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Manama is Arabic for 'sleepy place', but this name does not do the capital of Bahrain justice. Manama (pop. 500 000) contains the country’s major hotels, best nightlife, nicest shopping and primary tourist attractions. The city is located on the northeastern corner of the island. At the heart of the city is the Bab al Bahrain (Gateway to Bahrain)
The suq (market place) is charming. Best known among the different markets is the gold suq. There’s also a craft market where local people sell their work across from the Adhari Hotel on Wednesdays.
Shop under more modern (but less charming) conditions at the Bahrain Commercial Complex and Yateem Centre. On the western edge of the city is the Seef district. There you can shop or watch a film at Seef Mall. Across the highway is the popular Bahrain Mall with the Geant hypermarket, as well as Dana Mall which has another cineplex.
On the way there you’re sure to see the swirly Pearl Monument on King Faisal Highway. Just beyond is the Mina Manama (a dhow port where you can watch the boats being built).