The rial or riyal is the currency of Yemen . It is technically divided into 100 fils , although coins denominated in fils have not been issued since Yemeni unification .


In the 18th and 19th century, the riyal was traditionally associated with the Maria Theresa thaler , currency that was widely in use in Yemen owing to the Mocha coffee trade with the French, and a Yemeni request that its produce be paid with thalers. [3]

As Yemen progressed, it developed its own legal currency. After the union between the North (the Yemen Arab Republic ) and the South (the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen ) in 1990, both the northern rial and the southern dinar remained legal tender during a transitional period, with 1 dinar exchanged for 26 rials. On 11 June 1996, the dinar was withdrawn from circulation. In 1993, the first coins were issued for the Republic of Yemen . The value of the Yemeni rial against the United States dollar dropped significantly compared to 12.01 rials per dollar in early the 1990s. Since the mid-1990s the Yemeni rial has been freely convertible. Though it dropped from YER 20 to approximately YER 215 against the U.S. dollar since then, the rial has been stable for several years. However, since 2010 the Central Bank of Yemen had to intervene several times, resulting in a serious decline of foreign reserves. By late 2013, the Economic Intelligence Unit expects reserves to decline to approximately 1.3 months of imports over the following years, despite information that Saudi Arabia would transfer $1 billion to the Yemeni Central Bank.


When Yemen unified, coins had been issued in North Yemen in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 fils and 1 rial. The fils denominations have all disappeared from circulation. In 1993, new coins were introduced by the Central Bank of Yemen in denominations of 1 and 5 rials. These were followed by 10 rials coins in 1995 and 20 rials in 2004.

1 rial 5 rials 10 rials


At the time of unification, Central Bank of Yemen notes in circulation were 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 rials. In 1993, the 1 and 5 rials notes were replaced by coins, with the same happening to the 10 rials notes in 1995. In 1996, 200 rials notes were introduced, followed by 500 rials in 1997 and 1000 rials in 1998. The 20 rials notes were replaced by coins in 2004. In addition, a 250 rial banknote was issued on November 14, 2009. [4] [5]

Currently circulating banknotes (1994-2009)
Image Value Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Printing Issue
50 rials Olive-green Bronze statue of Ma'adkarib Shibam city, Hadramaut 1994
100 rials Purple Ancient culverts, Aden Sana'a 1993
200 rials Green Alabaster sculpture Mukalla 1996
250 rials Orange & blue Al-Saleh mosque , Sana'a Mukalla 2009 November 14, 2009
500 rials Blue Dar al-Hajr (Palace of the Rock) Al-Muhtar mosque, Tarim 2007
500 rials Blue Al-Muhar mosque, Tarim Dar al-Hajar (Palace of the Rock) 2017
1,000 rials Green & yellow Seiyun Palace , Hadhramaut Bab al-Yaman gate, San'a 2009
August 2010
Current YER exchange rates
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See also