Moroccan dirham

The Moroccan dirham (Arabic: درهم, romanized: dirham, Moroccan Arabic: درهم, romanized: derhem; Berber languages: ⴷⵔⵀⵎ, romanized: drhm; sign: DH; code: MAD) is the official monetary currency of Morocco. It is issued by the Bank Al-Maghrib, the central bank of Morocco. One Moroccan dirham is subdivided into 100 santimat (singular: santim; Arabic: سانتيم).

Moroccan dirham
Coins and banknotes of the Moroccan dirham
ISO 4217
CodeMAD (numeric: 504)
Freq. used20, 50, 100, 200 dirhams
Rarely used25 dirhams
Freq. used10, 20 santimat, 12, 1, 2, 5 & 10 dirhams
Rarely used1, 5 santimat
Official user(s) Morocco
Unofficial user(s) Ceuta
 Western Sahara
Central bankBank Al-Maghrib (Bank of Morocco)
SourceThe World Factbook, 2019 est.
Pegged with60% EUR and 40% USD[1]


The word dirham derives from the Greek currency, the drachma. The Idrissid dirham, a silver coin, was minted in Morocco under the Idrisid dynasty from the 8th to 10th centuries.[2]

Before the introduction of a modern coinage in 1882, Morocco issued copper coins denominated in falus, silver coins denominated in dirham, and gold coins denominated in benduqi. From 1882, the dirham became a subdivision of the Moroccan rial, with 500 Mazunas = 10 dirham = 1 rial.

When most of Morocco became a French protectorate in 1912 it switched to the Moroccan franc. The dirham was reintroduced on 16 October 1960.[3] It replaced the franc as the major unit of currency but, until 1974, the franc continued to circulate, with 1 dirham = 100 francs. In 1974, the centime replaced the franc.[4]


In 1960, silver 1 dirham coins were introduced. These were followed by nickel 1 dirham and silver 5 dirham coins in 1965. In 1974, with the introduction of the santim, a new coinage was introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 santimat and the 1 and 5 dirham coins. The 1 santim coins were aluminium, the 5 up to 20 santimat were minted in brass, with the highest three denominations in cupro-nickel. New cupro-nickel 5 dirham coins were added in 1980 and changed to a bi-metal coin in 1987. The bi-metal coins bear two year designations for the issue date—1987 in the Gregorian calendar and the 1407 in the Islamic calendar.

The 1 santim was only minted until 1987 when new designs were introduced, with a 12 dirham replacing the 50 santimat without changing the size or composition. The new 5 dirham coin was bimetallic, as was the 10 dirham coin introduced in 1995. Cupro-nickel 2 dirham coins were introduced in 2002. In 2012, a new series of coins has been issued, with the 5 and 10 dirham coin utilizing a latent image as a security feature.

2012 Dirham Coins [5]
ValueTechnical parametersDescription
10 santimat 20 mm 3 g Nordic gold
89% copper
5% aluminium
5% zinc
1% tin
Reeded Arms of the Kingdom and inscription "Kingdom of Morocco" Saffron flower and bee
20 santimat 23 mm 4 g Reeded Lotus flower and design representing Earth
12 dirham 21 mm 4 g Cupronickel
75% copper
25% nickel
Reeded Arms of the Kingdom and inscription "Kingdom of Morocco" Design representing fish in the ocean
1 dirham 24 mm 6 g Reeded Mohammed VI Arms of the Kingdom and inscription "Kingdom of Morocco"
5 dirhams 25 mm 7.5 g Ring: Cupronickel (as 1 dirham)
Center: 70% Cu 24.5% Zn 5.5% Ni
Segmented reeding Mohammed VI Hassan II mosque, with security feature
10 dirhams 28 mm 12 g Ring: Aluminium bronze (as 5 santimat)
Center: Cupronickel (as 1 dirham)
Reeded with Stars Inscription Mohammed VI (earlier issues show Hassan II) Boumalne Dades, with security feature
For table standards, see the coin specification table.


50 dirhams and Ksour in the background

The first notes denominated in dirham were overprints on earlier franc notes, in denominations of 50 dirhams (on 5,000 francs) and 100 dirhams (on 10,000 francs). In 1965, new notes were issued for 5, 10 and 50 dirhams. 100 dirham notes were introduced in 1970, followed by 200 dirham notes in 1991 and 20 dirham notes in 1996. 5 dirham notes were replaced by coins in 1980, with the same happening to 10 dirham notes in 1995. In mid-October 2009, Bank Al-Maghrib issued four million 50-dirham banknotes to commemorate the bank's 50th anniversary. The commemorative note measures 147 × 70 mm and features the portraits of Kings Mohammed VI, Hassan II, and Mohammed V. The back of the notes features the headquarters of Bank Al-Maghrib in Rabat. The speech delivered in 1959 by Mohammed V at the opening of Bank Al-Maghrib is microprinted on the back.[6]

In December 2012, Bank Al-Maghrib issued a 25-dirham banknote to commemorate the 25th anniversary of banknote production at the Moroccan State Printing Works, Dar As-Sikkah. It is the first banknote in the world to be printed on Durasafe, a paper-polymer-paper composite substrate produced by Fortress Paper. The front of the commemorative note features an intaglio vignette and a watermark of King Mohammed VI, and a magenta-green color shift security thread. The thread, like the watermark, is embedded inside the banknote yet visible behind a one-sided Viewsafe polymer window. It also has a fully transparent polymer window embossed with the King's royal crest. The back of the note carries a print vignette commemorating 25 years of banknote printing at the Moroccan State Printing Works, Dar As-Sikkah. The windows in Durasafe are formed by die cutting each side of the three layer composite substrate separately. One-sided Viewsafe windows give a clear view inside the substrate where the thread and the watermark of King Mohammed VI are protected, but fully visible behind the polymer core. The transparent Thrusafe window is created by die-cutting both the outer paperlayers to reveal only the transparent polymer core.[7]

On August 15, 2013, Bank Al-Maghrib has announced a new series of banknotes. The notes feature a portrait of King Mohammed VI and the royal crown. Each of the notes show a Moroccan door to the left of the portrait, demonstrating the richness of the country's architectural heritage, and symbolizing the openness of the country.[8][9][10][11]

In 2019, Bank Al-Maghrib issued a 20-dirham banknote produced on polymer substrate to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the accession of Mohammed VI to the Moroccan throne.

