The UAE’s first banknote printing plant was opened at the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi on Saturday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
‘Oumolat Security Printing’, a banknote printing company that is the first of its kind in the region, aim to provide printing services for central banks across the Middle East.
Sheikh Mohammed received the first 1,000-dirham note printed by the company, which bears the number ‘1’ from Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Sheikh Mohammed was briefed by the Governor of the UAE Central Bank Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori about the facility’s production machinery featuring the latest technology.
"From a security, efficiency and sovereignty point of view, it’s always preferable to have local mint capacity," said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Centre in Riyadh.
"At times, countries could mint extra-territorially in emergencies but it’s always preferred to mint coins and banknotes within one’s borders."
Oumolat said it "aspires to become the premium choice of central banks for any banknote related matters, including production, consultancy, planning of security upgrades to existing banknote designs, provision of conceptual design ideas and conceiving of new security features and concepts".
The dirham has been in use since 1973. Before that, during the early days of the country and the era of the Trucial States, currencies in common usage included the Bahraini dinar, the Qatari riyal, the Saudi riyal, the Dubai riyal, the Gulf rupee and the Indian rupee.