Exchange Currency

Moroccan dirham

The dirham is the currency of Morocco. The plural form is pronounced darahim, although in French and English "dirhams" is commonly used. It is subdivided into 100 santimat (singular: santim).

The dirham is issued by the Bank Al-Maghrib, the central bank of Morocco. It is also the de facto currency in Western Sahara. While the dirham is a fully convertible currency, export of the local currency is prohibited by law, but seldom controlled.

Summary info

Summary information about Moroccan dirham
ISO 4217 Code:
Currency sign:
Morocco, Western Sahara
5 santimat, 10 santimat, 20 santimat, ½ dirham, 1 dirham, 2 dirham, 5 dirham, 10 dirham
20 dirham, 50 dirham, 100 dirham, 200 dirham
Central bank:
Bank Al-Maghrib


Before the introduction of a modern coinage in 1882, Morocco issued copper coins denominated in falus, silver coins denominated in dirham & gold coins denominated in benduqi. From 1882, the dirham became a subdivision of the Moroccan rial, with 50 Mazunas = 10 dirham = 1 rial.

Morocco was part of the Mauritanian Empire until it was incorporated into the Roman Empire around 40 BC. Although some Mauritanian coins were produced locally, most Roman coins were imported from imperial mints. In 699 the Arab army of Umayyad Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik conquered Morocco. By the 750s Morocco had become independent of the ‘Abbasids. In succession the Idrisids, Fatimids, Midradids, Umayyads and Hammudids issued their own coins between the eighth and eleventh centuries. The Murabituns issued large numbers of gold coins in the eleventh century as did the Muwahhids, Marinids and Sharifs.

The Sharifi Moroccan State was founded on June 6, 1666. France invaded Morocco in 1830 and the 1906 Treaty of Algeciras recognized Morocco’s independence. However, wars in 1907-1912 caued Morocco to be divided into four zones of influence, Spanish Morocco in the north, French Morocco representing most of the country, the Spanish enclaves of Tafaya and Ifni and the international city of Tangiers. The French established a protectorate in Morocco on March 30, 1912 (French Morocco) which covered most of Morocco, while Spain established a smaller protectorate on the north shore in Morocco on November 27, 1912 (Spanish Morocco). France left Morocco on March 2, 1956 and Spain abandoned its protectorate in the Northern Zone on April 7, 1956. French Morocco and Spanish Morocco were merged to form the Kingdom of Morocco on August 14, 1957. Ceuta and Melilla remain part of Spain.

The Rif Republic existed between February 1, 1923 and May 27, 1926 when it was reabsorbed into Morocco. Tangier became an international protectorate in 1912 and the Statute of the International Zone of Tangier was signed on December 18, 1923. Tangier was occupied by Spanish troops on June 14, 1940 and annexed the Northern Zone of the protectorate on November 23, 1941. The International Statute of Tangier was reestablished on October 11, 1945, but was repealed and was became part of Morocco on October 29, 1956. Morocco ceded Ifni to Spain in 1860, and it became part of Spanish West Africa in 1884. Ifni was occupied by Spain beginning on April 6, 1934 and returned to Morocco on June 30, 1969.

Moulay-Hassan reformed Morocco’s currency in 1881, issuing the Rial Hassani (MAH), equal to 10 French Francs, and making French, Spanish and British coins legal tender. The Spanish Peseta (ESP) rather than a locally produced Peseta, circulated in Spanish Morocco. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Nationalist forces occupied Spanish Morocco. Only Bank of Spain notes overstamped by the Burgos government were valid in Spanish Morocco during the war. After gaining its independence, the Moroccan Franc replaced the Spanish Peseta in Spanish Morocco at the rate of 10 Moroccan Francs equal to 1 Spanish Peseta. The Spanish Peseta circulated in Spanish Morocco until February 15, 1958. The Peseta circulated in Ceuta and Melilla until it was replaced by the Euro in 2002.

