50 Riyals banknote 1960 Qatar and Dubai Currency Board

Qatar and Dubai Currency banknotes 50 Riyals note 1960
Qatar & Dubai banknotes 50 Riyals bank note 1960 
Qatar and Dubai Currency Board

Obverse: Vignette of a dhow, oil rig and palm trees enclosed in a circle to the left, while to the right is a circle, of the same size as that surrounding the vignette, which holds a plain area suited for viewing the watermark. The watermark for each denomination is a falcon's head, and a solid security thread runs vertically through the notes at left of centre. The text on the face of the notes is written in Arabic and is split into four areas. In a panel at the top of the notes is the title of the issuing authority: 'The Qatar and Dubai Currency Board'. In the centre of the note is the value of the note in words, under which appears the legal tender clause. Finally, at the lower centre is the signature, which is that of Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani, and his designation, which is 'Chairman of the Currency Board'. (The signature is printed in black, while the designation is part of the plate printing.) The value of each denomination appears in small panels on each corner of the notes.

Reverse: On the reverse of each note the title of the Currency Board is written in English across the top of the note, with the denomination appearing in numerals in the centre and in the top two corners. Each reverse carries an ornamental boss (which is distinct between denominations) and patterned lines.

Qatar and Dubai banknotes
 Qatar & Dubai Currency Board ND (1960's) Issue

1 Riyal   5 Riyals   10 Riyals   25 Riyals   50 Riyals   100 Riyals

Qatar & Dubai

Qatar and Dubai are two Arab states in the Persian Gulf who are now linked to separate destinies, but for a period of years they shared a great deal in common--both being members of the Trucial States. Towards the end of that period in which they shared membership of the Trucial States, they joined to establish a common monetary union and for a period of six years they shared a common currency. To understand how the brief monetary union between Qatar and Dubai came into being, it is first necessary to understand the association of sheikdoms that became known as the Trucial States.

The loose association of states which bore this title originated in the coastal tribes of the Persian Gulf which had signed 'Perpetual Treaties of Peace and Friendship' with Great Britain. These treaties were the result of Great Britain seeking to stop piracy in the Gulf, and to subdue what was known in the early nineteenth century as the 'Pirate Coast'.

The first major effort of the British to subdue the pirates of the Gulf occurred in 1805 when a fleet was sent from India. While this force was able to drive the tribes of the coast into signing treaties with the British, the treaties were unable to be enforced due to the lack of a policing garrison. A number of expeditions to the area in the next fifteen years convinced the British that they needed to establish a base in the area, to ensure that all treaties were observed. To this end a force was subsequently stationed at Ras al Khaimah.

In 1853 the British signed perpetual maritime treaties with each of the rulers of the coastal tribes, in which they undertook to protect the people from external attack. These treaties were with the states that today form the United Arab Emirates, and following the signing of the treaties the area became known as Trucial Oman, or the Trucial States. In 1892 the links with Great Britain were strengthened, with each sheikdom signing a treaty which made them a British protectorate and which gave the British control of their defence and foreign affairs.

The sheikdoms of the 'Pirate Coast' had become the Trucial States in 1853, but the number of states falling under the tutelage of the British later increased--with Bahrain joining the protective federation in 1861 and Qatar in 1916. The association between the Trucial States and Great Britain continued well into the twentieth century, with Britain providing assistance and guidance during the economic decline of the pearling industry--the former mainstay of the states' economy--through to the discovery of oil and the economic prosperity which followed. However, by the middle of the twentieth century Britain was divesting herself of her colonial past and in 1968 she gave three years notice of her intention to withdraw her presence from the Gulf.

This notice was not sudden, and the British had taken care to provide an environment in which the states of the Gulf could move smoothly from the protection of the British to the full sovereignty of independent states. Evidence of this endeavour can be seen in the development of currency in the Gulf region.

For many years the Indian Rupee had circulated in those states in the Persian Gulf that were under British tutelage, but in 1959 the 'External Rupee', or Gulf Rupee as it became known, replaced the Indian Rupee as the official currency in the Trucial States. The Gulf Rupee was the result of an administrative decision by the government of India to isolate the internal accounting of their own currency from those areas which were using the Indian Rupee under agreement with the Reserve Bank of India. Kuwait subsequently introduced their own currency in 1961 and Bahrain followed with its currency several years later in 1965.

Efforts to encourage the Trucial States to take further responsibility for their economic future led to the signing of the Arabian Gulf Currency Agreement on 7 July 1965 by Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. Under this agreement a monetary union was to be formed and a common currency introduced for circulation in each state. However the implementation of this agreement became frustrated--so Qatar and Dubai decided to form their own monetary union, signing the Qatar-Dubai Currency Agreement on 21 March 1966. The agreement provided for the introduction of a common currency for the two states and the establishment of a Currency Board.

The Currency Board

The Qatar and Dubai Currency Board was responsible for issuing and managing the new currency, and for maintaining the external reserves which backed the currency. There were five directors of the Currency Board, with each state providing two directors, while the fifth director was to be an expert in banking and finance from a country outside the Gulf. The five directors appointed to the Board (and who remained in office during the entire life of the Currency Board) were:

Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani (Chairman)
Maktoum Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum
Hassan Kamel
Mohamed Mahdi Tajir
Z. Siemienski
The Board was located in the Old Government House in Doha (the capital of Qatar) where the manager and staff undertook the day-to-day business of the Board. The first manager of the Board was Mr. P. H. C. Brader, who was succeeded in turn by Mr. D. S. Lewis, Mr. W. G. Balfour, Mr. L. P. Tempest and Mr. M. M. Al-Majed. Agents for the Board were the Qatar National Bank and the National Bank of Dubai.

While the Board was a joint venture between the two member states, Qatar was without doubt the senior member of the Board. This seniority can be seen in that the Board was located in Doha, the chairman of the board was from Qatar, and there was a greater circulation of notes in Qatar than in Dubai. However the telling point in the seniority of Qatar is that, although the original agreement stipulated that the backing for the currency, and the deficiencies and profits from the Board should be shared between both states, a subsequent agreement signed on 29 October 1966 made Qatar solely responsible for the finances of the Board. This agreement was made to favour the government of Qatar, because it had undertaken the responsibility of depositing 5,614,473 with a number of banks in London to cover the entire currency issue. As it had taken this responsibility, it also took the responsibility for profits and losses.