Manama is the largest city in Bahrain, and also its capital. Around a quarter of the country’s population live here, equating to just over 150,000 people. Expats moving to Manama may appreciate that the population is diverse, with Iraqi, Iranian, Saudi Arabian, Indian and European residents, as well as distinct ethnic and religious groups, including Shia, Sunni, Christian, Hindu and Jewish.
The city of Manama sits in the north-eastern corner of the island of Bahrain, on a peninsula, not far away from the Bahrain International Airport. The topography of the city is much the same as the rest of Bahrain; flat and rolling, and typically arid. Summer temperatures in Manama can reach 48°C, with winter lows of 7°C. The average temperatures are a much more agreeable 17-45°C. Expats living in Manama may find the autumn ideal, with warm temperatures and soft sea breezes.
Expatriates moving to Manama to work will require a visa. It is possible to check eligibility, apply for a visa, and check the status of a pending application electronically through the government website, making the process easier and quicker than before. For a visa to be issued, expats will need to provide: a visa application with recent photo, passport, and a letter addressed to the Head of Mission detailing the reason for application.
You can find more information on Bahrain visas in our dedicted article on Moving to Bahrain.
Manama has expanded over time to include some neighboring villages and newer suburban developments. With so much ongoing development, expatriates living in Manama will find lots of options when it comes to accommodation. Adliya is a multicultural district with converted townhouses that now house cafés, high class restaurants, bars, pubs, entertainment venues and art galleries, including the Albareh and Al Riwaq art galleries. Gudaibiya is a multicultural neighborhood, with Indian, Filipino, Ethiopian and Pakistani communities. This district is a busy mix of homes, commercial and cultural centres, and government buildings. Juffair is a suburban neighborhood with hotels, restaurants, shops, apartments and villas. Many of the people living in Juffair are established expatriates or young professionals, so this may be an area for expats moving to Manama to consider. Some areas of Manama are formed of land reclaimed from the sea. Seef is one such area, surrounded on three sides by water, and home to luxury apartment blocks, hotels and exclusive shopping malls. Rent in Seef is among the highest in Manama, and some businesses are starting to relocate there.