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Faro’ privileged location as a maritime port has justified its development across the centuries. Since the Roman period fishing was an important economic sector due to Ria de Faro’s exceptional conditions. At the Maritime Discoveries Faro experienced a strong commercial growth. Its urban structure accompanies this economic dynamics, witnessing the subsequent expansion outside the walls with the consolidation of the urban development that would be encompassed in the new 16th century walls.

Until the end of the 19th century the city remained confined within the 17th century Enclosure. Its growth has been gradually increasing since the last decades of the 20th century.


Faro has become a cosmopolitan city that aggregates a series of services, equipment and commercial activities of regional scope, which along with its historic, cultural and natural heritage are very important in the attraction of private investment in the tourism sector.

The municipality offers public equipment (functioning or planned) in diverse areas, such as health, sports, culture, technology, innovation and logistics platforms that, along with governmental services, are a good institutional support to the installation of companies and private activities.

Concerning the indicators that measure the quality of life, one lists that the monthly medium income of Faro’s inhabitants is higher when compared with the region. This results from the existence of skilled employment in Faro, due to the presence of governmental services of regional scope, such as: Faro District Hospital, University, Airport and specialized companies that are attracted to the proximity of administrative services and equipment that they depend on for their activities. The monthly medium income indicator also shows us that the incomes of the employees working in secondary and tertiary sectors are, in Faro, higher than the region’s average.

The superiority of Faro, when compared with the region, is also clear regarding the number of companies, concentration of business volume of the 4 biggest companies and concentration of gross value added of the 4 biggest companies. These facts corroborate the economic dynamism of the region’s capital.

The agrifood and aquaculture sectors have become very important in the region, achieving importance because they stimulate the reconversion of activities related with traditional agriculture, forestry and fishing. The aquaculture sector enjoys favourable environmental and climacteric conditions and has been growing, namely bivalve marine cultures, which represent about 70% of the national production.

Although Faro has a varied industrial structure, with some relevance for wood, chemical and plastic industries, the potentialities of the municipality’s industrial sector are related with the development of a technological sector, based on advanced services provided by the University of the Algarve and by the city’s quaternary sector, whose consolidation is expected with the implementation of the Algarve International Technology Park (Technopolis Zone) in Gambelas.

In the scope of equipment with economic nature, more precisely in the logistics sector, one must consider the Faro’s Wholesale Market (MARF), which, while a modern Logistic Centre, presents itself as an important structuring equipment of public interest, fundamental for the regional development and urban and commercial planning of the Algarve. This structure as a set of new and functional spaces meant for various operators in the food business, processor, storekeepers, distributors, transporters, such as other professionals in complementary activities.

Innovative projects:

Faro is one of the most active cities in Portugal in support and incentives for the rehabilitation of historic centers, for its initiative and work with the private sector, being a case study by the Portuguese Trade Confederation.

Faro is the only Portuguese city recognized by IBM as Smart City, as part of its international competition Smart City Challenge.

Main achievements in 2017-2018:

  • More than 150 sporting events are held and promoting better quality of life and organized annually in a territory with more than 60,000 residents, mobilizing more than 4,500 people and more than 10,000 users are registered in our sports equipment.
  • The rehabilitation of several streets in the historic center, improving mobility for all, increasing the pedestrian areas and installing awnings, which reinforced the attraction of residents and tourists to the historic center, developing the concept of open-air shopping center. This policy of support for urban rehabilitation, which has stimulated and supported private investments in more than 200 private buildings in the historic center, has led to the appearance of a strong supply of new hotels and local accommodation (184% growth since 2016), increasing the number of beds was 137%.
  • The promotion of a tourism marketing strategy for Faro, as a Nautical Destination, obtaining the certification of Faro’s Nautical Station in a process triggered at national level.
  • An International Puppet Festival, involving more than 6 other municipalities, representing more than 60% of the region's population.
  • The annual organization of one of the largest Portuguese music festivals – Festival F- which annually attracts more than 20,000 people.

The attendances of the Municipal Theater shows count annually more than 50,000 spectators.