National Bank of Oman unveils headquarters
November 8, 2017 | 8:58 PM
by Times News Service
Located opposite the Grand Mosque, between the airport and city centre, the building reflects the landscape, architecture and culture of the Sultanate. - Supplied picture

Muscat: The Sultanate’s banking sector has entered a new era of growth following the official unveiling of National Bank of Oman’s (NBO's) new headquarters.

The latest landmark to complement Muscat’s skyline took centre-stage at a special VVIP event under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Asa'ad bin Tariq Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for international relations affairs and special representative for His Majesty the Sultan. It is emblematic of the country’s push to achieve its wider social and economic objectives, said a bank release.

For more than four decades, NBO has continually invested in strategically important pillars of the economy and embraced its key roles and responsibilities to help improve and add value to communities across the country. The bank’s decision to build a new head office was a vote of confidence in the future of Oman’s banking industry and a testament to the wisdom and leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

NBO’s new headquarters is a 50,000-square-metre, nine-storey landmark, providing high-quality office space and innovative support facilities as the bank enters a new phase of growth, in line with Oman’s economic diversification agenda.

Located opposite the Grand Mosque, between the airport and city centre, the building reflects the landscape, architecture and culture of the Sultanate. At each floor level, the envelope of the headquarters changes, creating a natural stepped appearance, rising from a roughhewn base to a clean, distinctive parapet line. The building’s facade consists of two primary elements: a load-bearing natural stone facade at the base and high-quality precast concrete towards the upper floors. Omani stone is used in large deep blocks at the bottom to evoke the character of a natural landform. Plants are provided on raised terraces across the building to provide relief and connection with the landscape.

Surrounding the building’s striking central atrium, inspired by Oman’s dramatic wadi gorges, is the new main branch with a state-of-the-art innovation corner, as well as an open-plan workspace. The atrium brings together people, water, filtered sunlight and activity to create a memorable interior space. This balances public access with security requirements to create a multi-functional facility that serves as both a staff resource and event area.

The unique celebration took place on November 8, as Oman heads into its 47th National Day. The bank wanted to commemorate this landmark achievement for the country by honouring its progression with the unveiling of its new head office - a symbolic step forward. Various VVIP guests from across the Sultanate were in attendance and witnessed the unveiling of NBO’s new headquarters.

Addressing the guests, Sayyidah Rawan Al Said, Chairperson of NBO, said: “Today is not just a celebration for National Bank of Oman; it is a spectacular occasion for everybody across the Sultanate. It is an absolute honour to be part of this milestone, in what is a vote of confidence in the strength of the people and the wisdom and leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. This building is emblematic of our resilience and a testament to our commitment, conviction and unshakeable faith in the future of this country.”

In the bank’s show of commitment to driving innovation and demonstrating technological leadership, the Sultanate’s first 3D light projection was displayed on the building for all the guests to see, visually articulating the new headquarters’ journey from conception to completion.

“This new facility has been inspired by the country’s world-famous landscape, showcasing the key cultural elements that define Oman. It is a prestigious new landmark on Muscat’s skyline and is the platform for the next era of NBO’s growth. We look forward to serving our nation and our customers from our new world-class headquarters, while creating a truly exceptional work environment for our employees as we continue to drive our vision to be the ‘bank of choice’ forward,” stated Ahmed Al Musalmi, chief executive officer of NBO.

From its new home, NBO will continue to drive innovation, support entrepreneurs, finance education programmes, promote Omani sport and help organise assistance for the least able in the community. The bank remains fully committed to making a positive impact and helping to transform the Sultanate into a sustainable knowledge-based society.

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