Manama, the capital of Bahrain

Developed in the 19th century under British rule into a city from a small town dating back to at least the early 14th century, Bahrain´s capital now has a population of around 200,000 and while not as flashy as, say, Dubai or Riyadh, it's a similar mix of cutting-edge sprinkled with some remnants of bygone days. The shopping and dining are outstanding, as is the nightlife (and by the way, this is one of the few Arab countries where alcohol is legal and reasonably available). Highlights include the National Museum, the labyrinthin main bazaar, the Portuguese fort, and the Al-Fateh Grand Mosque.



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