Qatar and Dubai used to share a currency – yup.


This isn’t NEW news but a few people asked me about this after reading ‘Fact 5’ in the Facts section on

Yes Doha and Dubai are super close. The ties between the two are undoubtedly strong. In 1966 (officially 1967), Qatar and Dubai had a shared currency. It was known as the Qatar and Dubai Riyal. It’s one of the most rarest currency notes to get your hands on today. While doing a bit more research to share with you all, I stumbled upon this article from Trade Arabia from October 2012:

Rare-Find ‘Qatar & Dubai Currency Board’ Notes Auctioned in the UK!

At Bonhams ‘Banknotes and Coins’ auction in Knightsbridge in London, England yesterday, a number of mint-condition uncirculated Qatar and UAE banknotes – extremely rare in the world – has been purchased for £ 180,000 (QR 1.05 million) against pre-auction expectations range: £ 25,000 – 35,000 (QR 146,180 – 204,640), according to official press release from the auction house. 

At closer look by an expert, the corresponding early serial numbers – all marked ‘000009’ – bolster more the intrinsic value of the collection.

The whole public sale, including non-currency items, hauled in a total of £ 580,194 (QR 3.39 million) for just 90% of the entire lots. Many rare coins of international origin and era as old as in Egypt 285 BC, the rule of the Ptolemaic kings.

Mr. John Millensted, Head of Coins at Bonhams, stated during a press interview: “It is a tremendously rare set and has been preserved well over the years, the price exceeded all expectations and we are very pleased with the result.”

The paper currencies, issued by the Qatar and Dubai Currency Board were a complete set of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 Qatari Riyalsdating back in September 1966, were neatly stored in a blue-leather presentation album with the cover inscription: ‘Council For the Currency of Qatar & Dubai’.

The banknotes appear with a vignette with a dhow, derrick, and palm tree at left portion, reverses with denomination at middle and upper corners, and issuing authority across the top. They were modestly mounted on card pages and secured by a thin masking tape strip on back of right edge. 
What’s the history behind the bills?

Back in March 1966, the so-called ‘Qatar-Dubai Currency Agreement’ was sealed to pave way for the ‘Qatar and Dubai Currency Board’ which, in turn, was expected to give birth to a common currency.

Six months later, the Board issued its first banknote. For some major reason, however, the formal treaty was dissolved — within less than seven years hence.

The State of Qatar went ahead to commission its own paper money, as the United Arab Emirates Currency Board circulated its own bills in Dubai. 

At present, high-grade banknotes of the short-lived Qatar & Dubai Currency Board – except for the 1 riyal — are such rarities, with the 25 riyal having such a limited production that it is almost nowhere to be found in any condition. 


Having said that, there’s been talks about a shared common currency for the GCC. Apparantly the first time that the decision was going to be made, the UAE declined, the second time GCC leaders met up UAE was onboard but Oman declined. Right now it’s all just a dream, but perhaps we’ll get there. I’m not quite sure of what the reasons are behind a shared currency not happening (perhaps someone can comment below and let me know), but it sounds interesting. Do you think it’ll be worth it?

Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.