Culture & Tradition
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque of Muscat
One of the largest, most imposing structures in Oman is the Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Muscat. It is the country’s main mosque and is considered one of the world’s most important and sizable mosques. It is located in the capital Muscat and captivates its visitors with the most beautiful unique and traditional architectural elements. The Grand Muscat mosque bears the name of its builder, Sultan Qaboos, and officially opened in 2001 after six years of construction. The entire complex was built from 300,000 tons of sandstone and covers an incredible 40,000 square meters. The complex consists of a large men’s prayer hall, a smaller women’s prayer hall, five minarets symbolizing the five pillars of Islam, two large archways (Arabic “Riwaqs”), an Islamic information center and a library. The goal of the construction project was to build the largest Friday mosque in Oman in order to create a center for the promotion of Islamic literature and culture and the dissemination of the Ibadi form of Islam.
Highlights of the Sultan Qaboos Mosque
The location of the mosque on the main road between Muscat and Sib was deliberately chosen because of the good transportation access. You can also easily admire the mosque from your vehicle on this important transit route. Non-Muslims can visit the mosque from Saturday to Thursday, 8 to 11 o´clock. Admission is free, but you should always bear in mind the rules for visiting the mosque. Although Oman appears rather modest and reserved compared to its neighbors Dubai and Abu Dhabi, their budget for the construction of the “Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque” was not small. As a result, you can admire, among others, the following highlights of this immense and magnificent structure:- The mosque has room for 6,500 worshipers in its main prayer hall and has a total capacity of up to 22,000 visitors and believers, including the smaller halls and courtyards.- Prayers are practiced in the main prayer hall on one of the largest rugs in the world. This more than 4,200-meter-wide prayer rug is a masterful work of art created from many handcrafted individual parts by 600 weavers using 22,000 tons of carpet fabric.- Above the carpet hangs the largest chandelier in the world. It is 14 meters high, weighs eight tons and is decorated with thousands of Swarovski crystals. The chandelier was made by the Faustig company located near Munich and is hence “Made in Germany”. In addition to the tremendous chandelier, eleven other magnificent chandeliers adorn the mosque.- A huge dome, measuring a total of 50 meters in height, forms the impressive roof of the prayer hall. The main minaret of the Sultan Qaboos Muscat Mosque is an incredible 91.5 meters high.- The three-story library of this fantastic architectural masterpiece holds 20,000 books of science and cultural heritage. A visit to the Grand Mosque Muscat will take your breath away and is a must on any trip to Oman.