VISITING THE SULTAN QABOOS GRAND MOSQUE IN MUSCAT, OMAN
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is an iconic site in Muscat, Oman, and dominates the city skyline. It is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens. The mosque is beautifully lit at night, a mesmerizing sight from the main highway going through the city.
The imposing structure is a fine example of modern Islamic architecture. It took six years to build and was inaugurated by Sultan Qaboos in 2001. Sultan Qaboos was the longest-serving leader in the Middle East. He seized power in 1970 and held it until his death in January 2020. The grand mosque was built to celebrate thirty years of his reign.
The grand mosque's five minarets, that represent the five pillars of Islam, surround the central dome where the main prayer hall is located. The main prayer hall can hold 6,500 worshipers, and the separate women’s prayer hall 750 worshipers at a time. However, together with the interior courtyards and gardens, the total capacity is 20,000 worshipers.
THE INTERIOR OF THE SULTAN QABOOS GRAND MOSQUE
When the mosque opened in 2001, it had the world’s largest chandelier and carpet. The chandelier in the men’s prayer hall measures a staggering 14 meters and weighs 8.5 tonnes. The 24-carat gold plated chandelier is made of six hundred thousand Swarovski crystals and took more than four years to complete. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque lost the title when the spectacular Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi opened nine years later. Their chandelier measures 15 meters, weighs 12 tonnes, and is made of one million Swarovksi crystals.
The 390 square meter (4,200-square-foot) floor of the main floor is covered by a single piece of carpet. The stunning carpet was handwoven by hundreds of artisans and is colored with 28 shades of traditional vegetable dyes. Bright and colorful mosaics embellish the walls with their elaborate and intricate design.
This architectural masterpiece is inspired by traditional forts and castles of Oman but there are also influences of contemporary design from Persia and Egypt.
Dresscode at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat
Men and women must dress conservatively in long trousers and covered shoulders. If wearing loose-fitting clothes, no abaya is necessary for women. Women must cover their hair.
Visiting times of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat
The mosque is open for non-Muslims from 8:00 am to 11:00 am every day except Friday. There are no tickets or fees for visiting the mosque.