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Posted On: 11 September 2020 02:00 pm
Updated On: 10 September 2020 06:22 pm

All you need to know about the evolution of the monetary system in Qatar

Vrinda Abilash
Vrinda Abilash
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Currency has always been vital for trade and progress to happen ever since time immemorial and has gone through many changes throughout history. Qatar’s history with the monetary system goes way back in time.

Origins of Qatar’s currency

It all started between 644 to 656 Common Era, mostly known as CE during the era of Uthman Caliphate. If there is one thing that has remained in the long history of the currency of the State of Qatar from the caliphate era to today’s modern-day, it's the name of the coins – Dirhams– that still hold their place till date. The standards of the bimetallic dirhams got established during the Caliph Omar/Umar’s period. Dinar was the other coin that was similarly used back then, too. The dirham (silver) and dinar (gold) remained as the coins for trade and other activities and was used in the Muslim world for close to 1,500 years!

Timeline of Qatar’s currency

The uniformity in the look of these Islamic coins took place during the Omar caliphate era and it was officially sanctioned for the Dirham to be made out of pure silver and to weigh 3 grams. These Islamic coins formed the basis of national and international trade in the Middle East and for transactions around much of the world, too, as historical records have seen its use by multiple nationalities and tribes.

There has been evidence of Arab coins being found in Russia and as far as the Baltic states, too. Slowly, paper currency, which was initially introduced to the world by China during the Gaykhatu Empire rule, started to make its way into the mainstream during the Ottoman Caliphate, around the 19th century in Turkey where they first printed notes in 1842. This was the beginning of the currency notes in the world.

Although paper money always faced opposition with respect to the Sharia Law, it was eventually accepted due to global trade and increasing demands.

Here is a glance at the timeline of the currency of Qatar, from the time of its origin until today.

Evolution of Qatar's Monetary System

The present-day Qatari Riyal

Qatari Currency
Image Credit: Shutterstock
  • The Qatari Riyal is the currency of the State of Qatar.
  • It was first introduced on 19th May 1973, after its sanction.
  • Qatari notes and coins are issued by the Qatar Central Bank who also oversee the monetary stability and regulatory control of the currency.
  • The Qatari Riyal is divided into 100 dirhams and is abbreviated as QR or QAR.
  • The banknotes or bills were released in the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 Riyals.
  • The coins were released in the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 dirhams.
  • The ISO 4217 code for the Qatari Riyal is QAR.
  • The Qatari Riyal has been pegged to the US Dollar at 1 USD = 3.64 Riyal since July 2001.

To know more about Qatar's bills and the traditional symbols printed on them, click here: https://www.iloveqatar.net/guide/living/banks

Are you a notaphilist? Do you have any old or rare Qatari notes in possession? Let us know in the comments below! Do share this article - it keeps us going!

Cover image credit: Shutterstock