The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (جامع السلطان قابوس الأكبر) is one of those attractions that you have to visit if you are coming to Muscat. It is one of the most beautiful and extravagant modern mosques in the world. The mosque was first opened in 2001 and took six years to build. The mosque features a blend of Islamic, Middle Eastern, and Omani architectural styles, hosts one of the world’s largest handmade Persian rugs and one of the world’s biggest crystal chandeliers.
The Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Oman and can accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers in total. The mosque has four main sections, the main prayer hall, the women prayer hall, the library, and the lecture theater. 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). Visitors must dress conservatively especially women who must cover their hair, shoulders, and arms when they visit the mosque.
If you come to visit the Grand Mosque do not miss going to the library and walking around the outer corridor around the mosque which features a variety of mosaics artworks and explanations of the different design styles uses. It is actually possible to come visit the mosque outside official visiting hours if you do not plan on going inside the actual prayer halls, especially if you want to come take photographs around sunset or at night. However, you should avoid coming at actual prayer times or around noon on Fridays if you do not want to get stuck in the traffic.
The lecture theater of the Grand 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.
It is a no-brainer to visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque if you are in Muscat, entrance to it is free and it is located right in the middle of town in Baushar along the Sultan Qaboos Road.
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