UAE Currency: The Power of Dh10 – A Banknote That Celebrates Emirati Culture
The UAE currency was introduced on May 20, 1973, just over two years after the country’s formation.
Before the dirham, the rupee, the dinar and even the Maria Theresa silver thaler were used.
In this weekly series, The National breaks down the historical and cultural significance of the designs for each of the dirham denominations.
First issued in 1973, the original Dh10 banknote is said to be unrecognizable today. Printed in dark gray ink on a background of predominantly shades of pale green, the Arabian face bore the composite mark of a sailing dhow and the outline of the Gulf Coast of the United Arab Emirates above a line of camels, and framed by a palm tree, a derrick and a pearl necklace.
The English side was printed with an aerial image of Umm Al Quwain, with the words âUnited Arab Emirates currency boardâ.
In 1982, the Dh10 note was replaced by the design familiar today, with images that reflect aspects of life and culture. The Arab face features a khanjar, the carved dagger worn by Emirati men during ceremonies. The central watermark features the crest of the United Arab Emirates, with the outstretched wings of the falcon of Quraish, the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad.
On the reverse, the English-speaking face is a composite of a farmhouse, with rows of crops alongside trees and date palms. In the foreground, the crown of a date palm, laden with ripe fruit. Each side is a powerful statement of the importance of tradition and the bounty of nature in Emirati culture, both close to the heart of Sheikh Zayed.
Ensuring sustainable agriculture was one of the main goals of Sheikh Zayed, who said: “Provide me with sustainable agriculture, I will assure you a civilized society.”
The Dh10 has been reissued numerous times since then, most recently in 2017 with a few changes including Arabic typeface and enhanced security, but basically remains as timeless as the lifestyle it commemorates.
The inspiration behind the design of the currency of the United Arab Emirates