Omani rial

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Omani rial
ريال عماني (Arabic)
ISO 4217 code OMR
Central bank Central Bank of Oman
 Website www.cbo-Oman.org
User(s)  Oman
Inflation 4.1%
 Source The World Factbook, 2011 est.
Pegged with rial = 2.6008 U.S. dollars
Subunit
 1/1000 baisa
Symbol ر.ع.
Coins 5, 10, 25, 50 baisa
Banknotes 100, 200 baisa, ½, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 rials

The rial (Arabic: ريال‎, ISO 4217 code OMR) is the currency of Oman. It is divided into 1000 baisa (also written baiza, Arabic: بيسة).

History[edit]

Before 1940, the Indian rupee and the Maria Theresa Thaler (known locally as the rial) were the main currencies circulating in Muscat and Oman, as the state was then known, with rupees circulating on the coast and Thaler in the interior. Maria Theresa Thaler were valued at 230 paisa, with 64 paisa equal to the rupee.[1]

In 1940, coins were introduced for use in Dhofar, followed, in 1946, by coins for use in Oman. Both coinages were denominated in baisa (equivalent to the paisa), with 200 baisa to the rial. The Indian rupee and, from 1959, the Gulf rupee continued to circulate.

In 1970, the rial Saidi (not to be confused with Saudi riyal) was made the currency of Oman. It was equal to the British pound and replaced the Gulf rupee at a rate of approximately 21 rupees to the rial. The new rial was subdivided into 1000 baisa. The rial Omani replaced the rial Saidi at par in 1973. The currency name was altered due to the regime change in 1970 and the subsequent change of the country's name.

For a wider history surrounding currency in the region, see The History of British Currency in the Middle East.

Coins[edit]

In the 1890s, coins for 112 and ¼ anna (⅓ and 1 paisa) were minted specifically for use in Muscat and Oman.

In 1940, coins were issued for use in Dhofar in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 baisa. ½ rial coins were added in 1948, followed by 3 baisa in 1959. In 1946, 2, 5 and 20 baisa coins were introduced for use in Oman. These were followed, between 1959 and 1960, by 3 baisa, ½ and 1 rial coins.

In 1970, a coinage for all of Muscat and Oman was introduced. Denominations were 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 baisa. In 1975, new coins were issued with the country's name given as Oman. ¼ and ½ rial coins were introduced in 1980. Coins currently circulating are [2]

  • 5 baisa
  • 10 baisa
  • 25 baisa
  • 50 baisa

100 baisa, ¼ rial Omani, and ½ rial Omani coins made of non-precious metal were also issued in the 1980s.

Banknotes[edit]

On 7 May 1970, the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman issued banknotes in denominations of 100 baiza, ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 rial saidi.[1] These were followed by notes for 100 baiza, ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 Omani rials issued by the Oman Currency Board on 18 November 1972.[2] From 1977, the Central Bank of Oman has issued notes, with 20 and 50 rial notes introduced that, followed by 200 baisa notes in 1985. Notes currently circulating are:

1995 Series
Image Value Main Colour Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
100 baisa obverse.jpg 100 baisa reverse.jpg 100 baisa Green Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, irrigation canal Verreaux eagle, white oryx
Oman Half rial obverse.jpg Oman Half rial reverse.jpg ½ rial Brownish-purple Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Bahla fortress Al-Hazim fort, Nakhl fort
1 oman rial obverse.jpg 1 Oman rial reverse.jpg 1 rial Purple Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex Omani Khanjar (dagger), silver bracelets and ornaments, dhows
5 Oman rial obverse.jpg 5 Oman rial reverse.jpg 5 rials Red Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan Qaboos University Nizwa
10 rials Brown Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Al-Nadha tower Muttrah fort
20 rials Green Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Central Bank of Oman building (Muscat) Muscat Security Market, Rusayl industrial area
50 rials Pink & violet Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Ministry of Finance and Economy Building (Muscat) Cabinet building and Ministry of Finance and Industry building (Muscat)

A new 1 rial note is now in circulation alongside the 1970 note which is still accepted. The new 1 rial note is red, similar to the 5 rial note. A new purple 20 rial note was issued in 2010 on the occasion of the 40th National Day.Both the old and the new notes are accepted. The 200 baisa note is now out of circulation.

Although the 100 baisa and 20 rial notes are both green, the former is considerably smaller, and thus the two are easily distinguishable.

Fixed exchange rate[edit]

From 1973 to 1986, the rial was pegged to U.S. dollar at 1 rial = 2.895 dollars. In 1986, the rate was changed to 1 rial = 2.6008 dollars,[3] which translates to approximately 1 dollar = 0.384497 rial. The Central Bank buys U.S. dollars at 0.384 rial, and sell U.S. dollars at 0.385 rial.[4] Before Malta's adoption of the euro on 1 January 2008, it was the fourth highest-valued currency unit after the Kuwaiti dinar, Maltese lira, and the Bahraini dinar. Now it is the third highest.

Current OMR exchange rates
From Google Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY KRW
From Yahoo! Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY KRW
From XE.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY KRW
From OANDA.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY KRW
From Investing.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY KRW
From fxtop.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY KRW

Note: Rates obtained from these websites may contradict with pegged rate mentioned above

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Muscat and Oman". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com. 
  2. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Oman". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com. 
  3. ^ Chapter six, CBO Annual Report 2003
  4. ^ Daily exchange rate, Central Bank of Oman

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Gulf rupee
Ratio: 1 rial = approximately 21 rupees = 1 British pound
Currency of Oman
1970 –
Note: known as "rial Saidi" before 1973, since known as "rial Omani"
Succeeded by:
Current