Arad was founded on November 21, 1962 by a group of highly motivated Zionist pioneers who came to the Negev desert from all over Israel to make David Ben Gurion's vision into a reality. The late Aryeh (Lova) Eliav initiated the establishment of the city, which sits 600 meters above sea level and overlooks the breathtaking view of the Dead Sea. Arad was declared a city in 1995.
Arad is the second pre-planned city in Israel. It is built in the shape of an ellipse, centered on a boulevard housing public and commercial buildings, a shopping mall and a municipal park, with residential areas encircling it. Two pedestrian streets run along the key neighborhoods and lead into this central boulevard. The eastern neighborhoods of the city are built on hillsides overlooking wadis.
There are currently some 28,000 residents in Arad, who have come from various countries around the world.
Arad offers hundreds of hotel and guest rooms of all levels. Many visitors come to enjoy the 19 hiking paths which are marked throughout the numerous riverbeds surrounding the city. The Israel National Trail runs through the heart of the city and many residents serve as "Trail Samaritans", opening their homes and hosting guests free of charge. The city's artists' quarter lies at the edge of the industrial area and includes a number of unique museums, galleries and artists' studios. Many outdoor statues representing local artists are displayed throughout the city. Arad is situated along a popular tourist route leading to the area between the Dead Sea and Masada.
As Arad approaches its 50th anniversary, it is furthering a vision of development in order to bring new young families to live in the city. The Arad Municipality is facilitating new jobs, investing greatly in education and culture and attracting tourism developers. New neighborhoods are being built overlooking the Moab Mountains and the Dead Sea and Arad is justifying its name as the Pearl of the Desert.
Mayor of Arad