Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

3 Jul, '05

You would be forgiven if you were in Bahrain at your confusion as to the matter of the local currency. Is it the Bahraini Dinar, or has that been replaced permanently with the United States Dollar?

Why would one ask? One would ask because of even the NATIONAL Bank of Bahrain, whose majority ownership is by the government of Bahrain, chooses to advertise its incentive and marketing schemes in the almighty US Greenback and gives actual cheques to the winners in that currency, rather than our own.

Have a look at this front page ad in the GDN for example:

The National Bank of Bahrain is not the only bank or institution that is degrading our own currency and lessening our national pride. Various other banks are doing exactly the same, all seem to be telling us that our currency is worthless now and only the Dollar would be acceptable.

I know that it is really a marketing gimmick to “fatten” the numbers and make the prize at least look a lot more than it is, considering that one Bahraini Dinar is equal to US$2.65, but this IS Bahrain and not the United States. Would you expect any prize in the USA to be advertised in Indian Rupees to arrive at a marketing spin?

I wouldn’t think so.

Mr. Marketing manager, Mr. Bahraini Government Official, Mr. Member of Parliament, Ms. Consumer Protection Society, can you please have a little chat with these organisations and remind them that they are in Bahrain and should use our own currency?

On the mention of the US Dollar, I’d like to wish all our American friends a very happy 4th of July!

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Comments (12)

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  1. khaled says:

    Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

    Dear Blogfather, sorry matey, completely against you on this one. In fact we should do away with the Bahraini Dinar completely. What we should have is a Gulf Riyal/Dinar.
    Omani Riyal (OMR)/USD- .385
    United arab Emirates Dirham(AED)/USD- 3.673
    Qatari Riyal(QAR)/USD- 3.64
    Saudi Riyal(SAR)/USD- 3.75
    Bahraini Dinar(BHD)/USD- .377
    Kuwaiti DInar(KWD)/USD- .299 ***

    The KWD is the only exception to GCC parity with the USD. You can see that most of the Gulf currencies are at par, just about with the Dollar. Due to the areas main export it makes sense to remove fx risk from what is allready a volitile market. Whats spot oil at the moment 60 bucks?
    I think you are being too prissy over our precious currency, come on , in our lifetimes we have gone from Annas to Rupees to Bahraini Rupees to Bahraini Dinars. It is in the National Interst to have parity with the USD. I think the guys at NBB are just being honest about Bahrains currency situation.
    And I think that if in the US or UK or anywhere else for that matter, you offered a prize of Kuwaiti Dinars “dressed up” or ROunded off” only an idiot would take USD over the KD.
    1 KWD is worth more than 1 of anything on the planet.
    Your opinion is also one that has kept the Brits out of the Euro. It is good for consumers to be able to see at a glance that “A car in the UK is ‘x’ pct more expensive than a car in the eurozone of the same make,without having to resort to GBP/EUR or in EUR terms EUR/GBP.
    If it were possible the world should have a single currency. It’s protection would then be everyones resposibility. The likes of George Sorros and the other fat speculators would have to find some other way of exploiting markets but at least it would no longer be at the expense of inexperienced governments, mostly in the developing world. Few people realise just hoiw much a speculator can cost a country. The Brits had to admit it during their ridiculous defence of GBP against the ECU, but most countries just lick their wounds and try to prop their currencies back up again, directly at the cost of their own people.The hospital they were gonna build, the road that needed resurfacing, the sewage system that needed replacing, etc…
    No. We shouldn’t be too precious about the medium our wealth takes, anyway the reality is simply little green numbers being debited and credited all over the world all the time at an ever increasing pace.


  2. mahmood says:

    Re: Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

    Agreed as the macro economic situation is concerned and have no quarrel with your argument. Mine is however, a way different from what you took it to and that is probably my fault for not taking my time to explain what I was getting at, so let me try again: why should any organisation in a country x advertise its incentive schemes in anything BUT the local currency? Wouldn’t that be infinitely better than getting an already brain-cell-taxed Abdullah to try to convert that currency into one that he understands, ie the country’s own?

    Of course it’s better to publish your prizes and incentives in BD as it doesn’t require any other mental exercise to convert to arrive at an answer!

    The reason these orgs are advertising in US$ is because the resulting number is 2.65x higher (in the consumer’s mind) than what it actually is! The prize is US$26,500 man!!!! Yes, and that is BD10,000. Ok, so why not say 10,000 and be done with it? Because some marketing spark alec decided that a higher number might “convince” (ie, fool) people into the buying whatever you’re selling.

