The Republic of Yemen is situated in the southern zone of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, bordered by Oman to the northeast and Saudi Arabia to the north. The country shares maritime boundaries with Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somaliland. Covering about 555,000 square kilometers, Yemen is the second-largest Arab state in the Arab Peninsula. Its national currency is the Rial.

Map of Yemen | Source: WorldAtlas

In the 1970s, economic development in the country stemmed from the commercial exploration of Yemen’s natural gas and oil. Yet, the country remains to be one of the poorest and least developed nations in the world.  

Oil Production Contributed to Growth | Source: AS

Although Yemen’s arable land is only 3 percent of the total land area, one-third of which is applicable for grazing, most Yemenis are involved in subsistence agriculture.  

Yemen uses the Yemeni rial as its official currency which is divided into 100 fils. Because of the political instability and the Yemeni Civil War the country is facing, the Yemeni rial has kept on depreciating. Yemen banknotes are issued by the Central Bank of Yemen. It was established in Sana’a on July 27, 1971, taking over the responsibilities of the Yemen Currency Board.  

Yemen Arab Republic 10 Rials | 1973 | P-13b | Source: Banknote World Educational

Evolution Of the Yemen Rial

On May 22, 1990, the Arab Republic of Yemen in the north and also the Democratic Republic of Yemen in the south merged to form the Republic of Yemen. Consequently, the Central Bank of Yemen in the north unified with the Bank of Yemen in the south. However both retained the name Central Bank of Yemen. Both the Democratic Republic dinar and the Arab Republic rial currencies were in circulation until June 11, 1996.  

Yemen Arab Republic 20 Rial | 1995 | P-26b | Source: Banknote World Educational

Between 1990 and 1997, banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Yemen added captions to recognize design elements that are unknown to Yemenis. In 1998, Yemen introduced the 1,000-rial banknote and also on November 14, 2009, a 250-rial paper bill was put in circulation. In 2017, 500 and 1,000-rial banknotes were introduced bearing revised security features. Common design elements of recent Yemeni rial banknotes are mosques, palaces, and landscapes. Such as the Al-Saleh mosque on the obverse of the 250-rial note, the Palace of the Rock on the front side of the 500 rials. And lastly the Seiyun Palace on the 1,000-rial note.  

Yemen Arab Republic 1,000 Rials | 2018 | P-40b | Source: Banknote World Educational

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