The Qatari riyal is the currency of the State of Qatar. It is divided into 100 dirhams (درهم) and is abbreviated as either QR (English) or ر.ق (Arabic).
Until 1966, Qatar used the Indian rupee as currency, in the form of Gulf rupees. When India devalued the rupee in 1966, Qatar, along with the other states using the Gulf rupee, chose to introduce its own currency. Before doing so, Qatar briefly adopted the Saudi riyal, then introduced the Qatar and Dubai riyal which was the result of signing the Qatar-Dubai Currency Agreement on 21 March 1966. The Saudi riyal was worth 1.065 rupees, whilst the Qatar and Dubai riyal was equal to the rupee prior to its devaluation.
Following Dubai's entrance into the United Arab Emirates, Qatar began issuing the Qatari riyal separate from Dubai on 19 May 1973. The old notes continued to circulate in parallel for 90 days, at which time they were withdrawn.
For a wider history surrounding currency in the region, see the history of British currency in the Middle East.
In 1966, coins were introduced in the name of Qatar and Dubai for 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 dirhams. In 1973, a new series of coins was introduced in the same sizes and compositions as the earlier pieces but in the name of Qatar only.
On September 18, 1966, the Qatar & Dubai Currency Board introduced notes for 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 riyals. These were replaced on 19 May 1973 by notes of the Qatar Monetary Agency in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 100, and 500 riyals; a 50-riyal note was issued in 1976. The Qatar Central Bank was established by decree 15 on 5 August 1973. All coins and notes issued by the Qatar Monetary Agency became the property of the bank but continued to circulate for several years.
The Qatari riyal is pegged to the US dollar at a fixed exchange rate of $1 USD = 3.64 QR. This rate was enshrined into Qatari law by Royal Decree No.34 of 2001, signed by Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, on 9 July 2001.
Article (1) states that the Qatari riyal exchange rate shall be pegged against the US dollar at 3.64, and sets upper and lower limits of 3.6415 QR and 3.6385 QR for the Qatar Central Bank's purchase and sale of dollars with banks operating in Qatar. Article (2) provides the Qatar Central Bank with the authority to determine the volume and the time of sale of US dollars and the associated conditions of such sales and payments. Article (3) cancels the earlier Royal Decree No.60 of 1975, by which the riyal was officially pegged to the IMF's special drawing rights (SDRs).