Manama

Manama

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Encyclopedia
Manama is the capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 and largest city of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, with an approximate population of 155,000 people.

Long an important trading center in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, Manama is home to a very diverse population. After periods of Portuguese and Persian control and invasions from the Al Sauds and Oman, Bahrain established itself as an independent nation during the 19th century period of British hegemony. In the 20th century, Bahrain's oil wealth helped spur fast growth and in the 1990s a concerted diversification effort lead to expansion in other industries and helped transform Manama into an important financial hub in the Middle East.

History


Manama was mentioned in Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic chronicles at least as far back as 1345. It was conquered by Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 in 1521 and then by the Persians
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 in 1602. Since [1783] it has been under the control of the Al-Khalifa dynasty. Manama was declared a free port
Free port
A free port or free zone , sometimes also called a bonded area is a port, port area or other area with relaxed jurisdiction with respect to the country of location...

 in 1958, and in 1971 it became the capital of independent Bahrain.

The north of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

’s main island, which is dominated by Manama today, has seen human activity for roughly 5,000 years, as is indicated from the remains around Bahrain Fort
Qal'at al-Bahrain
The Qal'at al-Bahrain The Qal'at al-Bahrain The Qal'at al-Bahrain (in , also known as the Bahrain Fort or Fort of Bahrain and previously as the Portugal Fort (Qal'at al Portugal) is an archaeological site located in Bahrain...

. Early inhabitants are often associated with the historical Dilmun Civilisation
Dilmun
Dilmun or Telmun is a land mentioned by Mesopotamian civilizations as a trade partner, a source of the metal copper, and an entrepôt of the Mesopotamia-to-Indus Valley Civilization trade route...

 though the historical records of Dilmun are scanty. The islanders were soon, however, disturbed by a series of invaders, beginning with the Assyrians
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

 during the BC period and ending with the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s. During these many centuries Bahrain was a trading post whose importance fluctuated depending on which empire dominated. Manama and its inhabitants were first introduced to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 during the 7th century and by the 9th century began to lean to a more conservative almost socialist belief system that caused considerable friction with the surrounding Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 lands. The Qarmatians
Qarmatians
The Qarmatians were a Shi'a Ismaili group centered in eastern Arabia, where they attempted to established a utopian republic in 899 CE. They are most famed for their revolt against the Abbasid Caliphate...

, as this group was known, ransacked Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 in 930 during the sacred Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

, killing hundreds before escaping with the much revered Black Stone
Black Stone
The Black Stone is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic, which according to Muslim tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.The...

. A feud with the Baghdad-based Abbasids less than 50 years later saw the Qarmatians
Qarmatians
The Qarmatians were a Shi'a Ismaili group centered in eastern Arabia, where they attempted to established a utopian republic in 899 CE. They are most famed for their revolt against the Abbasid Caliphate...

 leave the town.

The next major foreign intervention in Bahrain came at the beginning of the 16th century when the Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 naval fleets arrived, quickly crushing the small local population in Manama and the surrounding areas. Bahrain Fort
Qal'at al-Bahrain
The Qal'at al-Bahrain The Qal'at al-Bahrain The Qal'at al-Bahrain (in , also known as the Bahrain Fort or Fort of Bahrain and previously as the Portugal Fort (Qal'at al Portugal) is an archaeological site located in Bahrain...

 was built during this era, probably to keep out the Persians
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 who nevertheless managed a series of invasions as the whole island alternated between the Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

, Persians, and Omanis for the following two centuries. Once the Persians eventually forced the other two out, it was not long before the Al Khalifa
Al Khalifa
The Al Khalifa family is the ruling family of Bahrain. The Al Khalifa profess Sunni Islam and belong to the Anizah tribe that migrated from Najd to Kuwait in the early 18th century. They are also from the Utub tribe...

 family appeared from nearby Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, to take control of the whole of the island at the end of the 18th century. The new rulers, whose dynasty continues to this day, sought protection against the Persians from the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, which by that time had established its hegemony in much of the Middle East, and Manama entered a period of colonial influence. Colonial interest only increased when oil was discovered 30 km (19 mi) south of Manama in the centre of the island and first extracted in 1931. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Bahrain moved slowly towards independence and eventually in 1971 the British pulled out leaving Manama in charge of its own affairs. This was the beginning of a period that has seen it grow and flourish primarily due to the considerable wealth accumulated through oil production and processing.

