Saudi Riyal (SAR)

Currency name

Saudi Riyal


SAR exchange rates

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NameSaudi riyal (SAR)
Minor UnitHalala (1/100 of a Riyal)
Minor Unit Symbolهللة
Notes Freq Used ر.س5, ر.س10, ر.س50, ر.س100, ر.س500
Coins Freq Used1, 5, 10, 25, 50 halalas, ر.س1, ر.س2
Central BankSaudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA)
UsersSaudi Arabia

Facts Table for Saudi riyal (SAR)

The currency of Saudi Arabia is the Saudi riyal (Arabic: ريال سعودي riyāl suʿūdiyy), often abbreviated as ر.سSAR, or SR (Saudi Arabian Riyal/Saudi Riyal). It's subdivided into 100 halalas (Arabic: هللة Halalah) and is consistently pegged to the US dollar at a fixed exchange rate.

Before the 20th century, various foreign currencies like the Maria Theresa Thalers and British Gold Sovereigns were in circulation, maintaining Arabia's monetary flow. At that time, the exchange rate stood at 1 Gold Sovereign equating to 5 Theresa Thalers. Subsequently, in the early 1900s, the Hejaz Riyal was introduced as the official currency.

Saudi Riyal Modern History

Following the establishment of Saudi Arabia in 1932, the Saudi Riyal was introduced. Its exchange rate experienced several corrections throughout history. Initially, 1 riyal equal to 22 qurush coins. However, by 1960, this was amended to 20 qurush coins equating to 1 riyal. Notably, in 1952, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) was formed, ushering in multiple reforms aimed at establishing a unified currency system. The year 1963 saw the decimalization of the currency and the introduction of a new subunit called the halala, dividing the riyal into 100 equal parts.

By June 1986, the riyal was officially pegged to the IMF's special drawing rights (SDRs), effectively fixed at 1 U.S. dollar = 3.75 riyals, roughly translating to 1 riyal = 0.266667 dollar. This particular rate was formally implemented on January 1, 2003.

The Riyal experienced a brief surge to a 20-year high post the US Federal Reserve's interest rate cut on September 18, 2007. Following the decision by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) to not follow suit, concerns regarding the inflationary impact of low-interest rates and a reduced value for the riyal surfaced, eventually leading to its return to peg against the U.S. dollar in early December 2007.

All Saudi riyal Exchange Rates