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Oman Currency Spotlight

In Business and Currency by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

The Omani rial is one of the highest value currencies in the world, and with a still healthy oil industry filling the government coffers, Oman could be well poised in the coming decades – as long as the government continues to invest and reform the economy.

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History and Culture | Travel Guide

  • Symbol: ر.ع.
  • Oman Currency Code: OMR
  • Subunit: baisa (1/1000)
  • Coins: 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 baisa
  • Banknotes: 100, 200, baisa, ½, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 rials
  • Oman GDP (nominal): $81.5 billion
  • Central Bank: Central Bank of Oman
  • Inflation: 4.1% (2011)

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Oman Currency History

In Oman, the Indian rupees were widely circulated along the coast as a result of the country’s maritime and trade tradition. Inland, the Maria Theresa thaler (MTT) was widely circulated. One MTT was worth 230 paisa (1/64 of a rupee). In 1946, baisa (from paisa, and of equivalent value) coins were introduced, but Indian rupees and Gulf rupees continued to circulate until the rial Saidi was introduced on par to the British pound. The rial Saidi was replaced by the Omani rial in 1973.

Coins

The coins currently in circulation in Oman are:

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

Banknotes

The latest series of Omani rial banknotes were released in 1995:

ValueColourObverseReverse
100 baisaGreenSultan Qaboos bin Said al Said (the Sultan of Oman), and an irrigation canal White oryx and verreaux eagle
½ rialBrown/PurpleSultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, Bahla FortressAl-Hazim Fort, Nakhl Fort
1 rialPurpleSultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan Qaboos Sports ComplexOmani Khanjar (dagger), silver bracelets and ornaments, dhows
5 rialsRedSultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan  Qaboos UniversityNizwa
10 rialsBrownSultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan Qaboos UniversityMuttrah Fort
20 rialsGreenSultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Central Bank of Oman Muscat Security Market, Rusayl industrial area
50 rialsPink and VioletSultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Ministry of Finance and Economy BuildingCabinet Building and the Ministry of Finance and Industry building

In addition to the 1995 series, a purple 20 rial note was released in 2010, and the original 1 rial note is also still circulating.

Oman Currency Value

The Omani rial has been pegged to the USD at a rate of 1 OMR to 2.6008 USD since 1986. Prior to that it was valued at 1 OMR to 2.895 USD. Its high value makes the Omani rial the third highest value currency in the world after two others from the Middle East: the Kuwaiti dinar and the Bahraini dinar.

CAD Canadian dollar Omani rial rate watch

1 OMR to CAD over the past 5 years (courtesy of Rate Watch)

Track, compare, and convert the value of Omani rial yourself with a free currency converter!

Oman Economy

Oman has been one of the fastest growing countries in the world over the last 50 years. In the 1960s the GDP per capita grew 339%, rising to an astonishing 1,370% in the 1970s, before a more reasonable 13% in the 1980s, and 34% in the 1990s. Consequently the country has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world.

Oil was first discovered in the county in 1964, and although it has smaller reserves than some of its neighbours the country has profited enormously from the oil industry.  The country has also embarked on ambitious modernisation efforts to transform the economy, society, and to transition to an eventual post-oil world. For now crude oil still dominates the economy, along with petroleum bi products and natural gas.

omani rial notes coins money cash sultan

Final Word

Oman is still transitioning into a modern economy, but if the country continues to invest its oil revenue intelligently then the transition should be smooth.

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