Gate sights in Manama
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Built by the British in 1945, Bab al-Bahrain, the 'Gateway to Bahrain' was originally designed by Sir Charles Belgrave. It was redesigned in 1986 to give it more of an 'Islamic' flavour. The small square in front of the bab (gate) was once the terminus of the customs pier (which provides some idea of the extent of land reclamation in the area). The building now houses the Tourist Department and a souvenir shop.
Despite having been moved back from the water's edge, the gateway is still aptly named, as goods of various description, people of all nationalities, street vendors, shoppers and workers pass under its arches in a constant pageant of activity in this, the heart of…