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Omanian Currency

The Omani riyal is divided into 1,000 baiza (or baisa). Notes come in denominations of rials 50, 20, 10, 5, 1, 1/2 (500 baizas), 1/4 (250 baizas), 200 baizas and 100 baizas. Coin denominations are 50, 25, 10 and 5 baizas. Denominations are written in Arabic and English. It is best to take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the currency, although shopkeepers are generally honest when giving you your change.

Before 1940, the Indian rupee and the Maria Theresa Thaler (known locally as the rial) were the main currencies circulating in Oman, with rupees circulating on the coast and Thaler in the interior. Maria Theresa Thaler were valued at 230 paisa, with 64 paisa equal to the rupee.

In 1940, coins were introduced for use in Dhofar, followed, in 1946, by coins for use in Oman. Both coinages were denominated in baiza (equivalent to the paisa), with 200 baiza to the rial. The Indian rupee and, from 1959, the Gulf rupee continued to circulate.

In 1970, the rial Saidi (not to be confused with Saudi riyal) 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 1,000 baiza. The rial Omani replaced the rial Saidi at par in 1973. The currency name was altered due to the regime change in 1970 and the subsequent change of the country's name.

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. A new purple 20 rial note was issued in 2010 on the occasion of the 40th National Day. Both the old and the new notes are accepted. The 200 baiza note is now out of circulation.





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