It has been 17 years since the fourth issue of the national currency was launched – in 2003 (Version A) – although Qatar Central Bank started issuing 100 Qatari Riyal banknotes in 2007 (Version B).
The fifth issue of banknotes, launched on Sunday, is a step in the right direction and a major step towards globalization. The most important feature of the new banknotes is its environment-friendliness, an eco-friendly design armed with the highest security features.
However, this article will not focus on the shape of the currency, its qualities but I would focus on the reasons and motives behind changing the Qatari currency at this time.
Some may think that the decision to change the currency is sudden and whenever the State decides, the change is certainly possible. This is a wrong and misleading thought because the plan for a new version of Qatari banknotes started some time ago.
We know that Qatar is not the same country anymore after the blockade was imposed on it in June 2017. Qatar has worked carefully and strenuously on balancing its strategies and to promote its economy, looking beyond the crisis by drawing up a plan to meet the challenges of the future and by ignoring all attempts which were created to weaken its economy.
Qatar has also worked carefully to protect itself, and its currency from vile attacks to create fluctuations and instability in its value.
Accordingly, we find that there are many reasons behind the fifth issue of the national currency. These reasons are:
First: The length of the fourth issue and the technical weakness that appeared on the banknotes.
The currency has a human element – it starts out strong and then weakens. The period of the currency notes of the fourth issue was relatively long and certain technical weaknesses appeared during later years, such as its lack of environment-friendly features and safety from too much exposure, because these banknotes were made from cotton paper. It also had weak security features which does not prevent it from being counterfeited.
Second: Qatar’s exposure to world economies, which necessitates the existence of a currency in line with the money supply and demand processes, especially with Qatar’s strong presence in emerging markets and the foreign investor’s desire to invest in the Qatari market.
Third: Qatar has hosted many international tournaments and competitions, especially after Qatar was awarded the right to host 2022 FIFA World Cup, which means millions of fans from other countries will be coming and using the national currency.
Fourth: Knowing the source and home for replacing and exchanging the currency prior to the fourth issue, in order to ensure the targeted planning processes for the Qatari currency and seek to weaken it, and thus suing them in international Civil Courts of the perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed.
Fifth: The banknotes’ substitution and replacement system creates a new type of censorship, which encourages the public to use debit and credit cards responsibly and paying their bills using cards instead of using paper currencies. This supports crime-fighting efforts against fraud and targets illegal money laundering activities.
Sixth: Qatar’s presence in many international organizations fighting crime and terrorist financing necessitates that its national currency be of a high-quality. According to QCB officials who addressed the press conference, the fifth version contains more than 64 security features and many other specifications which show how preventing counterfeiting or any form of fraud or forgery is a priority.
Seventh: The time chosen to put the new banknotes into circulation, before lifting the blockade, is ‘a wise and prudent decision’ to prevent the flow of any Qatari money of unknown source that may flood into the market and thus push towards inflation.
Finally, I would like to salute our leadership that has succeeded in facing many daunting challenges and charting the course for a brighter future towards a privileged life for everyone who lives in Qatar.
Our heartiest thanks for your excellent leadership… Yes to our national government. We have enhanced our understanding of the monetary policy. You are an Inspirational Leadership. We are proud of you!