The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a prominent landmark in the city of Muscat. Located in the suburb of Ghubrah, it’s the only mosque in Oman that is opened to non Muslims and is one of the largest in the Gulf.
It’s a stunning piece of contemporary Islamic architecture and was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th year of reign. It took 6 years to build and was inaugurated in 2001.
The mosque itself sits within a walled compound with a minaret at each corner, plus a fifth halfway along the northern wall. The minarets signify the Five Pillars of Islam.
It has room for 20,000 worshipers in the two prayer halls, surrounding courtyard and passageways.The interior is elaborate with a gigantic chandelier (said to be the largest in the world) weighing approximately 8 tonnes.
The Persian carpet covering the prayer hall is handmade and is a beautiful work of art. It is said to be the second largest carpet in the world, woven by 600 Iranian women over 4 years and weighs around 20 tonnes.
Walking through the marbled courtyards around the prayer hall there are plenty of photogenic archways and passageways with carved doors and mosaic work to be seen.
Visiting the mosque: It’s open to visitors only between 8.00 am – 11.00 am and is closed on Fridays. Due to its popularity and limited opening hours, its better you get there as early as possible as it can get crowded during the tourist season. Remember to wear long sleeves and long pants for your visit and women need to cover their head, so make sure you have a scarf handy. Children under 10 aren’t allowed inside the main prayer hall.