The riyal(ISO 4217 code: QAR) is the currency of the State of Qatar. It is divided into 100 dirham and is abbreviated as either QR (English).
Until 1966, Qatar used the Indian rupee as currency, in the form of Gulf rupees. When India devalued the rupee in 1966, Qatar, along with the other states using the Gulf rupee, chose to introduce its own currency. Before doing so, Qatar briefly adopted the Saudi riyal, then introduced the Qatar and Dubai riyal which was the result of signing the Qatar-Dubai Currency Agreement on 21 March 1966. The Saudi riyal was worth 1.065 rupees, whilst the Qatar and Dubai riyal was equal to the rupee prior to its devaluation.
Until 1973, Qatar and Dubai jointly issued the riyal. However, following Dubai's entrance into the United Arab Emirates, Qatar began issuing the Qatari riyal separate from Dubai.
For a wider history surrounding currency in the region, see The History of British Currency in the Middle East.
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.
On September 18, 1966, the Qatar & Dubai Currency Board introduced notes for 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 riyal. These were replaced in 1973 by notes of the Qatar Monetary Agency in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 riyal. In 1996, the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) took over the issuance of paper money and continued to issue the same denominations as the Monetary Agency.
Fixed exchange rate
In March 1975, the riyal was officially pegged to the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). In practice, it has been fixed at 1 U.S. dollar = 3.64 riyal since 1980, which translates to approximately 1 riyal = 27.4 cents. This rate was made official in July 2001.
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