The Qatar Central Bank has unveiled a QAR200 currency note for the first time on 13 December at a press conference held to announce the launch of the fifth issue (new version) of the Qatari currency. The new notes will come into circulation on Qatar National Day, which falls on December 18.
Qatar first issued its own currency in 1973 and the currencies in use prior to that date reflect the changing historical fortunes of the country. Qatar formed a new state in 1868 after detaching itself from Bahrain and in 1916 the country became a British protectorate. Until 1950 Qatar used a mixture of currencies including British sovereign gold coins, the silver Saudi Riyal issued in 1927 and Maria Theresa silver thalers (widely circulating in the Arabian Peninsula) as well as the Indian Rupee and money from Oman and Persia.
1950 – 1959 The Indian Rupee
This currency enjoyed legal tender status in Qatar and all the Arabian Gulf states in accordance with a tripartite agreement between themselves, India and Britain, after Britain withdrew from India in 1947 (which had been its main administrative centre for the Gulf).
1959 – 1966 The Gulf Rupee
Issued by the Indian government, these banknotes carried the same colours and designs as the Indian Rupee but bore the letter ‘z’ before the serial number. The devaluation of the Indian rupee by 30% on the part of the Indian Government in June 1966 also affected the Gulf Rupee, and the Gulf States moved quickly to withdraw and replace the currency.
June – September, 1966 The Saudi Riyal
As an interim solution Qatar and Dubai borrowed one hundred million Saudi Arabian Riyals for use until mid-September, when sufficient new notes were released by the printer.
1966 – 1973 Qatar and Dubai Riyal
The issue of these notes saw the immediate withdrawal of the Saudi Riyal from circulation and they continued in use until 1973 when Dubai joined the UAE and Qatar issued its own currency, the Qatari Riyal.
1973 – to date The Qatari Riyal
This was first issued on 19th May 1973, in denominations of one, five, 10, 100 and 500 riyals (a 50 riyal note was added in 1976). The front side is in Arabic and the reverse in English. There have been three more issues to date and the GCC states future monetary union will see the issue of a common currency.
Check out Marhaba Special Feature – Evolution of Qatar Currency for more interesting information.
Source: Qatar Central Bank