A city in North East Bahrain, Manama, also known as al-Manamah, is the capital of the country. Situated in the Persian Gulf, near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, its industries include oil refining, fishing, and pearling, the last being formerly the chief occupation until oil. The town is connected by a causeway with adjoining Muharraq, the site of the airport. The port developed and the city began to be modernized in the 1950s and '60s, as a result of proceeds from the sale of petroleum. The Arabian Gulf University (1980) and the University of Bahrain (1986) are here. In 1958 Manama was declared a free-transit port.
The constitutional monarchy of Bahrain is located on an archipelago consisting of 33 islands. The islands are low-lying and rocky, with the exception of Bahrain Island, which rises to an elevation of 443 feet in its center. The climate is arid, with less than 4 inches of rain annually, nearly all in winter (December to March). Petroleum is Bahrain's principal mineral resource. Artesian wells, mainly along the North coast of Bahrain Island, are used for water supply and irrigation.
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