Definition of Omani Rial (OMR)

What is the Omani Rial (OMR)?

OMR is the currency code for the Omani Rial. The OMR is the national currency of the Sultanate of Oman, located on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The Omani rial is made up of 1,000 baisa. The Central Bank of Oman sets the value of the Omani rial at $ 2,6008 (USD).

Key takeaways

  • The Omani rial uses the currency code OMR and is the currency of the Sultanate of Oman.
  • The OMR is pegged to the US dollar at an exchange rate of 1 rial per US $ 2,6008.
  • Oman is highly dependent on oil exports and is trying to diversify its economy.

Understanding the Omani Rial (OMR)

The Central Bank of Oman pegs the value of the Omani rial to the United States dollar (USD) at a fixed exchange rate. Between 1973 and 1985, the rate remained at 1 rial at $ 2,895, but changed to $ 2,6008 in 1986. The peg to the dollar keeps the value of the rial stable and protects it against volatility that small trade-based economies may experience. and resources like that of Oman. .

The OMR is circulated in notes and coins. The denominations of the banknotes are 100 and 200 terribleand 1/2, 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 rials. The coins have denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 terribleand 1/4 and 1/2 rials.

Oman is heavily dependent on oil, making the economy and currency heavily influenced by the price of oil. Like many oil-rich nations, Oman is trying to diversify its economy away from its dependence on oil. Omani officials are paying particular attention to manufacturing, tourism and logistics, given its coastal geography at a critical world crossroads.

Until Oman can achieve a more diversified economy, with a more developed financial system, the Omani rial is likely to remain pegged to the dollar.

The country has experienced significant changes in inflation, with some years showing double-digit increases and other years with drops close to double digits.

History of the Omani Rial (OMR)

Oman is located in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and is key to the stability of the region. Before 1970, Oman had no national currency. Previously, the area, then known as Muscat and Oman, used the Indian rupee (INR) and the Maria Teresa thaler, and the coins circulated in different regions.

Beginning in 1970, the OMR was known as the true Saidi and it had a value equal to the British pound (GBP). This currency became popular and replaced the Indian rupee in coastal regions. In 1973, the coin was replaced by Omani rial (at par) and became the predominant form of money. OMR became the currency of Oman after Sultan Qaboos bin Said officially changed the name of the country to Sultanate of Oman.

The most notable event in the history of the Omani rial took place in 1970, when Sultan Qaboos bin Said assumed power after overthrowing and exiling his father, Sultan Said bin Taimur. The change of leadership followed a palace coup.

Subsequently, Qaboos bin Said embarked on a program of economic and social reform. His reforms included the establishment of a national currency and the establishment of the Central Bank of Oman in 1974. The central bank issues and administers the Omani rial.

The OMR exchange rate against currencies other than the US dollar will fluctuate because the OMR is not pegged to those currencies.

Fluctuations of the Omani rial currency

The exchange rate of OMR against USD (OMR / USD) is subject to very little fluctuation as the exchange rate is fixed at $ 2,6008 per rial. But the rate against other currencies will fluctuate because the OMR is not pegged to those currencies.

Let’s say a traveler is looking for fares to travel to Oman from Canada. They are interested in the OMR / CAD rate, or how many Canadian dollars (CAD) it takes to buy an OMR.

In 2014, the traveler could have gotten a fare of around 2.80, which means that a rial costs C $ 2.80 (Canadian dollars). In early 2016, the rate rose above C $ 3.70. It costs more CAD to buy an OMR, which means that the OMR appreciated against the CAD or the CAD depreciated against the OMR.

In the years 2016 to 2018, the rate stabilized between these minimums and maximums, remaining largely between Cdn $ 3.50 and Cdn $ 3.10. As the rate dropped from Cdn $ 3.70 to Cdn $ 3.10, the OMR depreciated against the CAD, or the CAD appreciated against the OMR, because it cost less CAD to buy an OMR. As of June 2021, one Omani rial is worth 3.14 Canadian dollars.

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Mark Holland

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