The riyal is the currency
of the State of Qatar. It is divided into 100 dirham (درهم) and is abbreviated as either QR (English) or ر.ق (Arabic).
Summary information about Qatari riyal
- ISO 4217 Code:
- Currency sign:
- QR or ر.ق
- 1 dirham, 5 dirham, 10 dirham, 25 dirham, 50 dirham
- 1 riyal, 5 riyal, 10 riyal, 50 riyal, 100 riyal, 500 riyal
- Central bank:
- Qatar Central Bank
In the 1700s, the Khalifah clan migrated to Az-Zubarah, in northwestern Qatar, from their homes farther west and north on the Arabian Peninsula. The Persians considered them a threat, invaded Qatar in 1783, and were defeated by the Khalifah clan. The clan moved its headquarters to Bahrain Island, ultimately becoming its rulers. In 1820, the representatives of the British government signed a general peace treaty with the Sheikh of Bahrain and other important sheiks on the Pirate Coast, later renamed the Trucial Coast.
Qatar was considered to be a dependency of Bahrain until September 12, 1868 when Muhammad bin Thani signed a treaty with Britain establishing Qatar as an independent state. Following the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the United Kingdom displaced Ottoman influence. On November 3, 1916, Qatar agreed to British protection, on the model of the Trucial States (now the United Arab Emirates). Qatar, together with nearby Bahrain, was scheduled to join with the seven emirates of the Trucial Coast to form the United Arab Emirates when the United Kingdom ended its military presence in the Persian Gulf area in 1971. On October 22, 1969, Qatar became part of the Federation of Arab Emirates, which was constituted from the Trucial States, Qatar, and Bahrain. However, both Bahrain and Qatar decided to become independent. Qatar achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 1 September 1971. The State of Qatar was established on September 3, 1971.
Hellenistic coins were used in Qatar during the third century BC. Iranian and Iraqi coins were used during Islamic times, but the first coins were not produced locally until 1966.
In the Arabian Peninsula, gold and silver coins, particular gold British sovereigns and silver Maria Theresa thalers were widely used into the 1960s even after local note currencies and coins were established. Indian Rupees
(INR) circulated in Qatar until April 28, 1959, when the Persian Gulf Rupee (XPG), issued by the Reserve Bank of India, was created for use in the Persian Gulf. India devalued its Rupee on June 6, 1966 which affected the value of the Gulf Rupee, forcing the states using the Gulf Rupee to introduce their own currency. On June 16, 1966, the Saudi Riyal
(SAR) replaced the Gulf Rupee as the medium of exchange. The Qatar and Dubai Currency Board introduced the Qatar-Dubai Riyal (WQDR) at par with the Saudi Riyal on September 17, 1966. The Qatar-Dubai Riyal remained the medium of exchange while Qatar was part of the Federation of Arab Emirates. After the State of Qatar was established in 1971, Qatar issued its own Riyal currency (QAR).
Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates had an interchangeability agreement for bank notes starting apparently on 28 January 1978. The rates of interchange were 10 Qatari riyals = 1 Bahrain dinar
= 10 United Arab Emirates dinars, up to 5,000 Qatari riyals, 500 Bahrain dinars, or 5,000 United Arab Emirates dinars. The agreement lapsed on 5 May 1979 after Qatar revalued its currency.
The Qatar Monetary Agency issued banknotes from 1973 until 1996, and the Qatar Central Bank
began issuing banknotes in 1996. The Riyal is divisible into 100 Dirhams.
In 1966, coins were introduced in the name of Qatar and Dubai for 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 dirham.
In 1973, a new series of coins was introduced in the same sizes and compositions as the earlier pieces but in the name of Qatar only.
The first banknotes issued by The Qatar Monetary Agency were released into circulation on 19 May 1973. Printed by the British security printers Bradbury Wilkinson and Company, the issue contained five denominations: 1, 5, 10, 100 and 500 riyals.
