Situated in the northwestern most part of the Maghreb region, the Kingdom of Morocco borders the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. This Arab nation is not only a host to gorgeous white sand beaches but also adorned with picturesque landscapes from the summits of the High Atlas to the dunes of the Sahara Desert, and the water cascades in the Rif mountains. The country is also a fusion of Arabic, African, and European influences evident in their architecture, food, language, and even in their banknotes.
Morocco was a protectorate of France from March 30, 1912, until it gained its independence on March 2, 1956. Prior to the introduction of the Moroccan Dirham on October 16, 1959, the Moroccan franc was the country’s official monetary unit. And although the Moroccan dirham was already put in circulation, the franc was still used until 1974.
Banknotes in Morocco
Moroccan banknotes mostly have a combination of Arabic and French concepts. The Moroccan 5 Franc banknote, for example, bears French text and an Arabesque pattern on the obverse. While on it’s reverse side is in written in Arabic.
Even after Morocco gained its independence from France, banknotes issued by the Bank of Morocco between 1960-1969 were still printed by the Banque de France and used the French numbering system. The text was also Arabic on the obverse and French on the reverse.
In March 1987, the Bank of Morocco was changed to the Bank of Al-Maghreb. Since its 1987 issues, Moroccan dirham banknotes have been printed by Dar As-Sikkah, which is the bank’s unit for printing and minting currencies.
Recent issues of the dirham notes still have an Arabic text on its front and French on the reverse. Just like the previous series, these paper bills bear a portrait of King Mohammed VI on the obverse. In addition with the Moroccan door, the country’s emblem, and the Seal of Solomon. Their reverse side depicts a historical landmark and other national identities.