The State of Kuwait is positioned at the tip of the Persian Gulf in the northern part of Eastern Arabia in Western Asia. It is wedged between Iraq and Saudi Arabia and shares the same maritime borders with Iran. The country used to be a trading port that links Mesopotamia, India, and Persia.
Although a small country, Kuwait has a high-income open economy fueled by the sixth-largest oil reserves in the world and crude reserves of nearly 102 billion barrels. Petroleum also contributes about 50% of its GDP, 95% of export collections, and 95% of government income. With the increase of worldwide oil prices in 2010, Kuwait’s government budget revenue has increased. As a result, the country has made little effort to diversify its financial infrastructure.
Kuwait’s official currency, the Kuwaiti dinar, is the strongest circulating monetary unit as of 2021. The Kuwaiti dinar is subdivided into 1,000 fils and issued in six series. The first series was introduced following the establishment of the Kuwaiti Currency Board. Banknotes of 1/4, ½, 1, 5, and 10 dinars were in circulation from April 1, 1961, until February 1, 1982. The second series was released in 1970 after the Central Bank of Kuwait took over the issuance of currency.
Following Emir Jaber Al-Ammad Al-Sabah’s assumption of power, the third set of notes was introduced in 1980. A common design element of these notes is the coat of arms of Kuwait depicting a falcon and a dhow.
In 1990, Iraqi troops robbed a substantial amount of Kuwaiti dinar banknotes and placed the currency at par with the Iraqi dinar. The Central Bank of Kuwait withdrew the third issue which prompted the issuance of the fourth series on March 24, 1991. This set of notes has different color schemes and the coat of arms was overprinted with gray. The fifth family of notes was introduced on April 3, 1994, with all-new designs but still reflecting the national emblem.
At the beginning of Ramadan of 2014, the sixth series was introduced, highlighting national significant elements and economic accomplishments with the Kuwaiti flag in the background. These notes are secured with color-shifting features and design elements that become visible when the banknote is tilted.