Manama (Arabic: Al-Manâmah) is the capital city of Bahrain and is the country's largest city with a population of approximately 155,000, roughly a quarter of the country's entire population.
Manama has emerged as the capital of independent Bahrain after periods of domination by Portugal and Persians earlier in its history. Today, it is a modern capital with an economy based around the sales promotion industry as crude oil takes a less pronounced role in the economy. (See Economy of Bahrain.) Because of its thriving economy, a Dutch firm has proposed a skyscraper that would be over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) and be called the Murjan Tower to be built. Currently only a concept, if built it would be the world's tallest structure.
"People Of Bahrain"
Bahrain is strongly Islamic and Arabic; while Manama shares these traits, it also contains a large number of foreigners and foreign influences, with just under a third of the populace hailing from abroad. Alcohol is legal in the country, with bars and nightclubs operating in the city. This is in contrast to many other Arabic countries, such as Saudi Arabia, who ban alcohol under all circumstances.
Manama is the focal point of the Bahraini economy. While oil has decreased in importance in recent years due to depleting reserves, petroleum is still the mainstay of the economy, while heavy industry (e.g. aluminum smelting, ship repair), banking and finance, and tourism are increasing in importance. Several multinationals have facilities and offices in and around Manama.
The economic base for Manama itself is financial services, with over two hundred financial institutions and banks based in the Diplomatic Area. There is also a large retail sector in the shopping malls around Seef, while the centre of Manama is dominated by small workshops and traders.