MUSCAT : In recognition of its pioneering role in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Bank Muscat was recently honoured by the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry at a grand event held under the patronage of H.H. Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Assistant Secretary General of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs. The ceremony was attended by a number of their Excellencies as well as senior officials from institutions and corporates in Oman.
On this occasion, Khalifa Abdullah Al Hatmi, Assistant General Manager – International Branches, Bank Muscat, said: “It is a great honour to receive this accolade, which confirms the bank’s pioneering role in social responsibility and its partnership with the community in Oman. The bank’s activities are aligned to Oman’s development goals, especially the pillar of CSR and Partnership in Oman Vision 2040. We are working tirelessly to serve everyone better, every day, not just in banking, but also in serving the larger community through humanitarian and sustainable initiatives.” Khalifa Al Hatmi pointed out that receiving this honour is a great inspiration to Bank Muscat to continue to launch new programmes and initiatives which will further strengthen cooperation and Public-Private Partnership in the service of the nation and Omani society.
It must be noted that every year, the bank sets aside a portion of its profits for its different CSR and sustainability activities to serve various segments of society including the youth and children, people with special needs, social welfare families, entrepreneurs, students and communities across the country. For the past four years, the bank has extended its support to the Fak Kurba initiative launched by the Oman Lawyers Association to help secure the release of those who have been jailed for failing to clear financial obligations. The total number of cases the bank has secured releases in the last four consecutive years has reached 826 cases, including 250 cases in 2021.
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Bank Muscat’s landmark Green Sports programme has supported 143 teams across various governorates in the Sultanate till date. Over 36,900 members from different communities have benefitted from the programme. Till date, 95 teams have received support for installation of artificial turf or natural grass on their fields, while 40 teams have received support for floodlighting and 8 teams for water desalination plants. As a ‘one of its kind’ programme, Green Sports is contributing majorly to developing the sporting skills and talents of Omani youth. Bank Muscat has been encouraged by the tremendous success of the programme in transforming sports infrastructure across the country.
The bank’s Tadhamun program, which is organised in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, has benefitted 1,691 families since it was first launched in 2013. In 2021, the program distributed 790 household appliances to 150 social welfare families across Oman. Earlier this year, the bank also provided laptops and tablets to 1,240 students from low-income families with the aim of supporting the government’s efforts to make online education available for all students in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Bank Muscat’s Jesr Al Mustaqbal programme has provided scholarships to a number of young people from social welfare families to pursue their higher education, while its Al Wathbah SME Academy continues to train and equip Omani entrepreneurs with business skills and help them acquire internationally-accredited certification. The bank also spends a lot of effort on building infrastructure and public facilities as part of its emphasis on CSR and sustainability. Previously, the bank has joined hands with the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage to develop the old village of Misfat al Abriyeen in Al Hamra to boost heritage tourism and preserve the cultural heritage of Oman, while also contributing to the creation of new jobs and allied benefits for the local community. In 2020, the bank also celebrated the completion of the 15,000 square metre Al Khoudh Park project in Seeb, in partnership with Muscat Municipality, which is promoting domestic tourism, physical activities, and also strengthening the local community and society in general. In addition, the bank also works closely with a number of civil society organisations to support and encourage people with special needs.
It must be noted that the bank’s sustainability programmes have been well appreciated by society and has received a number of accolades in the past. Bank Muscat will continue to use every opportunity it gets to channel resources for creating sustainable, positive changes in communities by investing in their welfare.