UAE celebrates 44 years of Dirham
Ahhh, money makes the world go around. We love that paper; cash; sterling; bills; loot; readies; moolah; gravy; wonga. We sometimes hate it...but mostly love it, really…
Once upon a time, before the union of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and before the creation of the Dirham, several currencies including the Indian rupee, the Gulf rupee, the Qatari riyal, Dubai riyal and Bahraini dinar (used in Abu Dhabi) were legal tender across the Emirates.
It was 44 years ago on May 19 - a mere two years after unification of the seven Emirates - its residence met the UAE Dirham. First legal tenders came in 5, 10, 50 and 100 denominations and had a picture of an Arabian horse, this was later replaced by the UAE’s national bird: the Falcon. The notes were issued by the United Arab Emirates Currency Board with imprints of landmarks associated with each emirate separately with the name of emirate on the bank note.
“The Dhs1 coin carried the picture of the Clock Tower and Police Fort in Sharjah, while five dirham note had Fujairah’s Old Fort on it," explains Mr Ram Kumar, President of International Bank Note Society, Dubai Chapter.
"The 10 dirham note showed an aerial view of Umm Al Quwain and the 50 dirham note displayed the palace of HH Ruler of Ajman. The Dhs100 was imprinted with a picture of Al Rams area in Ras Al Khaimah. Representations from Dubai and Abu Dhabi were introduced with 1000 dirham notes in 1976, which featured Al Jahilie Fort of Abu Dhabi and an old fort of Dubai.”
As the UAE developed and unification of the emirates matured the UAE Currency Board was replaced by UAE Central Bank in 1980. Currency Board issued notes were withdrawn from legal tender and the notes of today became legal tender from 1982 onwards.
Currency collecting aficionados can purchase used set of UAE first issue notes from 1 to 100 Dirhams from various antique shops, one of which is Numisbing. Prices begin at Dhs1500 and the starting price of first 1000 UAE Central Banknote would be from Dhs4000, bear in mind these are an indication.