First mentioned in Islamic chronicles in the year 1345, historical Manama is now the capital and largest city of Bahrain at the northeastern tip of the Persian Gulf island state. There is a strong colonial influence in the area, with Portuguese occupation in 1521 followed by Persian dominance in 1602. This lovely city is a great base from which to enjoy the stunning beaches, buildings and sites in the area. The economy of Manama was traditionally based on pearling, fishing, boat building, and trade, displays of which can now be seen in local museums. In 1932, the discovery of petroleum boosted the city's economy, which has recently diversified into tourism and retail. Open-minded and tolerant of other cultures, Manama is visited by a large number of foreigners each year. These visitors can enjoy a vast array of attractions, from (markets) and shopping malls to forts and pearl museums. There is also an active nightlife with many popular restaurants, bars, and clubs to choose from, making this a splendid vacation destination.