The latest landmark to complement Muscat’s skyline took centre-stage at a special VVIP event under the auspices of H H Sayyid Asaad bin Tariq al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs and Personal Representative of His Majesty the Sultan and is emblematic of the country’s push to achieve its wider social and economic objectives.
For more than four decades, NBO has continuously 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 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. The building is the latest jewel on Muscat’s skyline, 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, and 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 façade consists of two primary elements: a loadbearing natural stone façade to 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 qualities of a natural landform. Planting is provided at raised terraces across the building in order to provide relief and connection with the landscape.
Surrounding the building’s striking central atrium inspired by Oman’s dramatic wadi gorges, there is the new main branch with a state-of-the-art innovation corner, as well as a high quality 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 multifunctional facility that serves as both a staff resource and event area.
The unique celebration took place on November 8 as Oman leads 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 of a step in the same direction. 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 a 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 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 concept to completion
Ahmed Al Musalmi, CEO of NBO, said, “This new facility has been inspired by the country’s world-famous landscape while 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.”
From its new home, NBO will continue to drive innovation, support entrepreneurs, finance education programs, 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 to a sustainable knowledge-based society.