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Bank Muscat among 20 global banks chosen as partners of FIFA World Cup 2014

MUSCAT, 01 February 2014 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, has been granted an exclusive positioning among 20 global banks chosen as partners of FIFA World Cup 2014. Bank Muscat is the only financial institution in Oman to receive this unique privilege as the bank, in association with Visa Inc., is all set to bring alive the magic of FIFA World Cup 2014 in Oman.

Bank Muscat announced its exclusive positioning in Oman as the official Retail Banking Partner of FIFA World Cup 2014, at a ceremony presided by Sayyid Khalid bin Hamad al Busaidi, Chairman of Oman Football Association (OFA), and attended by H.E. Mitzi Da Costa, Ambassador of Brazil to the Sultanate, and AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of Bank Muscat. The official Retail Banking Partner of FIFA World Cup 2014 status elevates Bank Muscat with a select group of 20 global banks, as well as five banks in the MENA region, for the exclusive privilege, which will lead to an array of exciting promotional activities in Oman linked to the World Cup.

H.E. Mitzi Da Costa, Ambassador of Brazil to the Sultanate, said: “The year 2014 is very special for Brazil, which is all set to host the FIFA World Cup. We are very happy that Bank Muscat, in association with Visa, is bringing alive the World Cup magic in Oman. The passion for football, which serves as a unifying factor bringing the world together is indeed an occasion for celebration. This is a great honour for us and we are confident that the heritage and passion for football which runs high in our country will make this event truly memorable. We congratulate Bank Muscat and Visa for the World Cup initiative in Oman, which in turn will strengthen the strong bilateral relations between Oman and Brazil."

Football enthusiasts in Oman will have a unique opportunity to experience the thrills and excitement of the crowning glory of world football as Bank Muscat, in association with Visa, is offering 66 all-expenses-paid packages to witness the World Cup matches, including the finals, live in Brazil.

Bank Muscat customers will have the opportunity to win all-expenses-paid World Cup packages through transactions linked to cards, al Mazyona savings scheme, mobile banking and asalah Priority Banking. The World Cup promotion by the bank, in association with Visa, starts on 1 February and runs till 31 May, during which four draws will be held at the end of each month during the 4-month promotion period to select the World Cup package winners.

al Mazyona customers maintaining a minimum balance of RO 1000 have 28 World Cup packages reserved for them. Debit cardholders earn a chance to participate in the draw with five transactions a month, while credit cardholders get a chance for each transaction worth RO 10. In all, 24 World Cup packages are available for Bank Muscat cardholders. asalah Priority Banking customers have the chance to win 10 World Cup packages while four packages are reserved for new mobile banking customers who register and make one transaction to get a chance for the draw. The all-expenses-paid World Cup packages include airline tickets, match ticket, 4-day and 3-night hotel accommodation and sight-seeing in Brazil.

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: “Bank Muscat is proud to be the only financial institution in Oman to be chosen as the official Retail Banking partner of FIFA World Cup 2014. The bank is proud to lead by example, not only in the field of banking and finance, but in all arenas. The exclusive privilege reflects the bank's flagship status in the Sultanate, as well as the importance attached by the bank to the country's progress and development, including sports."

AbdulRazak Ali Issa added: “As a precursor to the World Cup, Bank Muscat, in association with Visa, showcased the FIFA World Cup 2014 Winner's Trophy at the bank's head office in April 2013. The bank is proud to further elevate the experience associated with the real action of the World Cup in Brazil. We fully believe the passion for football, which runs in the blood of Omanis, could not have been rewarded better. We thank FIFA and Visa for their valuable efforts and contributions in facilitating this unique opportunity in Oman."

The World Cup marketing promotional campaign by the bank is built up on the powerful articulation of the theme - 'Bringing You the Colours of the World'. The campaign rationale is centred on Oman as the colourful nation in the Gulf region with a high passion for football and the FIFA World Cup 2014 offering a unique opportunity for citizens and residents in Oman to express their passion for football through their support of the colours of the 32 playing nations.

Tariq Atiq, AGM – Cards & eBanking, said: “Bank Muscat is proud to facilitate an unforgettable World Cup experience for valued customers. As the World Cup brings cheers and smiles to millions of football enthusiasts around the world, the bank, in association with Visa, will be extending the excitement of the world's most celebrated sporting event to Oman. This is indeed a very special opportunity for football enthusiasts in Oman and we believe they will fully enjoy the experience."

Bank Muscat, in association with Visa, has lined up a series of campaigns and activities to build up and sustain the World Cup excitement in Oman. The exciting 4-month campaign to promote the World Cup will unfold in all popular public arenas, including malls and hypermarkets across Oman. The retail banking products of the bank will be featured to reflect the World Cup theme, thereby widening the bank's touch points to the World Cup excitement. World Cup branded merchandise and memorablia, including keychains, football, pens, mascot and trophy will be given away during promotional activities in malls and hypermarkets.

Isaac Thomas, General Manager, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait at Visa Inc., said: “We are delighted to partner with Bank Muscat to promote in Oman the world's biggest and most exciting sporting event. There is incredible passion for football and the sport is very close to the hearts of Omanis. This is why Visa is pleased to share this incredible opportunity with Bank Muscat customers. Visa is proud to play a role in making dreams come true for football fans in Oman. During the tournament this summer in Brazil, Bank Muscat's Visa cardholders will have access to a host of features and benefits such as special offers and privileges, and the peace of mind that comes with the reliability and security of using a Visa card when travelling." 

Over the years, Bank Muscat has been closely associated with the World Cup. In 2010, the bank facilitated exclusive opportunities for customers to witness the World Cup action in Cape Town, South Africa. The campaign evoked phenomenal response as Bank Muscat cardholders vied for the largest number of all-expenses-paid World Cup packages from the Sultanate.

Bank Muscat is a committed partner and supporter of all major national sporting initiatives, especially football. The bank believes in leading by example and was the first private sector institution in Oman to announce incentives for the national team which played in the Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2014. Notably, the bank has launched a unique Green Sports CSR initiative to green playgrounds across Oman to develop a nation excelling in sports, especially football.