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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Timeframe: NBAD logo 

Before 1968, a handful of international banks were operating here such as the British Bank of the Middle East (now HSBC) and the Eastern Bank (now Standard Chartered) but NBAD was the emirate's first bank

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) on Khalifa Street. Ravindranath K / The National
National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) on Khalifa Street. Ravindranath K / The National

One of the first things I did when I arrived in the UAE in 2012 was to withdraw money from an ATM. The logo immediately caught the eye. It consisted of a gazelle, palm tree and oil derrick set against a classic green background. The logo was that of National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), which was founded here in 1968. Before then, a handful of international banks were operating such as the British Bank of the Middle East (now HSBC) and the Eastern Bank (now Standard Chartered). But NBAD was the emirate's first bank and the logo spoke to the country's history, tradition and the discovery of oil which for ever altered the UAE's destiny. You can see it here in this photograph from July 2010. Now NBAD and First Gulf Bank have merged to create First Abu Dhabi Bank - the UAE's biggest bank. In the past few weeks, the old green NBAD signs are slowly being replaced at branches and ATMs. The logo has also been replaced with the Awwal (Arabic for first) logo from FGB. One era ends and another begins.

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