The Sultanate of Oman is strategically located in Western Asia on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The country is surrounded by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, with Iran and Pakistan across the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The sultanate was once a maritime empire and is the oldest continuously independent nation in the Arab world. Oman’s sceneries consist of a gravel desert plain, mountain ranges, and coastal lines.

The country has a middle-income economy driven by oil extraction along with tourism and gas-based industries. Due to the decreasing reserves of oil, its capital city, Muscat, has implemented a development plan aimed to reduce the contribution of the oil sector to the nation’s GDP. The plan revolves around diversification, privatization, and industrialization. With Oman’s enhanced oil recovery strategies in place, the country was able to increase its oil production, allowing more time for the country to venture into non-oil-based zones.

Oman’s official currency is the Omani rial which is fractioned into 1000 baisa. Its first banknotes were issued by the Oman Currency Board in 1970 in denominations of 100 baisa, a quarter rial, a half rial, 1, 5, and 10 rials. These banknotes depict the national emblem illustrating two crossed swords and a dagger.  

On April 1, 1975, the Central Bank of Oman began its operations and introduced 20 and 50 rial banknotes which were followed by the 200 baisa banknote in 1986. 

After July 2019, Omani rial banknotes feature Sultan Qaboos bin Said on the obverse along with a building, monument, or statue. This set of banknotes is also equipped with holographic stripes at the right front, solid security threads with printed text, and watermarks that reveal an image of the sultan when looked at against the light.

New Omani rial banknotes feature the new sultan Haitham bin Tariq on the obverse. A new 50-rial banknote was also recently issued to commemorate the 50th year of the Modern Omani Rennaissance, depicting the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

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