If Tambau is the life and soul of the party, then Manaira is the person who has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. It is the neighbourhood where the people have the highest spending power and this is reflected in its shops and restaurants.
Not quite as built up as Tambau but still quite a lot of towers, land is still fairly plentiful though expensive. There are still many houses to be had too. A sizable majority require some degree of work and only a handful on a recent 2007 survey were ready to move into without anything needing doing to them. It was common to find three and four bed single storey houses for around the R$230/250k mark. Be prepared for some hard negotiations. If the six bed, sea front mansion just down from Mag takes your fancy then be prepared to shell out R$2 million. On the other hand there is a beautiful five bed house just one road back from the sea front near Tambau and Edson Ramalho for R$450k.
There is a good selection of houses from Manaira Shopping along to Mag Shopping and from the coast side up to Ave. Joao Cancio. Locals would call Ave Joao Cancio the cut off point because the other side takes you to the Sao Jose favela. The Favela is off putting and stories abound about what happens there. However, if you walk round the streets during the day in the vicinity, you will find houses with low walls and walls without electric fences etc. So some people are not too bothered.
In June 2008, the newspapers announced that the favela would be cleared away as part of a R$73 million slum clearance programme to comply with marine law. The favelados will be rehoused in new houses on another estate. The moving of the favela will significantly affect house values in a positive way.
The new 12th Delagacia (Police Station) has been placed next to Manaira Shopping. Manaira is central to everything going on in João Pessoa.Its also the area where a great deal of expansion and redevelopment is going on. As of 20-10-2008, there are 15 new towers under construction.
It has a great looking beach, albeit narrow and ever so slightly polluted. Many cite Manaira beach side promenade as an area to pick up prostitiutes. The prefeitura is keenly aware of the effect on tourism and João Pessoas reputation. Anyone venturing along the sea front will be aware of the police presence and mobile patrols. Its difficult to see how these people can operate under these conditions. The volume of foot traffic is intense too as people make their way to and from Mag Shopping. This will increase as more shops and bars are due to open. These people will eventually move to other areas or towns.
The Ave, which also serves as the main return south from the beach road is also home to some fine furniture, art and clothes shops. There are several large squares with markets, bars and activities such as custom and vintage car shows. Some of the squares are being refurbished (as at 20-10-2008). It has many excellent small bars and restaurants, not to mention some of the finest restaurants in the north east of Brasil on Ave Edson Ramalho.
Living central to Manaira puts you walking distance to Manaira Shopping, the second biggest in the north east and also Mag Shopping renowned for its entertainment centre and live shows. Both shopping centres have multi screen cinemas reputably the finest in South America! Both shopping centres are undergoing expansion and remodelling. (MAG Shopping cinema currently closed for refurbishment).
There are many restaurants opening up around Mag Shopping on Ave Argemiro de Figueiredo in Bessa, near to Manaira. You have all the advantages of Tambau without having to live there. A short hop onto the Retao De Manaira takes you to the BR230 and every major car concessionaire, major building suppliers, furniture and electrical retailers as well as Hiper Bom Preço and Carrefour supermarkets. The BR230 is also the main road to the BR101,airport, Cabedelo and other parts of the city and Paraíba, notably Campina Grande.