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New banknotes ... suitable time & smooth replacement Withdrawal figures show process very normal: Ajmi

KUWAIT CITY, June 30, (KUNA): The wide-scale media campaign launched by the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) on May 19 to promote new banknotes has contributed to a smooth replacement with currently used notes in the first day of circulation.

The fact that the launching of fresh banknotes coincides with the holy month of Ramadan has also helped in a smooth replacement. Many citizens and residents on Thursday easily withdrew new banknotes in preparation for the fasting month as young people began to get the new issue in order to post them on social communication networks.

Director-Manager of Kuwait Network Electronic Technology (KNET) Abdullah Al-Ajmi said withdrawal figures show that the process was very normal nationwide, noting that there was a high purchase rate at weekend. High demand for buying commodities is due to two reasons: the payment of salaries and the fasting month, he said. However, people still need time to get familiar with the new banknotes, given that citizens were divided over the fresh currency, Al-Ajmi pointed out.

Ali Bushehri, the manager of a Gulf Bank branch, said today was a normal working day at the bank as it was the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. Banking operations went on very smoothly and there were major preparations made by banks for the circulation of the new issue nationwide, he said.

Boubyan Bank Sales Manager Fahed Al-Fawzan said the bank has commenced preparations for the new issuance since the plan was made public several months ago. All banks have been geared up for the new banknotes, he said, hailing the issue as a magnificently formulated banknote.

The new sixth issue uses the Kuwaiti flag as an inspiring artistic base for all new banknotes to illustrate and promote the national identity, he added.

Significance
Arguably the most familiar and iconic Kuwaiti landmark, the Kuwait Towers are illustrated on the banknote’s front as they soar mightily into the sky. The banknote’s backside alludes to Kuwait’s marine life and the significance of preserving it such as the endangered hawksbill sea turtle and the silver pomfret (Al Zubaidi), Kuwait’s most popular fish.

The striking Liberation Tower, a massive 372-meter structure that is one of the main landmarks in Kuwait City as well as one of the tallest buildings in the world, appears on the front side of the banknote as a symbol of Kuwait’s independence since its erection in 1996. The banknote’s backside portrays a traditional wooden Kuwaiti door, a plaster carving and the first Kuwaiti coin used locally. With its powerful pyramid steel structure, the Central Bank of Kuwait’s newly constructed building portrayed on the banknote’s front side represents the Bank’s objectives of ensuring resilience, stability and a sound monetary policy.

The back of the banknote shows off one of Kuwait’s oil refineries and a tanker as a testament to Kuwait’s precious source of prosperity. A superb illustration of the Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the country as well as a symbol of Kuwait’s Islamic identity, is portrayed on the banknote’s front. The backside of the banknote displays a real-life illustration of an iconic column, one of the many influences of ancient Greece’s civilization that swept across and settled in Kuwait’s island of Failaka. On the front side of the banknote appears the illustrious Seif Palace, a symbol of sovereignty and ruling power to all of Kuwait’s erstwhile rulers where the country’s affairs are administered.

The Boom, the largest and most popular traditional Kuwaiti dhow, is featured on the backside of the banknote, an element that alludes to Kuwait’s modernization as well as its rich economic and commercial history that is linked to the deep blue seas. Another element included on the back is a pearl diver, one of the earliest professions that enabled Kuwaitis to earn a living before the discovery of oil. The glorious Kuwait National Assembly Building, a symbolic pillar of Kuwait’s democratic constitution, is beautifully illustrated on the front side of the banknote. Kuwait’s diverse desert life takes over on the banknote’s backside; a captivating illustration of a falcon oversees a seated camel dressed regally in a traditional sadu saddle.

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