biden, America’s Vice President, to host city Natal’s Arena das Dunas, where he was in attendance to watch his home side triumph in the match against Ghana. This unusual move from a senior statesman marked significant progress for already strong US-Brazil relations, proving to the world that their affiliation was steadfast and enduring.

Traditionally operating a flow of tourism in the other direction, Brazilians have long-since been visiting the US – primarily to and via nearby Miami, Florida – to take advantage of all that the Sunshine State has to offer. With Brazil its number one international destination, Miami’s International Airport revealed that an extra 178,000 air passengers used routes to and from Brazil’s 11 cities in June this year, compared to 2013 figures, with July seeing an extra 6.9% in the numbers of Brazilians visiting Miami (figures of 187,852 passengers).

The World Cup, however, turned the tables on this flow, with the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism revealing that there was an increase of 8.7% in flight-volume from North America to Brazil, with Miami registering a particularly noticeable growth of 20.46% in the number of flights to Brazilian cities during June and July. This increase in interest generated an important opportunity for the South American country to showcase itself as a top tourist destination, with 95% of those visiting saying they would go back.

This positive momentum has been felt throughout the US airline industry, with many announcing new routes to meet the growing demand. Major US airline, American Airlines, for example, recently revealed that they are looking to launch flights from both Miami and New York to Viracopos International Airport in Campinas, Brazil, with Azul Brazilian Airlines looking to further link Brazil with NYC, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando when it begins US flights from December.

For those looking to visit Brazil themselves, or to capitalise on the growth in tourism, leading Brazilian real estate developer, Ritz Property, are developing Costa Azul in the exclusive neighbourhood of Petrópolis in Natal. Natal saw 24,000 football fans visit during the 2014 World Cup, with the host city therefore expecting a positive legacy of increased tourism going forwards. This bold development offers a range of two and three bedroom luxury apartments, all equipped with modern appliances and stylish contemporary décor, with breathtaking views towards the Potengi River, the Atlantic Ocean and the Fort of the Three Wise Men. A bar, pool, gymnasium and spa complete the luxurious experience and provide Costa Azul residents with a private retreat for work, pleasure or play. Prices start from R$411,488 / £110,000.

Growth has not only been caused by the World Cup highlighting Brazil as a successful tourist destination, however, Neto also revealed that around $3 billion of business was done over the course of the tournament in the country too. This news followed closely in the footsteps of Brazil (alongside Mexico) being identified as the ‘primary expansion target’ for US companies, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s ‘Driving Growth in Latin America’ report.

One such US company whose relationship with Brazil has gone strength to strength in recent times is multinational corporation General Motors. Announcing an additional US$2.8 billion to be invested in Brazil over the coming five years, Mary Teresa Barra, General Motor’s CEO emphasised their steadfastness to doing business in Brazil, saying,

“We’ve been here for ninety years and will stay here for another ninety years. For us it is a very important market. Our commitment is long term.”

This longevity of relationship, along with growing financial investment in Brazil, proves that US-Brazil associations are stronger than ever, an encouraging sign for anyone looking to invest in the country, as Andrew Thompson, Group Sales Director for Ritz Property, explains,

“Now is certainly the time to invest in Brazil – following the great success of the World Cup, it is not just a feeling of goodwill that remains in the country, the tournament has left a tangible legacy of rising tourism, growing foreign investment and enriched overseas relations, all very positive signs for those putting money into the country.”

And this is all in advance of the upcoming Olympic Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. In light of the vast impact of US interest in the World Cup, Brazil’s official tourism promotion agency has announced that they will be channelling more of their Olympics’ advertising budget into the US market in order to capitalise and build on the great success felt previously. The campaign will focus on the warm hospitality of Brazil, highlighted as one of the key aspects that won over foreign visitors to the World Cup, and be part of a R$36.7 billion investment into the country by the home nation.

It is hoped that, like with the football tournament, the Olympic Games will be a wise investment for Brazil as hosts, firmly crystallising their role on the world stage as an emerging nation with prosperity and opportunity at the core, offering much to US investors – and beyond.

For those looking to capitalise on the millions of tourists, many of whom will be from US shores, set to descend on Brazil during the 2016 Games, Ritz Property are offering the chance to invest in Mercure Natal, a contemporary 252-suite 4-star hotel. Operated by Accor, one of the biggest hotel groups in the world, the resort is located in the upmarket district of Ponte Negra in Natal and is set to open in 2015. With a private swimming pool, business centre and 24-hour concierge, and just 300 metres from Ponta Negra beach, Mercure Natal is a firm investment choice. 

