The city of Joao Pessoa is frequented by tourists because of the pristine white sand beaches which dotted its coast, and its rich culture and history. The easternmost point in the Americas can also be found in the city, drawing in thousands of tourists every year. Through the years, the economy of the city improved, and more businesses started to appear. Roberto Santiago, who was a writer, became one of the major contributors to the city’s economy after he built a gigantic shopping mall in the central business district. He is now considered as Joao Pessoa’s shopping mall guru, and the introduction of his malls changed the lives of the local people, and the edifice that he built put Joao Pessoa on the map.
Starting off his career as a writer for a news publication, Roberto Santiago never imagined that he would become a shopping mall tycoon one day. In 1987, he found a desirable lot located in the heart of the city. He decided to purchase the land using the money that he has saved from his job as a writer, and he had to think about what he can do with the lot. He came up with the idea of building the city’s first mall, and he had to get the help from the best contractors in the city. The development and the construction of the shopping mall took two years, and in 1989, the Manaira Shopping opened its doors to the public. Roberto Santiago was delighted, stating that it was a dream-come-true for him to see the shopping mall he envisioned to be standing in front of him.
The Manaira Shopping is considered to be the largest mall in the state of Paraiba. Since its opening in 1989, the mall has undergone several expansions and renovations. Today, the shopping mall has a lot of facilities and amenities in store for everyone. There is a world-class entertainment center which has the best cinema complex, bowling alley and arcade in the state, and there is the expanded food court which offers gourmet and budget-friendly meals from around the world. A lot of brands can also be found inside the mall, and its rooftop has also been transformed to become a concert hall, called the Domus Hall. Aside from the usual amenities inside the shopping mall, Manaira Shopping also has a residential complex, educational institution, offices, and banks operating inside its premises.
Roberto Santiago’s career has come a long way, from being a writer to a shopping mall tycoon. He stated that he would continue his business, and he now has a plan of constructing another mall inside the city. He is also touring around the country to look for space where he can build his next shopping mall.