The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a large mosque with a tremendous amount of grandeur. This marvelous piece of architecture is a must see attractions if you are coming to Muscat. It is one of the most beautiful and extravagant modern mosques in the world with a single piece Persian carpet composed of 1,700 million knots weighing 21 tons and has one of the best chandeliers in the world that’s made of Swarovski crystals.
Opened to public in 2001 after having an architectural competition to select the best design, it took 6 years to complete the construction. The mosque’s total capacity is 20,000 worshipers, and it covers an estimated area of 416,000 square meters. The main square-shaped prayer room accommodates 6,500 worshipers and has a central dome which rises 50 meters above the floor. The mosque’s distinctive minaret lends it its individual style. Connecting the top of the mosque’s walls and the internal courtyard is a bar inscribed with verses from the Quran, with Islamic geometric frameworks filling the corridor archways.
The walls of the south corridor constitute a visible screen that houses the mosque’s various facilities, including a must visit library that contains 20,000 reference volumes in science, Islamic culture and humanity, in addition to the Institute of Islamic Sciences where young people learn the disciplines of religious knowledge.
The interior walls of the mosque’s main hall are completely covered with white and dark grey marble. These are decorated with murals of leafy patterns and geometrical designs. The room has an open plan with four main pillars carrying the internal dome. A corridor extends along both the north and south walls and opens into the mosque hall with its adorned arches. The dome is made up of spherical triangles within a structure of sides and marble columns, crossed with pointed arches and decorated with porcelain panels. Timber panels stretch in a fashion that reflects the architectural development of Omani ceilings.
The lecture theater of the Mosque regularly hosts events which are open to the public. Many are lectures conducted in English by Muslims and non-Muslim religious scholars who do not necessarily address Muslims and usually aim to promote inter-faith dialogue.
Non-Muslims can come to visit the Grand Mosque from 8am to 11am from Saturday to Thursday, while the library is open from 9am to 2am and 4pm to 9pm Saturday to Wednesday (on Thursday the library is open for the morning session only).
Make sure to dress suitably as per the religious customs, especially women; who will be needed to dress up completely with legs, arms and head covered.