Gran Canaria shopping

November 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

For many years, tourists visiting Las Canteras divided their time between the beach and the many shops in the area. The existence of a free port in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria since 1852 led to the growth of an important commercial sector, which benefited from the low levies and continuous movement of merchandise coming from all parts of the world.

As a consequence, shops sprouted up, specialising, above all, in the sale of electronic consumer goods, imported clothing, cigarettes and cigars. These stores, the so-called “Indian shops” (mostly belonging to Indian immigrants who arrived in the first half of this century) have a reputation for selling goods at bargain prices.

San Agustin shopping centre

San Agustin shopping centre

Following full integration into the European Union, the free port has now disappeared, and duty on imported goods is levied at the top rate. Even so, most of these shops are still in business, since, although they are unable to offer prices quite as advantageous as before, they continue to benefit from the special tax regime enjoyed by the Canaries, with rates appreciably lower than the rest of the E.U., including mainland Spain.

Accordingly, the items on offer are still varied and competitively priced, and the famous “Indian shops” are still to be found on any of the streets between the beach and Santa Catalina Park.

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