For more information on Ritz Property developments and investing in North-East Brazil, contact the team today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit

Nossa! Brazil benefits from Asia-Pacific HNWI growth of 17.3%

Nossa! Brazil benefits from Asia-Pacific HNWI growth of 17.3%

  • Number of Asia-Pacific High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) increases by 17.3% (2014 World Wealth Report)
  • Wealth of Asia-Pacific HNWIs grows by 18%, closing gap with frontrunner North America (2014 World Wealth Report)
  • Asia-Pacific HNWIs taking advantage of Brazilian property investment opportunities, such as those with Ritz Property

The number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in the Asia-Pacific region is booming – with an impressive growth in their wealth to boot. HNWIs are those who have investable assets in excess of US$1 million, outside of their primary residence and financial assets, and the 2014 World Wealth Report has revealed that those classified as such in the Asia-Pacific region has increased by the largest percentage worldwide, an incredible 17.3%.

Aided by healthy growth in both China and Japan, this has taken the region to 4.32 million HNWIs in 2013, when compared to the previous year. This increase importantly narrows the gap between the region and North America, who currently lead with the highest number of HNWIs. A gap that is now just 10,000 individuals, the margin is expected to be traversed by the end of 2014 as Asia-Pacific registers even more HNWIs, as predicted by last year’s Report.

Produced by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Capgemini, the latest 2014 Report also exposes the fact that it is not just in the growth in numbers of HNWIs in which the Asia-Pacific region is outshining North America, the combined wealth of the region is also outperforming its rival’s. Growing by 18%, compared to North America’s 17%, Asia-Pacific registered a total wealth of US$14.20 trillion, just trailing North America’s US$14.88 trillion.

The impact of this growth has huge repercussions worldwide. One way in which this is having an effect is in the increasingly global vision of such HNWIs, with a 25% upsurge in the numbers of those looking outside of their home country for allocation of their wealth.

Leading Brazilian real estate developer, Ritz Property, has found exactly this in recent years, especially when it comes to HNWIs from the Asia-Pacific region.

Each month, the company hosts at least two grand-scale events at prestigious venues in Singapore which provide interested businesspeople with detailed information about property investment opportunities in North East Brazil. These seminars allow potential investors the chance to meet with experts from Ritz Property Asia, UK and Brazil to find out more about capitalising on their wealth.

The success of the seminars highlights the global vision of HNWIs from the Asia-Pacific region, as Ritz Property Group Sales Director, Andrew Thompson explains,

“Here in the North East of Brazil, we have certainly seen first-hand the impact of growing wealth in the Asia-Pacific region, hosting over a hundred Singaporean investors during the World Cup for example.

“Our monthly property investment seminars in Singapore have proved extremely popular with those looking to capitalise on the potential growth offered in and around the city of Natal. So successful have these events been in fact that we are actively expanding our network to other key cities in Asia.”

Indeed the World Cup generated fresh interest in Brazil not only from Singaporeans but other nations not commonly associated with the Latin American country. Guiherme Belli, the Brazilian diplomat in charge of the 2014 FIFA World Cup affairs and based at the country’s embassy in Beijing, noted that the tournament boosted the number of Chinese tourists visiting Brazil, with a total of 5,000 arriving over the course of the World Cup. He also predicted that this would not be a mere flash in the pan for Brazil and that, instead, it will be the start of increased tourism from China forecasting totals of 100,000 visiting in the coming years, up from 65,000 in 2012.

Yet it is not just increasing tourism that is intensifying Chinese interest in Brazil: a recent state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping has further enhanced relations with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, heightening ties between the two countries. Though initially on a trade-front, with a number of agreements being signed on the recent visit, this has a wider impact on Asia-Pacific interest in the country, complementing the growth in the numbers, and the wealth, of Asia-Pacific HNWIs looking to foreign shores for investment opportunities.

One example of a Brazilian project that is generating interest from the Asia-Pacific market is Majestic Village, just 12km from Natal in the prime location of Parnamirim, across a 185 acre site.