    At least in this PT, let’s be proud of our Bahraini Dinar, even if it is superficial!

  3. 7alaylia says:

    Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

    This reminds me of the time I was in England waiting in a newsagent to buy a copy of The Guardian and a packet of Smarties. The American lady in front of me was giving the clerk a verbal tongue lashing because he would not let her pay for her purchase in US dollars.

    I like the Idea of a GCC common currency.

  4. anonymous says:

    Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

    Speaking of Bahraini Dinars, I’m pretty addicted to the goat found on the right hand side of ’em once held up to the sun.


  5. chalk66x says:

    Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

    Thanks Mahmood. I plan to celebrate the 4th by breaking out the grill and the good beer, putting the speakers on the deck, turning up the stereo and playing Jimi Hendrix’s star spangled banner for the neighborhood.

    I might be one of the few but I think its a lousy time to tie any currency to the dollar. I’m no economist but it seems to me that the only thing holding the US economy up is the crazy investments in housing and land. I see a crash coming that will make the tech bust look tame so at least for the weekend I’m putting my money in good beer.


  6. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar


    Feel free to use our dollars. We’ll make more.

    I celebrated the Fourth of July weekend by taking my aunt & uncle out to the National Mall here in DC to see the Korean War Memorial. He fought as a lieutenant in the Army in the Korean War and was one of the unlucky to be wounded by artillery. He spent six months in the hospital and several operations recovering. He hadn’t see the Memorial. I shot some pix of him with the Memorial and actually got a couple good ones worth keeping. So I’ll send him those. He’ll like that a lot.

    A young kid saw his “Korean War Veteran” ball cap, stopped him, and thanked him. That choked me up a little. It’s a far cry from the days in the 1970s when hippies would curse you in the street when you were in uniform.

    We went to the White House just in time to evacuate the area because of a bomb scare. Somebody had left a bag next to the fence. About half the time I visit the White House there has been a bomb scare. I’m used to it but it scared my aunt. She’s not used to living in the target area.

    I would go join the throngs on the Mall tomorrow for the giant fireworks display but for the traditional jamming of the Metro after such celebrations. When the event is over, it takes an hour at least to get on the subway at which point you are squeezed into the cars like herring in a can. I’m gonna sit this one out and watch it on TV.


  7. Helene says:

    Re: Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

    “…at which point you are squeezed into the cars like herring in a can.”

    At least herring have oil to slip and slide around in. 😮

  8. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

    Hey everybody,

    I agree with Mahmood about the currency issue. National Banks like NBB should use the local currency. The only thing that keeps America the world’s superpower is because of all the other countries sucking up to it and using ALL aspects of their culture including their currency.


  9. anonymous says:

    Re: Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

    This goes out to ES, you had me rolling on the floor with your addiction to the goat! That’s original!


  10. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar


    The US isn’t a superpower because other countries suck up to it. Economic and military might make superpowers. Go back and review some history. I direct you to the eras of the British, Spanish, and Japanese empires.

    US currency is stable and very well managed. People trust it to keep its value. Even Chinese souvenir vendors atop the Great Wall (of all places) prefer it for their transactions.

    A common currency for the Gulf countries sounds like a great idea, but success depends on who’s managing it. Also, all the participating countries would have to be at more or less the same level economically. Otherwise you’ll have the richer countries complain about the currency being degraded by the poorer countries. Kind of what happened when Europe went on the Euro and the wealthier nations made an issue of having to prop up the less wealthy Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy.


  11. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar

    [quote]Mahmood:The prize is US$26,500 man!!!! Yes, and that is BD10,000. Ok, so why not say 10,000 and be done with it? Because some marketing spark alec decided that a higher number might “convince” (ie, fool) people into the buying whatever you’re selling. [/quote]

    This is like the standard practice of American stores, who sell their merchandise at prices like $19.99, figuring people will see a cheaper product.


  12. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(2): Bahrain changing currency to US Dollar


    What a splendid nationalistic argument. Now you have the chance to literally put your money where your mouth is by placing all your wealth in local currency. Then you can begin your long slow expensive education about why people around the world stuff US dollars under their matresses instead of their own national currency. Simply put, Third World countries tend to rip off their citizens by manipulating their currency to benefit the kleptocrat rulers. People don’t put their money in US dollars to mindlessly imitate the Americans but rather because it works. US currency is responsibly managed.

    Allow me to encourage you the most in your fervent rejection of US dollars and all things American. I love to see people spite America at their own expense. With any luck, you’ll never wise up.



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