Travel Oman: Visit Oman's Currency Museum
September 24, 2019 | 7:27 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan

Oman’s deep and rich history can also be perceived through different currencies that the Sultanate has used over the centuries, from the time it was an empire than spanned plenty of the Arabian Gulf to the era of its Renaissance and its arrival into modernity.

All of this and much, much more can be seen at the Currency Museum, which is housed at the Central Bank of Oman, and contains hundreds of currency exhibits, some of which have been minted hundreds of years ago.

“Oman’s Currency Museum is housed in the new prestigious Central Bank of Oman building located in the Commercial Business District (CBD),” said the CBO. “One of its numerous features include a currency collection which illustrates the history of Omani coinage in the pre-Islam and Islamic periods, as well as the history of the Currency and paper money in circulation during the period before the issue of the first national currency - the Saidi Rial - during the reign of His late majesty Sultan Said bin Taimur on the 7 May, 1970.

Photo by Shabin E.

The CBO added, “some of the prized possessions of the museum include the first Islamic silver dirhams, which are similar to the Sasanian Drachma, Byzantine currency and Islamic gold dinars. History records show that the earliest Islamic mint in the Arabian peninsula was in Oman and that the oldest coin known in Arabia was minted in Oman. This coin - a silver Dirham - dates from the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan and bears the name of Oman. Other Islamic currencies on display bear verses from the Holy Quran and the Hijri date.”

“The Museum also contains several examples of foreign imperial currency that was in circulation in Oman between 1801 and 1970 – a time of extensive commercial and economic relations with the outside world. During that period transactions were concluded in Maria Theresa Dollars – minted in Europe from pure silver – and other foreign currencies.”

Oman’s Ministry of Tourism added, “This museum is located within the Central Bank of Oman building. It displays the succession of currency circulated in the Sultanate of Oman, both paper and metal. The museum includes numerous old and new coins that have been circulated since the early days of the state.

“The museum follows the development of paper currency in Oman and its various issues since the beginning of the nineteenth century. These currencies were circulated in the Sultanate as a result of cultural links with many countries.”

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