Banknotes of the Moroccan dirham[12]
1987 Series (Including 1991 Revision)
ValueDimensionsObverseReverseMain ColourDescriptionDate of
10 dirhams 143 × 70 mm Yellow and pink (1987)
violet (1991)
Hassan II Moroccan lute, pillar Hassan II 1987 1987/ca. 1991
50 dirhams 148 × 70 mm Green Hassan II A fantasia scene Hassan II 1987 1987/ca. 1991
100 dirhams 153 × 75 mm Brown Hassan II The Green March into the Spanish Sahara (October, 1975), Desert rose Hassan II 1987 1987/ca. 1991
200 dirhams 158 × 75 mm Blue Hassan II Conch shell, a branch of coral, and a Dhow. Hassan II 1987 ca. 1991
1996 Series
20 dirhams 130 × 68 mm Brown-reddish Hassan II, Great mosque of Casablanca Wall fountain of the Hassan II Mosque Hassan II 1996 1996
2002 Series
20 dirhams 140 × 70 mm Violet Mohammed VI, "Bab Challah" (Challah gate) in Rabat A panoramical view of the Oudayas Mohammed VI and "20" 2005 2005
50 dirhams 147 × 70 mm Green Mohammed VI A clay-made building (Ksour) Mohammed VI and "50" 2002 2002
100 dirhams 150 × 78 mm Brown Mohammed VI, Mohammed V and Hassan II The Green March into the Spanish Sahara (October, 1975) Mohammed VI and "100" 2002 2002
200 dirhams 158 × 78 mm Blue Mohammed VI and Hassan II, Grand mosque of Casablanca A window of the Hassan II Mosque, Lighthouse of Casablanca (Pointe el-Hank) Mohammed VI and "200" 2002 2002
2013 Series
20 dirhams 131 × 70 mm Purple, orange and blue Mohammed VI, coat of arms of Morocco Train crossing Hassan II Bridge over the Bou Regreg river in Rabat; Hassan II Mosque and city buildings in Casablanca Mohammed VI and electrotype 20 2012 2013
50 dirhams 138 × 70 mm Green, yellow and blue Mohammed VI, coat of arms of Morocco Ouzoud Falls; argan tree, fruit, and bird Mohammed VI and electrotype 50 2012 2013
100 dirhams 145 × 70 mm Brown, yellow, violet and blue Mohammed VI; coat of arms of Morocco Sahrawi tent; wind turbine farm; three camels with riders on a desert Mohammed VI and electrotype 100 2012 2012
200 dirhams 151 × 70 mm Blue, green and violet Mohammed VI; coat of arms of Morocco Cargo ship, gantry cranes, and shipping containers in the port of Tangier; lighthouse and trees on Cape Spartel in Tangier Mohammed VI and electrotype 200 2012 2012
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Popular denominations are words widely used in Morocco to refer to different values of the currency; they are not considered official by the state. Those include the rial (Arabic pronunciation: [rjal]), equivalent to 5 santimat, and the franc [frˤɑnk], equivalent to 1 santim. Usually, when dealing with goods with a value lower than a dirham, it is common to use the rial or santim. For very high priced goods, such as cars, it is normal to refer to the price in santimat. However, rial is used when speaking in Arabic and centime when speaking in French.

Though not used by the young generation, the denomination 1,000, 2,000, up to 100,000 francs will be used by people who lived during the French colonial period when referring to 10, 20 and 1,000 dirham. Likewise, the rial is also used for higher value goods than portions of the dirham, reaching 5,000 dhs (100,000 rial). This denomination is used in a Moroccan Arabic speaking context.

The Moroccan dirham is also accepted in trade markets in Ceuta, despite the prices being displayed in euros.[13]

Current MAD exchange rates

See also


  1. Spurgeon, Susanna (November 28, 2019). "Morocco Considers Making Exchange Rate More Flexible in January". Morocco World News.
  2. "Qantara - The Idrisids (789- 974)". Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  3. Linzmayer, Owen (2013). "Morocco". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA:
  4. Krause and Mishler, 1995 Standard Catalog of World Coins, krause publications
  5. "Bank Al-Maghrib". Archived from the original on 2016-10-12. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  6. Morocco new 50-dirham commemorative confirmed Retrieved 2012-06-06.
  7. Morocco new 25-dirham commemorative world's first printed on Durasafe substrate February 1, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-02-02.
  8. Morocco new 20-, 50-, 100-, and 200-dirham notes to be issued 15.08.2013 July 25, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  9. Morocco new 200-dirham note confirmed August 26, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-09-04.
  10. Morocco new 100-dirham note confirmed September 16, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  11. Morocco new 20- and 50-dirham notes confirmed December 28, 2013. Retrieved on 2014-01-15.
  12. "Bank Al-Maghrib". Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  13. "Morocco 'mule women' in back-breaking trade from Spain enclave". 2017-10-06. Retrieved 2018-05-11.


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