The new notes were exchanged at par for the Riyals of the Qatar and Dubai Currency Board. The notes of the new and the old issuing authorities circulated concurrently for a ninety day period, after which all notes issued by the Qatar and Dubai Currency Board were withdrawn from circulation. The old notes were then then redeemable only through The Qatar Monetary Agency (and later through the Qatar Central Bank). However, under Decree No. 69 of 1993, the deadline for the exchange of currency issued by the Qatar and Dubai Currency Board was 30 June 1994.
The new notes issued by The Qatar Monetary Agency carry a patterned front that always contains the State Crest of Qatar in a vignette to the right and a plain area for viewing the watermark to the left. In the top centre of each note is the title of the Qatar Monetary Agency, while immediately below is the denomination and the promissory clause, which are all written in Arabic. The promissory clause reads: "A banknote of guaranteed value according to law". The denomination appears in each corner of the note in Arabic numerals. The notes are signed by Abdulaziz al-Thani, the Minister of Finance.
Although the patterns on the front of each note are similar in style, each pattern is quite distinct and the colours are also different. The back of each note carries an illustration, around which is a pattern that also encloses the pale area reserved for viewing the watermark. The title of the issuing authority and the denomination are written in English, while the denomination appears several times in western numerals.
The serial numbers on all notes of the first issue consist of a fractional serial number prefix followed by six numerals. The serial number prefix has the Arabic letter alif, the first letter of the alphabet, over a number. Each note carries a solid security thread and the head of a falcon as the watermark.
Fluorescent ink is used on each denomination in varying manners. The 1-, 5- and 10-riyal notes have a narrow strip of fluorescent ink along the left-hand edge of the notes. Invisible in normal light, the strip glows yellow when the note is submitted to ultraviolet light. For the 100- and 500-riyal notes, a fluorescent security device is used. The device is the State Crest of Qatar, and it is located towards the bottom of the note below the signature, becoming apparent only when the note is submitted to ultraviolet light.
In 1976, three years after the initial issue, the Qatar Monetary Agency introduced a 50-riyal note. The new note is designed in the same style as the other notes in the series. However, while the 50-riyal note has inks in the design that fluoresce, it does not have a specific fluorescent feature. It is at this stage that the possibility of varieties for some of the other denominations arises. The 100-riyal note is known to be issued with the fluorescent feature of the State Crest of Qatar (as described above). However, it has also been seen without this feature, but with patch of silver ink under the State Crest that only becomes apparent when the note is submitted to u ultraviolet light. It is probable that stocks of several denominations, if not all, were supplemented by a second print run at the time that the 50-riyal note was introduced. It is possible that these notes had different fluorescent features to those of the first print run. Unfortunately, an insufficient sample of notes has been seen to draw any definite conclusions on this matter.
The second issue of notes by the Qatar Monetary Agency was introduced into circulation in two releases. The first release consisted of just the 100-riyal note, and it was introduced on 15 May 1981. The remaining five denominations (1, 5, 10, 50 and 500 riyals) were released into circulation on 25 July 1981. On 25 October 1981 the notes of the first series were withdrawn from circulation. However, they remained redeemable at the Qatar Central Bank until 10 April 1996 (under the authority of Article 28 of Decree No.15 of 1993 which established the Qatar Central Bank).
Printed by the British security printers Thomas de la Rue and Company, the notes of the second issue have a patterned front, distinctly different to their counterparts in the first series, and a new set of illustrations on their backs. The front of each note has the title of the issuing authority, the denomination, the promissory clause (which remains unchanged from the first issue) and the title of the signatory, all in Arabic in the centre of the note. The notes are once again signed by Abdulaziz al-Thani, the Minister of Finance. To the left is a pattern of vertical lines with the denomination of the note outlined in large Arabic numerals. This area also holds the watermark, which is once again the head of a falcon. To the right is the State Crest of Qatar, however, there is a slight difference to the crest used on this issue, when compared to that used on the first issue. On the second issue, the circle containing the dhow and the palm trees surmounts two crossed swords, whereas on the first issue the crossed swords are missing. The State Crest of Qatar certainly carries two crossed swords and it is not known why they were omitted from the first issue.
