Bahrain (/bɑːˈreɪn/ (About this soundlisten); Arabic: البحرين al-Baḥrayn Arabic pronunciation: [al baħrajn] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain (Arabic: مملكة البحرين About this soundMamlakat al-Baḥrayn), is a sovereign state in the Persian Gulf. The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 51 natural islands and an additional 33 artificial islands, centered around Bahrain Island which makes up around 83 percent of the country’s landmass. The country is situated between the Qatari peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway. According to the 2010 census, Bahrain’s population is over 1.2 million, of which around half are non-nationals. At 780 square kilometres (300 sq mi) in size, it is the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore. The capital and largest city is Manama.
Manama (Arabic: المنامة al-Manāma Bahrani pronunciation: [elmɐˈnɑːmɐ]) 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 in 1971 after a period of British hegemony.