views updated May 23 2018


Capital and largest city of the State of Bahrain.

Located on the north coast of Bahrain's main island and connected by causeway to Muharraq, Manama was a commercial and pearling center coveted by the Sassanids, Omanis, and Safavids. In 1782, it fell to the Al Khalifa family, under whose control it grew into a key transshipment point for trade between India and the Persian Gulf. After the 1820 General Treaty of Peace with Britain, the city's merchants flourished. By the early twentieth century, Manama was a cosmopolitan center, with large Iranian, Indian, and Gulf Arab communities; in 1946, it became home to the British Resident in the Gulf. Greater Manama houses more than 50 percent of Bahrain's inhabitants. The city's population in 2001 was about 156,000some 70 percent larger than at independence in 1971. Bahrain's largest port, Mina Sulman, lies at the southern end of the city, next to the former British naval base at al-Jufayr, which now serves as headquarters for the United States Navy's Fifth Fleet.

see also al khalifa family; bahrain.


Clarke, Angela. The Islands of Bahrain: An Illustrated Guide to Their Heritage. Manama: Bahrain Historical and Archaeological Society, 1981.

fred h. lawson


views updated May 21 2018

Manama (Al-Manamah) Capital of Bahrain, on the n coast of Bahrain Island, in the Persian Gulf. It was made a free port in 1958, and a deepwater harbour was built in 1962. It is the country's principal port and commercial centre. Industries: oil refining, banking, boatbuilding. Pop. (2002) 148,000.