The back of each note carries an illustration that covers most of the note, except for a patterned area to the right that is reserved for viewing the watermark. In the top right corner on the back of each note is a square pattern that registers perfectly with a similar design on the front of the note. All denominations carry a micro-printed security thread, with the micro-print reading ‘Qatar Monetary Agency’ (in English). The name of the issuing authority and the denomination are written on the back of the note in English.
Following the issue of these notes, there were complaints from the public concerning confusion in identifying the 1- and 100-riyal notes. This ultimately led to the re-issue, in 1985, of the 1-riyal note in different colours and with a different back. A point to observe when viewing the back of the new 1-riyal note, is that the design style most definitely belongs to the series of designs used for the notes of the first issue, and not those of the second issue. In this sense the new note is almost a ‘mule’, having its front designed in the style of the second issue and its back in the style of the first issue. It is quite probable that the back of the new note was a design suggested for the first issue but not used.
Towards the end of the circulation of this series of banknotes, the Qatari authorities determined the need for additional 1- and 5-riyal notes. In preparing the paper for these notes, a new watermark of the falcon’s head was created, with certain features of the falcon’s head differing from the previous watermark. Most noticeable are the eyes, the nostril on the beak and a change in the line defining the top of the beak. Also noticeable on these later releases, is the increased brightness of the fluorescence of the denomination printed in fluorescent ink on the front of the notes. Perhaps less obvious, is the slight change in colours in the new notes. The changes are almost imperceptible, but are most noticeable in the purple intaglio ink on the 5-riyal notes and in the light shading in the centre of the 1-riyal note. These changes in shades of colour are of the type commonly found when comparing two different print runs of any series of banknotes.
On 5 August 1993, Decree No. 15 of 1993 established the Qatar Central Bank. The decree also abrogated the law establishing The Qatar Monetary Agency and any previously published provisions that were contrary to the new law. However, it was deemed necessary that the regulations by which The Qatar Monetary Agency had operated should remain in force until advised by the new Central Bank. On 10 October 1993 the Qatar Central Bank issued Decree No. 55 of 1993 directing that Decree No. 15 of 1993 was to come into effect on 18 October 1993. At the same time, the Decree advised that any directives previously issued by the Monetary Agency would remain in effect as long as they did not contradict the law establishing the Qatar Central Bank.
Under the law establishing the Central Bank, all coins and banknotes issued by The Qatar Monetary Agency became the property of the Central Bank and continued to circulate unchanged for several years. On 22 June 1996 the Qatar Central Bank issued Qatar’s third series of banknotes. The notes of the second series were subsequently withdrawn from circulation commencing at the close of business on Thursday 19 September 1996. However, holders of these notes may redeem them at the Qatar Central Bank within ten years of this date.
The notes of the third issue are signed by Abdullah al-Attiyah, the Governor of the Central Bank, and Mohammad al-Thani, the Minister of Finance, Economy and Commerce. All notes carry the new watermark of the falcon, which was introduced for the second printing of the 1- and 5- riyal notes (Nos. 13b and 8b) of the last series. The notes continue to be printed on paper with fluorescent fibres and to have the denomination printed in ink that is invisible in normal light, but which fluoresces under ultraviolet light. However, while the serial numbers fluoresce on all denominations, the signatures only fluoresce on the 1-, 5- and 10-riyal notes.