Geography


Historically, Manama has been restricted to what is now known as the Manama Souq
Manama Souq
Manama Souq is the old bazaar of Bahrain's capital, Manama. It lies in the north of Manama Peninsula, in-between the old parts of the city and the Central Business District, to the east of Noaim and west of Ras Rumman. The area also is home to Bahrain's only synagogue.It is a bustling...

 and the Manama Fort (now the Ministry of Interior) to its south. However the city has now grown to include a number of newer suburban developments as well as older neighboring villages that have been engulfed by the growth of the city. The neighborhoods of Manama today include:

Law and government


Manama is part of the Capital Governorate, one of five Governorates of Bahrain
Governorates of Bahrain
Bahrain is split into five governorates. These governorates are:- Former municipalities :Bahrain was formerly split into twelve municipalities that were all administered from the capital city of Manama. On July 3, 2002, these were superseded by the five governorates of Bahrain...

. Until 2002 it was part of the municipality of Al-Manamah. Councils exist within the governorates; eight constituencies are voted upon within Capital Governorate in 2006.

Economy


Manama is the focal point of the Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

i economy. While oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 has decreased in importance in recent years due to depleting reserves and growth in other industries, petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 is still the mainstay of the economy. Heavy industry
Heavy industry
Heavy industry does not have a single fixed meaning as compared to light industry. It can mean production of products which are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production. In general, it is a popular term used within the name of many Japanese and Korean firms, meaning...

 (e.g. aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 smelting
Smelting
Smelting is a form of extractive metallurgy; its main use is to produce a metal from its ore. This includes iron extraction from iron ore, and copper extraction and other base metals from their ores...

, ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

 repair), banking and finance, and tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 are among the industries which have experienced recent growth. Several multinationals have facilities and offices in and around Manama. The primary industry in Manama itself is financial services, with over two hundred financial institutions and banks based in the CBD
Central Business District, Manama
The Central Business District of Manama, Bahrain, is the most vital part of the capital. Many of the city's hotels, office buildings, shops and restaurants are located in the CBD...

 and the Diplomatic Area
Diplomatic Area
The Diplomatic Area is an area that is located within the Central Business District of Manama, the capital city of Bahrain, an island kingdom in the Persian Gulf....

. Manama is a financial hub for the Persian Gulf region and a center of Islamic banking
Islamic banking
Islamic banking is banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Sharia prohibits the fixed or floating payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees for loans of money...

. There is also a large retail sector in the shopping malls around Seef
Seef
Seef is a suburban neighborhood in Manama, the capital city of Bahrain.Seef is a result of active land reclamation work starting in the 1990s, which has dramatically changed the Bahrain coastline...

, while the center of Manama is dominated by small workshops and traders.

Road network


Manama is the main hub of the country's road network. At the moment the city's road network is undergoing substantial development to ameliorate the situation of traffic in the city. Due to the fact that it is the capital and the main city in the country, where most of the government and the commercial offices and facilities are established, along with the entertainment centers, and the countries fast growth, vehicle population is increasing rapidly.

The outline of the present road network was developed in the early 1930s, soon after the discovery of oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

. The four main islands and all the towns and villages are linked by well-constructed roads. There were 3164 km (1,966 mi) of roadways in 2002, of which 2433 km (1,512 mi) were paved. A causeway
Causeway
In modern usage, a causeway is a road or railway elevated, usually across a broad body of water or wetland.- Etymology :When first used, the word appeared in a form such as “causey way” making clear its derivation from the earlier form “causey”. This word seems to have come from the same source by...

 stretching over 2.8 km (2 mi), connect Manama with Muharraq Island
Muharraq Island
Muharraq Island is the third largest island in the archipelago of Bahrain after Bahrain Island and Hawar Island. It is named after Muharraq City, the former capital of Bahrain.There are several towns and villages located on the Island, including:...

, and another bridge joins Sitra
Sitra
Sitra is an island in the Central Governorate of Bahrain, just east of Bahrain Island in Persian Gulf. It lies south of Manama and Nabih Saleh. The island's western coast forms the boundary of Tubli Bay....

 to the main island. A four-lane highway atop a 24 km (15 mi) causeway
Causeway
In modern usage, a causeway is a road or railway elevated, usually across a broad body of water or wetland.- Etymology :When first used, the word appeared in a form such as “causey way” making clear its derivation from the earlier form “causey”. This word seems to have come from the same source by...

, linking Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 with the Saudi Arabian mainland via the island of Umm an-Nasan was completed in December, 1986, and financed by Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. In 2000, there were 172,684 passenger vehicles and 41,820 commercial vehicles.

Bahrain's port of Mina Sulman can accommodate 16 oceangoing vessels drawing up to 11 m (36 ft). In 2001, Bahrain had a merchant fleet of eight ships of 1,000 GRT
Gross Register Tonnage
Gross register tonnage a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of . It is calculated from the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel. The ship's net register tonnage is obtained by reducing the volume of non-revenue-earning spaces i.e...

 or over, totaling 270,784 GRT
Gross Register Tonnage
Gross register tonnage a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of . It is calculated from the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel. The ship's net register tonnage is obtained by reducing the volume of non-revenue-earning spaces i.e...

. Private vehicles and taxis are the primary means of transportation in the city.

