By Ségolène Poirier, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Barra da Tijuca is well-known for having one of the longest stretches of beach in Brazil (20 km) as well as generally less expensive and more spacious living than in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone). Barra, as it is popularly called, is also a cultural and economic center of Rio’s Zona Oeste (West Zone) home to many expatriates in Rio including Mateen Thobani, a retired Pakistani economist.
For Thobani, Barra provides one of the highest qualities of life in Rio, and he feels it is perhaps one of the safest neighborhood in the Cidade Maravilhosa thanks to the presence of private and public security.
Thobani also likes the country-club lifestyle due to the luxury condominiums which include pools, gyms, indoors and outdoors sport courts. Moreover, this neighborhood is home to many shopping malls which allow the residents to find all they need nearby; stores, restaurants, bars, coffee places, beauty salons and cinemas.
It was mainly this particular lifestyle and the breathtaking views that attracted Thobani to move to Barra da Tijuca from his beachfront apartment in Copacabana. “Barra is an ideal place to live and work as it is quieter, less hectic and cleaner, especially from the air pollution and street noising affecting much of the Zona Sul,” he says.
In addition, major events like Rock in Rio and Rio+20 are hosted in Barra, and most of the 2016 Olympic events will be held in Barra at the Olympic Village. To help with all this, the city is developing various new transportation projects, including the extension of the Metro subway (to Barra da Tijuca).
With fortunate foresight, in 2008, Thobani bought an apartment in a yet-to-be built condominium building in the area, and remains very happy with his choice.
“The convenience of having free luxury buses to take you from your doorstep to shopping centers in Barra, the bridge club in Copacabana or to events with friends in Ipanema and Leblon was an added plus, as was the raft service to the beach and bicycle path,” he explains.
Not only did Thobani want to live in Barra, he also wanted to design a unique space. The renovation of the new apartment was designed to create an ultra-contemporary beachfront apartment.
The apartment was transformed into such an interesting property that it has been featured in the Financial Times, as well as The New York Times. However, after living there for little over a year, he decided to try to sell the R$3.7 million apartment to accommodate his wife’s wishes to move back to her hometown of Curitiba.
In Thobani’s opinion, Barra de Tijuca is a “relaxing haven” and if you want to “enjoy fabulous views of the sea, lagoon and nature reserve, especially at sunrise and sunset and enjoy the safe lifestyle of the condominium,” this apartment in Barra is awaiting for you.