This new community development from Ritz Property is close to the popular beaches of Pirangi and Ponta Negra and will feature beautifully landscaped gardens with impressive facilities, including swimming pools, tennis courts and club, volleyball courts, football pitches, a children’s play area, a gym, a stunning feature river and a club house. With 1,800 residential building plots ranging in size from 350 and 961 m², this is an excellent opportunity and with prices from R$157,500 / £42,000 for a 350 m² plot, this is a low entry level investment compared to other surrounding developments.

For more information on Ritz Property developments and the opportunities available in North-East Brazil, contact the team today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit  

There’s no stopping Natal as Mayor of World Cup host city outlines commitment to tournament’s legacy

There’s no stopping Natal as Mayor of World Cup host city outlines commitment to tournament’s legacy


• Arenas das Dunas set to host concerts & sporting events under experienced management
• New tunnels, a viaduct, sidewalks, sewerage systems and 20,000 new trees planned for Natal
• Mayor in talks with international airlines to increase air accessibility

The spectacle, thrills and billion-plus global TV audience that only the biggest show on the planet brings is over, and host city Natal is already warming to an exciting World Cup legacy.

In an exclusive meeting held during the World Cup with leading Brazilian real estate developer, Ritz Property, Carlos Eduardo Nunes Alves, the Mayor of Natal, outlined the importance of the tournament’s legacy on the northeastern city and his commitment to future growth.

The “City of the Sun”, Natal, proved to be a highly successful tournament host, with the brand new Arenas das Dunas staging four group games. Not only was it completed on time but the 45,000 capacity arena with its shopping centre, commercial buildings, high end restaurants, international standard hotels and an artificial lake outlined in the masterplan, it is no wonder this architectural treat was one of the most praised by FIFA inspectors.

Indeed the Mayor of Natal was keen to stress that the Arenas das Dunas would be no ‘white elephant’ with the stadium set to host future concerts, events and sporting fixtures under the operation of an experienced management company with other similar sites in Porte Alegre and Salvador.

Go Go Growth
In addition to the continued development of the stadium complex, Mayor Carlos Eduardo Nunes Alves also outlined to the Ritz Property Directors a number of other infrastructure projects set to be completed by December 2014. These include two new road tunnels to improve accessibility, a new viaduct, over 50km of sidewalks and sewerage improvements to address flooding issues. The Mayor was also keen to stress the importance of addressing the ecological balance of Natal, setting a target to plant 20,000 trees by 2017.

One infrastructure project that played a pivotal role in the success of Natal as a host city, enabling hundreds of thousands of football fans to come and see the games, was the completion of the new Greater Natal International Airport. The impressive terminus, the first to be privately operated in Brazil, welcomed passengers from all over the world with speed and efficiency.

According to the Mayor’s office the World Cup attracted some 24,000 US fans to Natal, over 10,000 from Japan, 9,000 from Mexico, 8,000 from Uruguay and 6,000 from Italy. Many of these made the journey to Natal via the new Greater Natal International Airport with the Mayor stating that the presence of an airport of such modernity and capacity is “key to the growth of Natal as a city but also the northeast region of Brazil as a whole”.

Feedback from the Mayor’s office, after speaking with some of the World Cup visitors, was that they found Natal “good and inexpensive” with many stating that they would return in the future.

With making this as easy as possible in mind, the Mayor also stated to Ritz Property that he was in active talks with UAE carrier, Emirates and Spanish airline Iberia, further bolstering Natal’s already rich aviation heritage with possible new flight routes to the city.

Finally, the Mayor was keen to address the role of foreign direct investment on the future of the city stating that “Natal has vast potential to grow; FDI is extremely important and we treasure investments from partner companies”.

One such company stated by Carlos Eduardo Nunes Alves was Ritz Property who through their Mercure Natal and latest acquisition, the beachfront Piramide Hotel, will be bringing the much-welcomed Accord Group to Natal for the first time.

Ritz Property Group Sales Director, Andrew Thompson comments,

“Having spent a lot of time in Natal planning and managing our projects over the last 24 months, I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact the 2014 FIFA World Cup has had on the city.

“It is truly superb to see vast infrastructure projects such as the new Greater Natal International Airport being built and ready for business, and you can already see the effect it has had on the previously undeveloped north of Natal.

“Having spoken at length with the Mayor of Natal, we at Ritz Property are confident that things will only continue to get better. The World Cup legacy is here and the planned projects, commitment to future tourism and economic growth can only propel this fine city towards a bright future, something we are proud to be part of.”

For more information on Natal and Ritz Property developments, contact the team today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit