Omani rial

Omani rial

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Encyclopedia
The rial is the currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 of Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

. It is divided into 1000 baisa (also written baiza, Arabic: بيسة).

History


Before 1940, the Indian rupee
Indian rupee
The Indian rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India....

 and the Maria Theresa Thaler
Maria Theresa thaler
The Maria Theresa thaler is a silver bullion-coin that has been used in world trade continuously. Maria Theresa Thalers were first minted in 1741, using the then Reichsthaler standard of 9 thalers to the Vienna mark. In 1750 the thaler was debased to 10 thalers to the Vienna Mark...

 (known locally as the rial) were the main currencies circulating in Muscat and Oman
Muscat and Oman
Muscat and Oman was a country that encompassed the present day Sultanate of Oman and parts of the United Arab Emirates. The country is not to be confused with either the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, which were sheikhdoms under British protection since 1820....

, 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
Paisa
The paisa is a monetary unit in several countries. Linguistic variants of paisa include poisha and baisa . In India, Nepal and Pakistan, the paisa currently equals of a rupee. In Bangladesh, the poisha equals of a Bangladeshi taka...

 equal to the rupee.http://www.globalfinancialdata.com/index.php3?action=showghoc&country_name=OMAN

In 1940, coins were introduced for use in Dhofar
Dhofar
The Dhofar region lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen. Its mountainous area covers and has a population of 215,960 as of the 2003 census. The largest town in the region is Salalah. Historically, it was the chief source of frankincense in the world. However, its frankincense...

, followed, in 1946, by coins for use in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

. 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
Gulf rupee
The Gulf rupee, also known as the Persian Gulf rupee , was a currency used in the countries of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula between 1959 and 1966...

 continued to circulate.

In 1970, the rial Saidi (not to be confused with Saudi riyal
Saudi riyal
The Riyal is the currency of Saudi Arabia. It is abbreviated as ر.س or SR . It is subdivided into 100 Halalas . The Saudi Ghirsh is 5 Halalas.-History:...

) 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
History of Oman
-Prehistory:Prehistoric migration of Homo Sapiens is likely to have taken place around 100,000 years ago and to have followed the coastlines from Africa along Yemen and the sea shores of Oman. Archaeological sites in Yemen and Oman have yielded a stone tool style that is distinct from the East...

 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


In the 1890s, coins for and ¼ anna
Indian anna
An Anna was a currency unit formerly used in India, equal to 1/16 rupee. It was subdivided into 4 Paise or 12 Pies . The term belonged to the Muslim monetary system...

 (⅓ and 1 paisa) were minted specifically for use in Muscat and Oman.

In 1940, coins were issued for use in Dhofar
Dhofar
The Dhofar region lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen. Its mountainous area covers and has a population of 215,960 as of the 2003 census. The largest town in the region is Salalah. Historically, it was the chief source of frankincense in the world. However, its frankincense...

 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 http://www.omanet.om/english/tourism/currency.asp
  • 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


In 1970, banknotes were introduced by the government in denominations of 100 baiza, ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 rial saidi. These were followed in 1973 by notes for 100 baiza, ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 Omani rials issued by the Oman Currency Board. From 1977, the Central Bank of Oman
Central Bank of Oman
The Central Bank of Oman was established in December 1974 and began operations on 1 April 1975. It replaced the Oman Currency Board as the principal currency authority in 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 Green Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, irrigation canal Verreaux eagle, white oryx
200 baisa Blueish-Green Sultan Qaboos ibn Said Al Said, Seeb (Muscat) and Salalah airports Marine Science & Fisheries Center; Port Qaboos, Muttrah (Muscat)
½ rial Brownish-purple Sultan Qaboos ibn Said Al Said, Bahla fortress Al-Hazim fort, Nakhl fort
1 rial Purple Sultan Qaboos ibn Said Al Said, Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex Omani Khanjar (dagger), silver bracelets and ornaments, dhows
5 rials Red Sultan Qaboos ibn Said Al Said, Sultan Qaboos University Nizwa
10 rials Brown Sultan Qaboos ibn Said Al Said, Al-Nadha tower Muttrah fort
20 rials Green Sultan Qaboos ibn Said Al Said, Central Bank of Oman building (Muscat) Muscat Security Market, Rysayl industrial area
50 rials Pink & violet Sultan Qaboos ibn 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.

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


From 1973 to 1986, the rial was pegged to U.S. dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 at 1 rial = 2.895 dollars. In 1986, the rate was changed to 1 rial = 2.6008 dollars, 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. Before Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

's adoption of the euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

 on 1 January 2008, it was the fourth highest-valued currency unit after the Kuwaiti dinar
Kuwaiti dinar
The dinar is the currency of Kuwait. It is sub-divided into 1000 fils. It is the highest-valued currency unit in the world.-History:...

, Maltese lira
Maltese lira
The lira was the currency of Malta from 1972 until 31 December 2007. The lira was abbreviated as Lm, although the traditional ₤ sign was often used locally...

, and the Bahraini dinar
Bahraini dinar
The dinar is the currency of Bahrain. It is divided into 1000 fils . The name dinar derives from the Roman denarius. The dinar was introduced in 1965, replacing the Gulf rupee at a rate of 10 rupees = 1 dinar. The Bahraini dinar is abbreviated .د.ب or BD...

. Now it is the third highest.

See also

  • Gulf Rupee
    Gulf rupee
    The Gulf rupee, also known as the Persian Gulf rupee , was a currency used in the countries of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula between 1959 and 1966...

  • Economy of Oman
    Economy of Oman
    Oman is a country in the Middle East. has expanded continuously in the past half-a-century. It grew 339% in the Sixties reaching a peak growth of 1,370% in the Seventies scaling back to modest 12% growth in the turbulent Eighties and rising again to 34% in the Nineties.-Macro-economic trend:This...

  • Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
    Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
    The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...


External links