city of Manama

Manama is a capital and the largest city of the Kingdom of Bahrain. It lies at the northeast tip of Bahrain island, in the Arabian Gulf. About one-fifth of the country’s population lives in the city. Its name in Arabic refers to “the place of rest” signifying its importance as a trading port for travelers and merchants who’d often visit the island. First mentioned in Islamic chronicles about AD 1345, it was taken by the Portuguese (1521) and by the Persians (1602). It has been held, with brief interruptions, by the ruling Āl Khalīfah dynasty since 1783. Bahrain concluded a series of treaties (1861–1914) placing the country under increasing British protection, until its independence in 1971.

Long an important commercial centre of the northern Persian Gulf, the traditional economy was based on pearling, fishing, boatbuilding, and import trade. Harbour facilities were poor; ocean vessels had to anchor in the open roadstead 2–4 miles (3–6 km) offshore. The discovery of petroleum on Bahrain (1932) revolutionized the city’s economy and appearance, with the construction of many modern buildings. Manama developed as a trade, financial, and commercial centre; it is the seat of numerous banks. Today, Manama is a metropolis with high rise buildings and skyscrapers with a diverse population.

Places to visit in Manama:

  • Bab al Bahrain
  • Manama Souq