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Asia » Bahrain » Manama

Manama, the capital city of Bahrain, is the largest and most populated settlement in the country. It has appeared as a sovereign city after years of Persian and Portugal occupation in this region. Today, Manama is one of the most developed cities in the Arabian Peninsula with an economy based on sales instead of crude oil. Visiting Manama is a very interesting choice for a traveler. The city is home to a very hospitable population that loves to receive guests all year round. While religious and ethnic traditions are quite prominent in most social activities, the city has made an effort to emerge as a modern and liberal establishment to satisfy all kinds of travelers. In 2012, it was credited as being the Capital of Arab culture by the Arab League.

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How to reach Manama


Reaching Manama by plane is the best route while travelling internationally. The Bahrain International Airport is one of the busiest in the entire region with flights stopping over from every continent and country. Apart from international traffic, the airport also serves extensively for regional operations, making Manama highly accessible and easy to reach via short plane journeys.


If you want to reach the city from neighboring countries like Saudia Arabia or Iran, traveling by road is also possible. Since the entire country has a desert backdrop, you will witness acres of smooth dry land dotted with palm trees and sand dunes if you choose to take a road trip. Despite these desert conditions, regional and national highways and roads are in excellent condition to accommodate year round traffic from neighboring countries.



Where to stay in Manama


Deciding where to stay in Manama is easy. Since the city has a large population of foreign residents and expats working here, many international hotel chains have built luxurious five-star accommodations in ideal locations throughout the city. The Ritz Carlton Bahrain, Crowne Plaza Bahrain, Sheraton Bahrain, The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa and the Movenpick Hotel are some of the finest picks if you want your vacation to be top of the line.


Mid range hotels like Gulf Gate Hotel, Ramada Bahrain, Al Safir Hotel and Al Bander Hotel and Resort are some choices that are located reasonably close to the city center and the airport. On the other hand, budget accommodations like the Alwa and Al Burge Hotel only offer the basic amenities but are a great pick to make sure you spend the most time exploring the city and its wonders.


While the five-star accommodations are owned by international chains, there are many others that are managed by locals. If you want a truly Middle Eastern feel to your holiday, pick a hotel that is locally managed to enjoy local cuisine and displays during the stay.



Shopping in Manama


Manama has plenty to offer in terms of shopping. With the recent modernization, international fashion brands have opened franchises in the city, setting a benchmark for prices and the top trends that are prevalent. From malls to street shopping, you will find the city up to mark if you are a shopping enthusiast.


Many of the finest shopping malls are located in skyscrapers that have been built for business and economic purposes. Since these buildings are usually frequented by the elite and expats living in Manama, quality of the products available is quite high. Moreover, the world class retail ambiance offered is not second to any. Hence, shopping is another great way to meet females in Manama who belong to affluent families and have long lineages in the Arab world.


Some shopping places worth visiting are:


  • Bahrain City Center

  • Dana Mall

  • The Bahrain Mall

  • Seef Mall

  • Riffa Mall

  • Marina Mall

  • Sitra Mall




  1. The Main Attractions


There is a lot to see and do in Manama. Bahrain itself is a historic country with deep roots in heritage, culture and architecture. The foundations of the religion of Islam are reflected in the many magnificent mosques and mesmerising museums that have extensive displays of the artifacts of Islamic history. These displays have been collected and persevered over hundreds of years after the country was liberated from foreign rule.


It is these attractions that make Manama a gem for a visitor. Some of the most famous places to visit are:


  • Bahrain Fort: A World Heritage UNESCO site, the Bahrain Fort was built in the 14th century for the island’s defense.

  • Bahrain Fort Museum: The museum is a display of all the remnants of war and archeological findings in Bahrain.

  • Al- Fateh Mosque: The largest mosque is Bahrain and one of the largest in the world, the Al-Fateh Mosque accommodates 7000 worshippers at a time.

  • Museum of Pearl Diving: This building has political and economic importance in Bahrain and Manama’s history.

  • Bin Matar House: Also called the Place of Memory, is a restored historical house with years of tales to tell.

  • Babar Temple: Temples dating back to 3000BC have been found and restored here.




  1. Meeting Women in the City



As mentioned previously, most activities in Manama, or in all of Bahrain for that matter, reflect core Islamic values. In this light, you will observe that many social circles have a prominent male and female divide, with both genders mingling with the likes of its own. Nonetheless, finding singles in Manama is not entirely out of the question either.


In recent years, the city has gone through large scale modernisation, attracting crowds of tourists and immigrants from other countries who do not staunchly follow the segregation enforced by law in other Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia. Among these immigrants and vacationers are smart and outspoken women who love to socialise, interact and play host to travellers. Therefore, there are many places and activities in the city to indulge in to meet intelligent women of Manama.



Some of the most popular places are:



  • Beaches: Beaches are the city’s most attractive place to be if you want to spend some romantic time with a woman in Bahrain. There are plenty of activities to do like Scuba diving, dolphin watching and pearl diving. Modern beaches are an ideal place to meet girls from Manama, who are out with crowds of friends and families, enjoying the desert breeze.




  • Bird watching islands: Small islands in the vicinity of Manama are famous for bird watching because various species of birds migrate here in the summer months. The best way to reach the islands is by ferry rides. An adventurous activity, rides like these to secluded islands are an ideal way to meet and mingle with local and visiting women.




  • Desert excursions: Among the many desert excursions in Manama, horse riding and racing are the two most famous ones. Zealous men and women ride horses with the fervor to win races and competition. If you are in for horse riding, take this chance to meet city and country girls in Manama.




  1. The Restaurants, the cafes and the nightlife


Just like lavish accommodations aren’t in short supply, expensive restaurants and cafes are found all over the city as well. The café culture has made it highly possible for men to mingle with women and look for dating partners. Some famous places include Café Lilou’s, Burjuman Coffee Shop, Trader Vic’s and Zahle.


These restaurants serve many varieties of food including Mediterranean, Chinese, Arabic, Portugese and South African cuisine. Those that are located in five-star hotels have a fine selection of wine that is often a surprise to many visitors.


Unlike other Islamic countries, alcohol is not banned in Bahrain. With the provision of alcohol comes the excitement of nightlife when casinos, bars and pubs come to life. Manama is famous in the Eastern world for its nightlife that is enjoyed by Arabs, foreign expats and travelers alike.


The nightlife in the city mimics western and English traditions so much so that pubs and bars are also named such that they add a touch of modernisation and class.


JJ’s is the largest Irish pub in the city while Wranglers is the best American-themed bar and dance floor. If you want to experience nightlife with a touch of Arabia, visit the Gold Club to enjoy belly dancing and an encounter with tasteful and fun-loving girls of Manama. Needless to say, most of these pubs and bars are open until late at night and some have special criteria for entry. Make sure you check the requirements with a local before visiting.



  1. Single Women in Manama


Dating single women from Bahrain can be very exciting. The stark divide between the east and the west reflects in the way a pretty girl from Manama talks, behaves and carries herself. Women here are often bilingual, knowing and understanding more languages than their mother tongue.


They are most exposed to foreign and local cultures, making them very unique and a delightful combination of modern sophistication yet humility and modesty. Manama is one of those culturally diverse cities where you can find people from various nationalities. You can easily meet and mingle with local women, those belonging to neighboring Morroco United Arabic Emirates and Egypt, and even cultured foreign women who come to the city to explore eastern treasures.