French Francs (FRG) circulated in French Morocco. Banknotes were issued by the Banque d’Etat du Maroc beginning in 1910. Algerian Francs were legal tender in French Morocco from August 5, 1914 to December 30, 1924. The Banque d’etat du Maroc continued to issue banknotes until July 1, 1959 when it was replaced by the Banque du Maroc. Morocco went off the Gold Standard on June 30, 1937 and introduced exchange controls on September 10, 1939. The Franc was divisible into 100 Centimes and was also known as the Franc Cherifien.

On October 17, 1959, the Moroccan Dirham (MAD) replaced the Franc with 1 Dinar equal to 100 Francs. The Dirham is divisible into 100 Santimat (Centimes).

Spanish Pesetas were used in Ifni while it was a Spanish colony. The Rif Republic issued some banknotes denominated in Riffan (MARR), which were equal in value to the British Pound Sterling. The Tangier Government issued some emergency Franco (MATF) banknotes during World War I.

When Morocco became a French protectorate in 1921 it switched to the Moroccan franc. The dirham was reintroduced in 1960. 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 santim replaced the franc.


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 1 dirham.

The 1 santim coins were aluminium, the 5 up to 20 santimat were minted in brass, with the highest two denominations in cupro-nickel. 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 ½ 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 2011, a new series of coins has been issued, with the 5 and 10 dirham coin utilizing a latent image as a security feature.[


The first notes denominated in dirham were overprints on earlier franc notes, in denominations of 50 dirham (on 5000 francs) and 100 dirham (on 10,000 francs). In 1965, new notes were issued for 5, 10 and 50 dirham. 100 dirham notes were introduced in 1970, followed by 200 dirham notes in 1991 and 20 dirham 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 x 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.

MAD banknotes pictures gallery

20 Moroccan dirham
Banknote of 20 Moroccan dirham has dimensions 140×70 mm and main colors are dark electric blue, pastel purple, slate gray, pale silver and magnolia.  
20 Moroccan dirham (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 20 Moroccan dirham is showing the portrait of Mohammed VI, "Bab Challah" (Challah gate) in Rabat.
20 Moroccan dirham (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 20 Moroccan dirham is showing a panoramical view of the Oudayas.

50 Moroccan dirham
Banknote of 50 Moroccan dirham has dimensions 147×70 mm and main colors are pastel gray, medium spring bud, brass, rifle green and aurometalsaurus.  
50 Moroccan dirham (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 50 Moroccan dirham is showing the portrait of Mohammed VI.
50 Moroccan dirham (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 50 Moroccan dirham is showing a clay-made building (Ksour).

100 Moroccan dirham
Banknote of 100 Moroccan dirham has dimensions 150×78 mm and main colors are tan, pale gold, desert sand, rose ebony and beaver.  
100 Moroccan dirham (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 100 Moroccan dirham is showing the portraits of His Majesty The King Mohammed VI and Their Majesties The Kings Mohammed V and Hassan II and a view of Mohammed V Mausoleum.
100 Moroccan dirham (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 100 Moroccan dirham is showing the Green March into the Spanish Sahara.

200 Moroccan dirham
Banknote of 200 Moroccan dirham has dimensions 158×78 mm and main colors are pale aqua, light blue, lavender mist, cadet grey and bubbles.  
200 Moroccan dirham (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 200 Moroccan dirham is showing the portrait of Mohammed VI and Hassan II and Grand mosque of Casablanca.
200 Moroccan dirham (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 200 Moroccan dirham is showing a window of the Hassan II Mosque and Lighthouse of Casablanca (Pointe el-Hank).

Useful links

About Bank Al-Maghrib:
Bank Al-Maghrib
List of currencies:
Security and design features of MAD banknotes:
MAD banknotes
MAD currency on Wikipedia:
Moroccan dirham
Official Website of Bank Al-Maghrib:
Commemorative coins:
Commemorative Coins