Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain, with a very diverse population of 200,000 people (2020). Manama has been an important trading center in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain established itself as an independent nation in 15th August, 1971 from British rule. Manama became the mercantile capital and the gateway to the Bahrain Island after 1923. Bahrain's oil wealth has helped the nation to economically strong and expand itself to many industries to transform the economy and become an important financial hub in the Middle East.
Manama was recognized as the 2012 capital of Arab culture by the Arab League, and a beta global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2018.
• Area : 30 km2 (10 sq mi)
• Estimate (2020) : 200,000
• Density: 5,200/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
• Urban (2020): 635,000
Time Zone: GMT+3
Currency: Bahraini Dinar
A huge population in Manama is expatriate community from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka). 40% of the population are Bahrainis and 60% are non national Bahrainis or expats. Shia Bahrainis are the majority of the population with two main ethnic groups: Ajam and Baharna. The majority of Shia Bahrainis in the country are Baharna, while the Ajam are ethnic Persian Shias, who have large communities in Muharraq and the capital, Manama.
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 country's fast growth, vehicle population is increasing rapidly.The four main islands and all the towns and villages are linked by well-constructed roads. There were 3,164 km (1,966 mi) of roadways in 2002, of which 2,433 km (1,512 mi) were paved. A causeway stretching over 2.8 km (2 mi), connect Manama with Muharraq Island, and another bridge joins Sitra to the main island. A four-lane highway atop a 24 km (15 mi) causeway, linking Bahrain with the Saudi Arabian mainland via the island of Umm an-Nasan was completed in December 1986, and financed by Saudi Arabia. In 2000, there were 172,684 passenger vehicles and 41,820 commercial vehicles.
Manama has public transportation buses which is regulated by the Ministry of Transportation, bus routes extend across Bahrain and around Manama with fares of a minimum 200 Fils (BD0.200) (around $0.50(USD).
Points of Interest
Bab Al Bahrain Souk: An Old souk with hustle and bustle. Through the narrow streets of the souk, find some of the best shopping bargains from Arabian dresses to spices.
2. Khamis Mosque: This is the oldest and the first mosque built in Bahrain. This was built in 692 AD and the first mosque built outside the Arabian Peninsula.
3. Al Fatih Mosque: A beautiful with an amazing architecture. This is one of the largest mosques in the world, encompassing 6,500 square meters and having the capacity to accommodate over 7,000 worshippers at a time. The mosque was built by the late Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa in 1987.
4. Financial Harbor: The financial harbor of Manama. Some of the beautiful architectures and skylines of the city.
Manama has an arid climate and this is common in the rest of Bahrain. In summer temperatures can rise up to 45 °C (113 °F), and winter as low as 7 °C (45 °F) with even hail on rare occasions. Average temperatures of the summer and winter seasons are generally from about 17 °C (63 °F) to about 34 °C (93 °F). The most pleasant time in Bahrain is autumn when sunshine is comparatively low, coupled with warm temperatures tempered by soft breezes.
To and from the Airport
Manama's main international airport is Manama International Airport which is located in Al Muharraq area. This serves as the hub for Bahrain's official carrier Gulf Air. After exiting the arrivals hall, there is a taxi queue at Car Park Area B. The fares depends on the point of destination. The fare calculator below:
The cheapest way to go around Manama is by public transportation. The buses depart just outside the main arrivals hall. To travel on the buses, the best option is to purchase a GO Card from the driver which will cost 1BHD (500 Fils for the card itself when purchasing for the first time), the toal is approximately US$3. Each trip costs 250 Fils ($.60), with a maximum daily charge/cap of 600 Fils (US$1.5). Alternatively, a cash single is 300 Fils (USD$0.75).
The routes serving Bahrain International Airport are:
Bus A1 – Airport – Muharraq Bus Terminal – Manama Bus Terminal – American Mission Hospital – Salmaniya – Khamis – Isa Town Bus Terminal
Bus A2 – Airport – Manama Bus Terminal – City Centre – Seef – Souq Waqif – Hamad Town – University of Bahrain (Fastest Route from Airport to Manama)
Bus 10 – Airport – Arad – Hidd – Mina Salman – Kuwait Avenue – Manama Bus Terminal – Muharraq Bus Terminal – Airport (Clockwise)
Bus 11 – Airport – Muharraq Bus Terminal – Manama Bus Terminal – Kuwait Avenue – Mina Salman – Hidd – Arad – Airport (Anti-Clockwise)
Many new visitors confuses the Bahraini Dinar exchange rate with UAE Dirhams, Saudi Riyal and Qatari Riyal of $1=3.65 but it is the opposite way.