Natal is the capital city of Rio Grande do Norte state. It was founded on December 25, 1599, during the Iberian Union (1580-1640). Its total territorial extension is 167,401 km² and it has an estimated population of 896,708 people, according to 2021 data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
The city’s history is directly linked to Brazil’s history. Natal went from being a French colony to a Portuguese colony to a Dutch colony and, then again, returned to Portuguese dominance until the country gained independence, in 1822. During the Second World War (1939-1945), specifically in 1942, the city served as a US military base for the United States, given its privileged location, which was considered one of the most strategic points in the world at the time, together with the Suez Canal in Egypt and the Gibraltar straights between Spain and Morocco and between Bosnia and Turkey.
With the passing of time, and accelerated urbanization, as is common to many big cities, Natal, has grown systematically and in an orderly fashion. This is partly thanks to how the city is divided, i.e., its distinct administrative zones, and the organized urban infrastructure that has been established over time. Additionally, Natal is a compact city, which makes it easy to get around. Examples of such urban infrastructure include the bridges that provide access to the North Zone of the city and the beautiful Via Costeira (coastal roadway) that links the east and south zones of the city.
Throughout its more than 400-year history, Natal has been able to combine the bucolic atmosphere of medium sized cities with vigorous development, thereby keeping up with the latest urban innovations of big cities. So much so that Natal was chosen as one of the cities to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Natal stands out for its hospitable and friendly population, who like to make those who come from away feel welcome, especially tourists visiting either for pleasure or business. Another thing that stands out is the city’s privileged location, on the closest point to Europe and Africa, as well as its proximity to other large cities in the Northeast, such as João Pessoa/PB, Recife/PE, Mossoró/RN and Fortaleza/CE.
Natural elements, such as consistent sunshine throughout the year, water quality, air considered to be among the purest in the Americas, the sea and its perfect temperature, the dunes and vegetation that provide vibrant colorful backdrops to the city, the historical monuments and the food that captivates all those who taste it are just some of the many things that make Natal one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country.
The available infrastructure and logistics, the diverse hotel network with beds for all types of visitor profiles, the innumerous restaurants and their delicious specialties, and the array of businesses offering services and products for the MICE sector make Natal the best place to be happy and do business.