Although a small city, Eilat is one of the main shopping hubs in Israel. A perfect tourist paradise, the resort city enjoys a no-VAT (tax-free) status even for the locals. For this reason, it has some great shopping sites, both standard and up markets. To know more about shopping in Eilat, read on.
Shopping in Eilat is a significant part of any vacation. Most of the shops can be found in the modern fully air-conditioned shopping malls; however, you can find bargains in bazaars and smaller centers.
The BIG Eilat Mall, located on Arava Road, belong to the BIG Shopping Centers Group. A key hub for shopping, leisure and entertainment, it is an open-air shopping center based on the American concept ‘Power Center’. It only has one floor with about 35 stores, and is home to several popular Israeli clothing chains.
Situated on the North Shore, this is Eilat’s largest shopping center, with numerous shops, mostly offering trendy fashion pieces, but there are other sections including toy shops, gift stores and bookstores. It has some entertainment facilities, including a multi-screen cinema and a food court.
Located on Hilton Promenade, the Queen of Sheba Mall has only one floor with about 30 stores of famous leading brands in footwear, grooming, fashion and more. Among these brands include Castro, Nike, Emmanuel, Body Shop and Golf. It also has adequate food and refreshment choices.
Stretching 2 kilometers long along the Red Sea, Eilat’s Promenade Area is one of the city’s biggest attractions. Many major hotels are located right on this area. Extending along the hotel strip and Eilat coastline, the Promenade contains many retail stores, restaurants, bars and attractions. Retail stores here are mixed, with some selling high-end products while others are low-end ‘tent’ with vendors trying to offer souvenir items to tourists.
You can find numerous booths and bazaars kept by the locals selling some ‘longis’, ‘sharwals’ and cheap accessories. When venturing Eilat, you cannot avoid this site. Your eyes won’t be tired on the different variety of items offered in this place, as well as the street foods and memorabilia.
Perhaps the most popular item in this city is the beautiful Eilat Stone, which is made in a variety of jewelry including earrings, rings, necklaces, brooches, pendants etc. Also known as King Solomon Stone, it has been used as a gemstone for centuries. An exclusive stone from Israel, it is composed of azurite, turquoise, chrysocolla and malachite.
Be careful when purchasing jewelry made from Eilat stone as lesser quality minerals and imitations are often substituted. Usually set in silver or gold, the price is anywhere from $40 to $150 depending on the polished design and shape. Finished jewelry can be found in many high quality fine jewelry stores while the unset stones are sold in quality mineral shops.
Other interesting items when shopping in Eilat are the beauty products made from Dead Sea sources and comfortable beach garments. The North Beach Promenade have stalls that sell cheap hippy-style crafts and fashion, but for better quality items, go to the eastern end, beyond the north lagoon.