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  Manama  2007   Men's Open
09.05.2007 -  12.05.2007


Presentation EN/BeachVolleyball/Competitions/WorldTour/2005/PR_MSHA2005.asp

The first-ever SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stop in the Arabian Gulf will be held May 8-12 in Manama, the capital city of Bahrain. An agreement to bring the international Beach Volleyball event to Bahrain in 2007 and 2008 was signed in August 2006 between the FIVB, the Bahrain Volleyball Association and SP Middle East WLL.  FIVB President Dr. Ruben Acosta joined Shaikh Ali bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Volleyball Association, and Tony Simpson, CEO of SP Middle East, in signing the agreement.

"The FIVB is delighted to announce its first SWATCH FIVB World Tour stop in the Arabian Gulf region. We are extremely happy that an agreement has been signed to stage an Open Event in 2007 leading to a Grand Slam event in 2008", said Dr. Acosta. “We are very honored that the FIVB has agreed to allow us to stage such prestigious events here in Bahrain; this is a major step forward for the development of volleyball in the Kingdom, said Shaikh Ali said. "We look forward to the tournaments being a great success and building on that success in staging further world class volleyball events in Bahrain in the future."

The 2007 men’s Open will held in a purpose-built stadium, with a range of activities and merchandising opportunities taking place around the match schedule. It will also be part of the Olympic qualification system for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

"We are pleased to be promoter of the first world class beach volleyball events to be held in the Kingdom; the fact that it is going to be one of the first evenst of the 2007 season will hopefully increase interest for the tournament both locally and internationally, and enhance Bahrain’s profile on the international sporting stage once again," said Simpson, the local Bahraini promoter.

Manama is Bahrain's largest city with a population of approximately 155,000, roughly a quarter of country's entire population. Manama was mentioned in Islamic chronicles at least as far back as 1345. It was conquered by the Portuguese in 1521 and then by the Persians in 1602. I t has been held, with brief interruptions, by the ruling Al-Khalifa dynasty since 1783. Manama was declared a free port in 1958, and in 1971 became the capital of independent Bahrain. The economic base for Manama is financial services, with over two hundred financial institutions and banks based in the Diplomatic Area. There is also a large retail sector in the shopping malls around Seef, while the centre of Manama is dominated by small workshops and traders. Manama is served by Bahrain International Airport on the nearby island of Al Muharraq, to which it is connected with a causeway. Manama also is home to the American Mission Hospital, founded in 1893.

Manama Souq (pictured to the right) is a bustling marketplace with numerous traditional as well as modern shops. The souq (marketplace) is located in the heart of the city, near Bab Al Bahrain. The souq stretches from Bab al Bahrain road on the east side, Al Khalifa Road on the north, Lulu Road on the west and Sh. Abdulla Road on the east. One can see and buy all kinds of spices, fabrics, kaftans, thobes, handicrafts, souvenirs, dry fruits, nuts, and any other thing one can imagine. The Gold Souk is also famous in the region and all the gold sold there is hallmarked and pure. The only items sold there are 18K and 21K gold. 10K and 14K are not usually acceptable as 'gold' jewelry. The Bahraini pearls are the only natural pearls in the world today and as such are one of a kind. They are not cultured but natural. The Seef District lies several kilometres to the west, where five very modern shoppinng centers are situated. There is a 22 screen cinema in Seef Mall, the kingdom's most popular, as well as the nearby Dana Malls, which also boasts a cinema complex as well as luxury shopping, and the Geant Hyper Market is situated in the Bahrain Mall.