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Bahrain makes the list of Top 10 "Sin Cities".

Summary: Making the list of the Top Ten "Sin Cities" around the world may not be good news for Manama, Bahrain's capital, as police launched a crackdown on prostitutes in the city last week

Making the list of the Top Ten "Sin Cities" around the world may not be good news for Manama, Bahrain's capital, as police launched a crackdown on prostitutes in the city last week following its listing by a western men's magazine as the party hub of the Middle East for its vibrant sex and alcohol industry. Police in Bahrain rounded up 300 prostitutes and pimps in Manama last week as Bahraini religious authorities called for a crackdown campaign on debauchery after the capital made the cut as the eighth most sinful--and the only Arab--city in the world according to Askmen.com, which dubbed Manama "the party oasis of the Middle East."

Connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway, Manama is the place to be for Saudis seeking to escape what is seen as the rigid laws of their country. The Bahraini capital offers a gamut of debaucheries from drinking and clubbing to prostitution, an illegal yet widely available industry.

Bahrain's ministry of interior issued a statement Friday vowing to "limit the number of visas issued to specific nationalities known for prostitution activities according to statistics based on police arrests," a local Bahraini newspaper reported.

Despite being a predominantly Muslim city with only one third of foreign residents, Manama enjoys a liberal culture well within the reach of rich Arabs who fill flights to the city every weekend.

Prior to the crackdown Bahraini government officials tried to reduce liberal activities of the leisure industry and proposed a ban on alcohol last month, causing an uproar among restaurateurs and business men who warned banning alcohol would hinder the development of the country's tourist sector.

There are no official statistics on alcohol's contribution to Bahrain's national economy, but experts have said the alcohol business generates in excess of 20 million dinars ($52 million) annually.

Other "Sin Cities"

Pattaya inThailand topped the Top Ten list of "Sin Cities" for its "raw entertainment," offering the strongest presence of gambling, sex, drinking, drugs and partying, Askmen.com said.

Tijuana in Mexico ranked second for recently legalizing prostitution and selling tequila at "dirt cheap" prices, while Amsterdam and Vegas followed at number three and four for their renowned history of debauchery.

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Publication:Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia)
Date:Apr 3, 2009
Words:406
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