The Port of Mina Sulman is in Manamah, Bahrain’s largest city and capital. Lying on the northeastern tip of Bahrain island in the Persian Gulf, it is home to 20% (about 143 thousand in 2001) of the country’s population. It is linked by a 2.5 kilometer causeway to the island town of Al-Muhrraq, the country’s second biggest city.
Archeological evidence suggests that the area has been inhabited for about 5,000 years. In ancient times, the island was invaded by the Dilmun civilization and by Arab conquerors. Island inhabitants discovered Islam in the 7th Century.
Islamic texts first mentioned the Port of Mina Sulman and Manamah in 1345 AD. The Portuguese conquered the port in 1521, and the Persians took it in 1602. Since 1783, however, the Manamah and the Port of Mina Sulman has been held by the Al Khalifah dynasty.
From 1861 to 1914, Bahrain’s rulers signed a series of treaties that gave increasing control of the country to British “protection.” A British agent was stationed in Manamah from 1900 until the city became the capital of an independent Bahrain in 1971.
Manamah and the Port of Mina Sulman depended on pearling, fishing, and boat-building in early times. Its harbor was not good, ocean-going vessels that had to anchor as much as six kilometers offshore. When oil was discovered in 1932, the city began to develop as a commercial, financial, and trade center.
In 1958, Manamah was declared a free port, and construction of the Port of Mina Sulman began. Opened in 1962, the Port of Mina Sulman boasted refrigeration and storage facilities and ample docks and equipment for large vessels. Today, the Port of Mina Sulman is one of the Persian Gulf’s most important ports. In 1971, the city of Manamah became Bahrain’s capital.