Currencies Facts Major Currencies Saudi Riyal

Saudi Riyal Currency



The Saudi riyal (SAR) has been the official currency of Saudi Arabia since the country was first established. The Saudi riyal is currently pegged to the US dollar at the rate of 1 US dollar = 3.75 SR.


  • Saudi Arabia’s economy is highly dependent on oil, with 42 percent of GDP and 90 percent of exports coming from the oil industry. It is estimated that Saudi Arabia controls roughly 25 percent of the world’s total oil reserves.
  • The current Saudi government is attempting to reduce its dependence on oil and stimulate growth in other industries by allowing the private sector and foreign investors to participate in industries such as telecom and power generation.
  • The Saudi stock exchange, also known as Tadawul, is the largest stock market in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest-growing countries globally and one of the world’s top 20 economies.


  • The first Saudi riyal coins under Saudi Arabia were issued in 1935.
  • The first banknotes, in the form of Haj Pilgrim Receipts, were introduced in 1953 by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). Haj Pilgrim Receipts were intended to be used in pilgrim foreign exchange transactions but eventually became widely used for larger transactions.
  • In 1961, the SAMA replaced Haj Pilgrim Receipts with regular banknotes. Haj Pilgrim Receipts were officially phased out in 1964.
  • In 1963, the ghirsh was replaced by a new subdivision, the halala, with 1 halala = one-hundredth of the Saudi riyal.
  • In 2003, the Saudi riyal was officially pegged to the US dollar at the exchange rate of 1 USD = 3.75 SAR
Saudi riyal (SAR) profile
Symbols ر.س (Arabic)
Nicknames None
ISO 4217 code SAR
Central bank Saudi Central Bank
Currency subunits Halala = 1/100
Denominations Banknotes: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 riyals
Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 halalas, 1 riyal, 2 riyals
Countries using this currency Saudi Arabia
Currencies pegged to SAR None
SAR is pegged to 1 USD = 3.75 SAR

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