Dubai airports allow using Indian Rupee: History revisits itself..

It is interesting to get such stories:

The Indian Rupee will now be accepted for transaction at all airports in Dubai, according to a leading newspaper in the United Arab Emirates.

The acceptance of Indian currency is good news for tourists from that country as earlier they lost a sizeable amount due to exchange rates, sources said.

As per a report in the Gulf News, the Indian currency is now acceptable at all three terminals of Dubai International Airportand at Al Maktoum Airport. “Yes, we have started accepting the Indian rupee,” a Dubai duty free staff told the newspaper.

Nearly 90 million passengers passed through Dubai aiports last year, 12.2 million were Indians, the report quoted. Indian travellers had to earlier convert the rupee into Dollar, Dirham or Euro before they could shop at Dubai’s duty free shops.

The Indian rupee is the 16th currency to be accepted for transaction at Dubai Duty-Free since its opening in December 1983, said the report.

Obviously, it is fashionable to call any such thing as a first time. We forget that there is a long history of Indian Rupee being widely accepted in the region:

The Indian Rupee and consequently the paper money issues traditionally enjoyed wide currency in the Persian Gulf. On presentation by banks in these areas to the Reserve Bank, these notes were redeemable in foreign currency equivalent.

On achieving independence, India started of with a comfortable foreign exchange position. The quest for development and the demands of ‘catching up’ laid considerable stress on the foreign exchange position. The scarcity situation that ensued led to possibilities of exploiting the traditional currency arrangements with the Gulf.

To obviate or at least mitigate malpractices, which such an arrangement could give rise to, a separate series of notes exclusively for circulation in the Gulf (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial States (now the UAE) were issued by the Indian Government and the Reserve Bank of India in the 1950’s. The notes retained the contemporary design but were different in colour and carried the prefix ‘Z’. The notes were issued in the denominations of Rupee One, Rupees Ten and Hundred and were redeemable only at the Bombay office of issue. 


As the Gulf States issued their own currency, these notes were withdrawn over a period of time from the early 1960’s and ceased to be used around 1970.

The Government had issued special notes for Haj pilgrims from India:

The Indian Government also issued notes for the use of the Haj Pilgrims from India in Saudi Arabia. These notes were issued in denominations of Rupees Ten and Hundred, and had the word HAJ inscribed on the obverse. The Serial Number of the notes was prefixed with the letters ‘HA’. The notes were discontinued when the notes meant for circulation in the Gulf States were withdrawn.

So nothing new really. Infact, INR is just accepted at the airport to promote shopping. Earlier it was widely accepted across the region..

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