What is the Currency of Morocco?

By Sharon Omondi on August 1 2017 in Economics

Moroccan dirham coins and banknotes.

The currency of Morocco is the Moroccan dirham. Its code is written as either MAD or DH. The Moroccan dirham is most commonly exchanged with the euro. Currently, 1 Moroccan dirham is equivalent to 0.09910 euro, and when converted to US dollars, 1 Moroccan dirham is equivalent to 0.10314 USD. The Moroccan dirham is printed by the Bank Al-Maghrib, which is Morocco's central bank.

History of the Moroccan Dirham

Before 1882, Moroccans used silver, copper, and gold coins as their currency. These three currencies were denominated in "dirham," "falus," and "benduqi," respectively. In 1882, the dirham was subdivided into Moroccan rial, with 50 mazunas being equal to 10 dirham, and 10 dirham being equivalent to 1 rial. Later, when the French took control of most parts of Morocco, the currency changed to the Moroccan franc. This currency was used up until October 16, 1960, when the dirham was reintroduced, thereby replacing the franc. However, even after this, the franc was still circulated. It was not until 1974 that the franc was fully replaced by the santim, which is also known as centimes.

Banknotes and Coins

The first coins used in Morocco were silver 1 dirham coins introduced in 1960. Coins in other denominations such as 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 santimat were eventually minted. From 1960 until 2011, various types of metals were used in the production of coins, including cupro-nickel, bi-meta, aluminium, and silver. Presently, the coins which are used include 1, 10, and 20 sentimat, as well as ½, 1, 2, 5, and 10 dirhams. 1 Moroccan dirham is subdivided into 100 centimes.

The first banknotes issued in Morocco were overprints on existing franc banknotes. However, in 1965, new notes denominated in 5, 10 and 50 dirhams were introduced. Subsequently, the 100, 20, and 50 dirham banknotes were issued in years 1970, 1991, and 1996, respectively. The 5 and 10 dirham notes were converted to coins in 1980 and 1995, respectively. Currently, the notes used in Morocco are 20, 50, 100, and 200 dirhams. The latest banknotes have a portrait of the royal crown and King Mohammed VI. They also have the Moroccan door to the left side of the portrait. The portraits symbolize the importance of the Moroccan architectural heritage and its openness.

Commemorative Banknotes

The 50-dirham banknote was issued in 2009 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Bank Al-Maghrib. In addition, in December 2012, 25-dirham notes were issued to mark 25 years of the Moroccan State Printing Works issuing notes.

Currency Exchange and Buying

Moroccan currency can be exchanged at a Bureau de Change within hotels, airports, and banks. To exchange currencies at hotels, one needs to give prior notice to the hotel. It is also important to note that the Moroccan dirham is a closed currency and its importation and exportation out of Morocco is prohibited. Due to this fact, visitors to Morocco are expected to exchange any remaining dirhams back to a foreign currency at the airport before exiting the country.

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