The six equally-colourful bills representing the State of Qatar have one thing in common: each denomination features the Coat Of Arms on one side—making it one of the most distinguishable currencies in the world.
Divided into 100 Dirhams and abbreviated as QR in English, the Qatari Riyal has been making the rounds since May 19, 1973—when the government decided to have its own separate currency.
As we share the same currency name with Iran, Oman, and Yemen, we thought that it'd be fun to point out what makes the Riyal bills unique with this special Qatar Guide article.
We've listed below the multi-coloured QRs (lowest to highest) together with the lesser-known traditional symbols printed on each one of them. The notes' designs are reviewed by a committee which tries to ensure that the overall concept incorporates both the country's heritage and its modern development.
Featured icon/s: Native birds
Qatar's avifauna is one of the most diverse in the MENA region with a total of 211 species, of which five have been introduced by humans and eleven are rare or accidental. Ostriches from Africa, storks, and pelicans are just some of the several winged creatures dropping by the peninsula seasonally. There are even areas in Northern Qatar which are dedicated just to bird watching—an activity that is truly rarely practised and explored!
Featured icon/s: Qatar National Museum, Camel, and Oryx
One cool fact: Did you guys know that it's not the camel which is the National Animal of the State of Qatar but the Arabian Oryx? Also, one very prominent feature of the green Riyal is the National Museum of Qatar.
To know 20 fun facts about camels in Qatar, click HERE.
Featured icon/s: Sand dunes, traditional dhow
Two symbols to notice on the 10 riyal bill are the sand dunes and the traditional dhow which is so iconic that the government even dedicates one whole festival just to showcase and present Qatar's prettiest-looking water vessels before a raving crowd!
Click HERE to know the 5 must-see traditional festivals in Qatar!
Featured icon/s: The Pearl Oyster Monument and a view of the Qatar Central Bank building
The lucky one to carry the notable Qatar Central Bank is the pinkish 50 Riyal note. In front of it is a large monument of an oyster carrying a pearl. For those who don't know, Qatar was once a pearl diving kingdom and Doha was not the center. There is another fort far away from Qatar which is abandoned now that used to be the heart of Qatar. Also, it's a common trivia to say that pearls were the nation's main industry before LNG took over.
Pro tip: No one ever leaves Doha without taking a selfie with the giant pearl!
To know the Top 5 selfie spots in Qatar, click HERE.
Colour: Green and Gold
Featured icon/s: Old Mosque and Al-Shaqab Institute
What most people don't know is that centuries before LNG gave prominence to us as one of the world's fastest-growing economies, the peninsula was initially known for its prized Arabian horses—which also played a pivotal role in the founding of Qatar. And one facility which really caters to this aspect is the Al Shaqab Institute, which is as an enduring tribute to the Arabian horse and the tradition of equestrian excellence that has co-evolved with this breed in the country.
For a guide on how to visit major mosques in Qatar, click HERE.
Featured icon/s: Qatar's national bird falcon, with a view of the Amiri Diwan
As the national bird of the Gulf states, the falcon is seen as a symbol of force, courage, and even vanity in much of the Middle East while falconry is considered a traditional sport. These winged creatures have been a part of the Arab culture for hundreds of years. In Arabic, falcons are called Saqr, they are used to hunt smaller birds for recreation and sports.
When they dive for the hunt, falcons may attain a speed up to 320 km/h, that is the fastest for any creature (bird or animal) except jet fighters—no wonder why they snagged the honour of getting printed in Qatar's highest currency denomination!
Fun fact: There's a so-called Falcon Festival which usually takes place in the country every January. Keep an eye on our website for more details regarding this traditional event!
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