Manama (Arabic:المنامةAl Manāma) is the capital and largest city of Bahrain, with an approximate population of 157,000 people. Long an important trading center in the Persian Gulf, Manama is home to a very diverse population. After periods of Portuguese and Persian control and invasions from the ruling dynasties of Saudi Arabia and Oman, Bahrain established itself as an independent nation during the 19th century period of British hegemony.
Although the current twin cities of Manama and Muharraq appear to have been founded simultaneously in the 1800s, Muharraq took prominence due to its defensive location and was thus the capital of Bahrain until 1921. Manama became the mercantile capital, and was the gateway to the main Bahrain Island. In the 20th century, Bahrain's oil wealth helped spur fast growth and in the 1990s a concerted diversification effort led to expansion in other industries and helped transform Manama into an important financial hub in the Middle East. Manama was designated as the capital of Arab culture for the year 2012 by the Arab League.
Manama is a small township in the United Arab Emirates, an exclave of the emirate of Ajman. Its land area is mainly given over to agricultural usage. It will be known to stamp collectors as a number of colourful editions of stamps were issued from there in the late 1960s.
Following the crash of the pearling industry in the late 1920s, the Ruler of Ajman, Sheikh Rashid Al Nuaimi, identified Manama as an area with the potential to be developed as Ajman's 'bread basket' and invested in planting a number of crops, including papaya and lemon trees. Manama was also the source of two particularly fine varieties of wild honey with sidr and simr trees providing two seasonal flows of honey from wild Asiatic honey bees. The gathering of honey was also formalised, this and the growing agricultural base in Manama providing work for the impoverished men of coastal Ajman into the 1930s.
In 1963, Britain ceded responsibility for the Trucial States' postal systems. An American philatelic entrepreneur by the name of Finbar Kenny saw the opportunity to create a number of editions of stamps aimed at the lucrative collector's market and in 1964 concluded a deal with cash-strapped Ajman to take the franchise for the production of stamps for the government. Kenny had made something of a specialty out of signing these deals, also signing with the Ruler of Fujairah in 1964 - and getting involved in a bribery case in the USA over his dealings with the government of the Cook Islands.
With smartphone penetration at over 80 percent of the population, positioning it at number three globally, “Saudi Arabia dominates the region’s mobile app use because of its size and its purchasing power”, Imad Jaroudi, CEO of Jaroudi Media (a digital marketing firm based in Riyadh, Manama and Beirut) told ArabNews.