A gift from the Sultan to the nation, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Muscat is an imposing piece of Islamic architecture with breathtaking decors in the prayer hall. Below are info to plan your visit and many pictures to inspire you: its architecture, its garden, its inside, its chandelier...
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The Grand Mosque Muscat from the outside - Towers
Built over 6 years, starting in 1995, this mosque can receive 20000 worshippers, including 6500 in the main prayer room. This grand building is a mix of Omani, islamic and modern architecture.
It is one of the 2 main building to visit in Muscat with the Royal Opera House Muscat.
The square shape of the mosque surround the central dome which reaches the height of 50 meters. The 5 minarets define the limits of the site representing the 5 pillars of Islam. The main one is 91.5 meters tall and the other reaches 45 meters.
You cannot get this view of the whole mosque from the public entry next to the parking. You need to stop on the other side. When driving on the Sultan Qaboos road with the mosque on your right, you pass a bridge and can stop (although not really officially).
Data @2018 Google
(GPS coordinates in the eBook)
PLANNING TIPS - Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Muscat
How to get to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Muscat
- The mosque is located in the heart of Muscat
- More precisely it is located in Bawshar along the Sultan Qaboos Road
- GPS coordinates of the carpark included in my eBook:
Be overwhelmed by the beauty, not the planning!
Visiting the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Muscat
- Entrance is free
- Mosque Opening hours: open to non-muslims everyday except Friday from 8:30 to 11AM
- Grand Mosque Dress code: Women and men must cover arms, chest and legs - Women must cover their hair and neck - you can rent an abaya at the entrance
- You have to remove your shoes to enter the prayer rooms
- I read that children under 10 are not permitted - however I have not seen any sign so cannot confirm
- The Omantripper website says you can go outside the offical hours if you just want to see the outside (for example at sunset). I have not been able to confirm though.
- I spent only 1h30 looking around the place. I recommend you plan more to really explore the rooms, corridors and all of the mosque.
If you have a few days, check out my list of things to do in Muscat, Oman.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque architecture - Garden and external corridors
The Mosque is surrounded by well maintained gardens. It feels like a way to protect the site from the noise and business of the city. You transition from your everyday business to spiritual enlightenment.
The central building is surrounded in the North and South by 240 meter long arwiqas (outer corridor with arcades). I really enjoyed walking through them and discover the various Islamic mosaics.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque inside - Women prayer room
The women’s prayer room is a 'small' hall which can hold 750 worshippers at a time. It is smaller because most women pray at home. The decor includes handcarved wooden doors and a wooden roof. The chandeliers are much simpler than those of the main hall.
Central area of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Once you enter the central area leading to the main prayer hall, you discover again stunning corridors with arches. I love the perspectives it creates.
The top of the walls of the prayer hall are covered with calligraphic engravings.
Once you approach the entrance of the main prayer hall, there is a very tall arch which alignes with the tallest of the minarets.
Men Prayer Room of the Grand Mosque Muscat
The main prayer room is the central attraction of the mosque.
- The walls are in white and grey marble
- The 4200m2 floor is covered with a 21 tons carpet woven over 4 years by 600 iranian women. It was brought in 85 pieces which were attached in the room. It is the second largest in the world.
- As most Omani buildings, the roof is covered with handcarved wood
- Several German chandeliers hang from the roof. The central one is the second largest in the world (see next section)
This is the entrance. There are set ups on the side to leave your shoes
I did not take good pictures of the carpet. But Sherry from Otts World did.
The chandelier of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
The main chandelier hangs in the center of the room from the top of the dome.
Built over 4 years, it is 14meter tall and has a diameter of 8 meters. With those dimensions, its weight reaches 8.5 tons!!! The light is provided by 1122 bulbs and the design was created with 600,000 crystals. Check out Classical Chandeliers for more information.
I am not a big fan of chandeliers but I thought this one was a success. It is delicate, intriguing and well balanced.
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