Arad is a city in the Southern District of Israel. It is located on the border of the Negev and the Judean Deserts, 25 kilometres (16 miles) west of the Dead Sea and 45 kilometres (28 miles) east of Beersheba. The city is home to a diverse population of 26,756, including Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, both secular and religious, Bedouins and Black Hebrews, as well as new immigrants.
After attempts to settle the area in the 1920s, Arad was founded in November 1962 as an Israeli development town, the first planned city in Israel. Arad's population grew significantly with the Aliyah from the former Soviet Union.
Landmarks in Arad include the ruins of Tel Arad, Arad Park, a domestic airfield and Israel's first legal race circuit. The city is known for its annual summer music festival, the Arad Festival.