This week we will be visiting the middle eastern country of Oman.  Oman is located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula and borders UAE, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.  The note we will be looking at is the 1 Rial p48b 2015.  This vibrant purple note features Sultan Qaboos bin Said, coat of arms with crossed swords and khanjar (dagger), Al Alam Palace in Muscat, Flowers, Desert white butterflies, and Sultan Qaboos University in Al Khoudh in the Muscat Governorate.  It is a commemorative note of the 45th National Day, which was also the 75th birthday of Sultan Qaboos.  Sultan Qaboos recently passed away in January 2020 after a several year battle with colon cancer.  At the time of his death, he was the longest serving leader of the middle east, having been sultan just short of 50 years since July 1970.

From what I read in my research, Nationalism and revere for Sultan Qaboos went hand in hand for the people of Oman.  He was a much beloved leader who was paramount in the progression and modernization of Oman.  He overthrew his father, Sultan Said bin Taimur, in a coup to take the throne and end the former isolation of Oman and use their oil revenue to develop the country.  He built hospitals and schools, paved roads, completed projects for an airport and seaports, provided access to electricity for the people, and greatly improved telecommunication – to name a few of his achievements over his 50-year reign.  And although Sultan Qaboos was Muslim, as is most of Oman, he established freedom of religion under his rule and aided in the building of catholic and protestant churches and Hindu temples.  Sultan Qaboos had no children, and I found it interesting that at his death he told the royal court that he wanted them to come to a consensus of who would succeed him.  In case they could not agree, Sultan Qaboos hid a letter naming the person he would choose as successor.  The royal court ended up consulting the letter and chose the person Sultan Qaboos named in it – his cousin, Haitham bin Tariq.

Another development that took place during the rule of Sultan Qaboos was the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) which is pictured on the back of this note.  Building of the university began in 1982 and the first students began there in 1986.  It started with colleges of medicine, engineering, agriculture, education, and science, and now arts, commerce and economics, law, and nursing have been added. The university website notes that traditional Islamic separation of genders is maintained with separate access to buildings, separate walkways, and separate seating in classrooms for men and women.  It is the only public university in Oman.

Also featured on this note is the Coat of Arms, which is the National Emblem of Oman.  It is a khanjar (dagger) in its sheath superimposed on two crossed swords.  The coat of arms was originally designed in the mid-18th century as the royal crest of the Al Said dynasty.  The National Emblem also appears on the Omani flag as of 1970.

There are many other things to learn about this lovely note, but I will end here.  I found it so interesting to learn of all the developments that took place in Oman under the rule of Sultan Qaboos.  This note also won the Special Achievement Award in 2017 at the Security Currency Printing Conference in Azerbaijan. This note will also be our featured note for the next couple of weeks, so it will be available for a limited time at a discounted price! Check out our website to view this note further!

Country: Oman
Denomination: 1 Rial
Pick #: 48b
Banknote Book #: 237
Year: 2015
Grade: UNC
Other Info: Commemorative 45th National Day – corrected dates
Coloration: Purple
Depictions: Sultan Qaboos bin Said; Coat of arms (dagger/swords); Sultan Qaboos University; Butterflies
Note Size: 5 1/2″ x 2 3/4″
Continent: Asia and the Middle East
Watermark: Sultan Qaboos