Buses


Manama has a comprehensive bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 service which is far more economical than other modes of transport with fares around 150 to 200 Fils
Fils (currency)
The fils is a subdivision of currency used in many Arab countries, such as Iraq. "Fils" is the singular form in Arabic, not the plural...

 (around $.50(US); £.30) allows you to travel by bus. Some bus routes link to other towns such as Muharraq
Muharraq
Muharraq , is Bahrain's third largest city, and served as its capital until 1923. The city is located on Muharraq Island and has long been a centre of religiosity...

 and Isa Town.

Air traffic


Bahrain International Airport
Bahrain International Airport
Bahrain International Airport is an international airport located in Muharraq, an island on the northern tip of Bahrain, about northeast of the capital Manama...

 is located on Muharraq Island
Muharraq Island
Muharraq Island is the third largest island in the archipelago of Bahrain after Bahrain Island and Hawar Island. It is named after Muharraq City, the former capital of Bahrain.There are several towns and villages located on the Island, including:...

, approximately 7 km (4 mi) from the CBD
Central Business District, Manama
The Central Business District of Manama, Bahrain, is the most vital part of the capital. Many of the city's hotels, office buildings, shops and restaurants are located in the CBD...

. It is a premier hub airport in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. Strategically located in the Northern Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 between the major markets of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, the airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 has one of the widest range and highest frequency of regional services with connections to major international destinations in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

.

Education


Manama has a wide range of universities, colleges and schools.
  • Ahlia University
    Ahlia University
    Ahlia University is a private university in Manama, Bahrain,established in 2001. An autonomous institution independently chartered, funded and managed by the private sector, AU is the first private university to be licensed by the Government of Bahrain...

  • Applied Science University
    Applied Science University
    Applied Science University is a Jordanian basketball club based in Amman, Jordan. They compete in the Jordanian Basketball Federation as of 2009. In 2009, they finished 2–4 to earn third place in the federation....

  • Arab Open University
    Arab Open University
    Arab Open University is a non-profit private Pan-Arab university founded in 2002 in Kuwait, Jordan, and Lebanon. One year later it opened in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman. The AOU is affiliated with the UK Open University...

  • Arabian Gulf University
    Arabian Gulf University
    Arabian Gulf University is a university in Al-Manāmah, Bahrain, accredited by the Ministry of Education, Bahrain, and governed by Gulf Cooperative Countries, and is a member of Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World....

  • Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance
  • King Abdulaziz University College of Health Sciences
    King Abdulaziz University College of Health Sciences
    The focus of the overall health institutes in the Kingdom and Irvadha with the necessary manpower and national company and also seek to promote a culture of health-conscious members of the community-Department of Pharmacy:...

  • Delmon University
  • New York Institute of Technology
    New York Institute of Technology
    New York Institute of Technology is a private, non-sectarian, co-educational research university in New York City. NYIT has five schools and two colleges, all with a strong emphasis on technology and applied scientific research...

  • RCSI-Bahrain
    RCSI-Bahrain
    The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland - Bahrain is a constituent university of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. It was founded in 2004 and produced its first medical graduating class in June 2010...

  • Bahrain School
    Bahrain School
    Bahrain School is a United States Department of Defense school located in Juffair, Manama, Bahrain.- Overview :The school is operated by the Bahrain International School Association with the United States Department of Defense Education Activity and takes students from Kindergarten to Twelfth grade...


Geography


The city is located in the north-eastern corner of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 on a small peninsula. As in the rest of Bahrain, the land is generally flat (or gently rolling) and arid
Arid
A region is said to be arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or even preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life...

.

Climate


Manama has an arid climate. In common with the rest of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, Manama experiences extreme climatic conditions, with summer temperatures up to 48 °C (118 °F), and winter as low as 15 °C (59 °F) with even hail
Hail
Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is referred to as a hail stone. Hail stones on Earth consist mostly of water ice and measure between and in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms...

 at rare occasions. Average temperatures of the summer and winter seasons are generally from 17 °C (63 °F) to about 45 °C (113 °F). The most pleasant time in Bahrain is autumn when sunshine is comparatively low, coupled with warm temperatures tempered by soft breezes.

Culture


The country attracts a large number of foreigners and foreign influences, with just under one third of the population hailing from abroad. Alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 is legal in the country, with bars and nightclubs operating in the city, however the government is proposing a ban for Muslims. Bahrain does recognise women's rights thanks to the queen of Bahrain, although it does not recognize LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

 rights. Football is the most popular sport in Manama (and the rest of the country), with 3 teams from Manama participating in the Bahraini Premier League
Bahraini Premier League
The Bahraini Premier League is the main football competition in Bahrain. The first season was held in 1957. The winners of the domestic championship qualify for the AFC Cup. The championship is currently contested by 10 clubs-Current Structure:...

.

External links