City (pop., 2001: 143,035), capital of Bahrain. Situated at the northeastern tip of Bahrain island, it is Bahrain's largest city, with about one-fifth of the emirate's population. It is one of the most important ports on the Persian Gulf. A commercial and financial centre enriched by Bahrain's oil wealth, it is linked by causeway with the nearby island city of Muharraq. First mentioned in Muslim chronicles c. 1345, it was taken by the Portuguese in 1521 and by the Persians in 1602. It has been held, with brief interruptions, by the Khalifah dynasty since 1783. Manama was the seat of the British political resident for the Persian Gulf (1946–71), after which it became the capital of independent Bahrain.