The slightly different treatment of the higher and lower denomination notes continues with the use of security threads. The 50-, 100- and 500-riyal notes carry a foil security thread that has the denomination of the note cut out in Arabic characters. For example, the 50-riyal note has "50 QR" (50 Qatari Riyals) repeatedly cut out of the foil thread. The 1-, 5- and 10-riyal notes have a micro-printed thread, but there are two versions of the micro-printed thread used on these denominations, creating two varieties for each note. When this series of notes was first introduced, the micro-printed text on the security threads read "Qatar Monetary Agency" – indicating that old stocks of paper were used for the early issues. Later issues of these three denominations carry a security thread with micro-printed text that reads "Qatar Central Bank".
QAR banknotes pictures gallery
|1 Qatari riyal|
|Banknote of 1 Qatari riyal has dimensions 134×66 mm and main colors are languid lavender, dark gray, gray, magnolia, lavender mist, pastel blue and cadet grey. The banknote of 1 Qatar riyal was issued in 2008.|
Obverse side of the 1 Qatari riyal is showing the Ornate column, arches, sailboats, palm trees and crossed swords.
Reverse side of the 1 Qatari riyal is showing the Qatar native birds: Crested Lark, Eurasian Bee-Eater and Lesser Sand Plover.
|5 Qatari riyal|
|Banknote of 5 Qatari riyal has dimensions 140×67 mm and main colors are khaki, grullo, asparagus, taupe gray, manatee, aurometalsaurus, anti-flash white and platinum. The banknote of 5 Qatar riyal was issued in 2008.|
Obverse side of the 5 Qatari riyal is showing the Ornate column, arches, sailboats, palm trees and crossed swords.
Reverse side of the 5 Qatari riyal is showing the Qatar National Museum in Doha and the Qatar native animals: Arabian Oryx and Dromedar.
|10 Qatari riyal|
|Banknote of 10 Qatari riyal has dimensions 146×69 mm and main colors are desert sand, fallow, tumbleweed, twilight lavender, rosy brown, pale chestnut, raw umber, pale silver and magnolia. The banknote of 10 Qatar riyal was issued in 2008.|
Obverse side of the 10 Qatari riyal is showing the Ornate column, arches, sailboats, palm trees and crossed swords.
Reverse side of the 10 Qatari riyal is showing the Traditional dhow and Wahiba sand dunes.
|50 Qatari riyal|
|Banknote of 50 Qatari riyal has dimensions 152×70 mm and main colors are platinum, pastel pink, pale silver, tea rose, desert sand, isabelline and snow. The banknote of 50 Qatar riyal was issued in 2008.|
Obverse side of the 50 Qatari riyal is showing the Ornate column, arches, sailboats, palm trees and crossed swords.
Reverse side of the 50 Qatari riyal is showing the Central Bank, Oyster and Pearl monument in Doha.
|100 Qatari riyal|
|Banknote of 100 Qatari riyal has dimensions 158×71 mm and main colors are pastel gray, white smoke, timberwolf, shadow, pale goldenrod, pastel gray and dim gray. The banknote of 100 Qatar riyal was issued in 2007.|
Obverse side of the 100 Qatari riyal is showing the Ornate column, arches, sailboats, palm trees and crossed swords.
Reverse side of the 100 Qatari riyal is showing the Old Mosque and Al-Shaqab Institute.
|500 Qatari riyal|
|Banknote of 500 Qatari riyal has dimensions 164×72 mm and main colors are gainsboro, wild blue yonder, pale aqua, gainsboro, wild blue yonder and isabelline. The banknote of 500 Qatar riyal was issued in 2007.|
Obverse side of the 500 Qatari riyal is showing the Ornate column, arches, sailboats, palm trees and crossed swords.
Reverse side of the 500 Qatari riyal is showing Dhow, with a view of the Mosque of the Sheikhs.
- About Qatar Central Bank:
- Qatar Central Bank
- List of currencies:
- Security and design features of QAR banknotes:
- QAR banknotes
- QAR currency on Wikipedia:
- Qatari riyal
- Official Website of Qatar Central Bank:
- Commemorative coins:
- Commemorative Coins