Composed of a central prayer hall, second prayer hall, and arcades set within a walled and minaret-studded compound, the Grand Mosque blends modern and traditional Islamic architecture with Omani and Persian detail. Highlights include the magnificent main prayer hall, decorated with one of the world’s largest carpets and biggest chandeliers; arcades inscribed with Quranic script; and a latticed gold dome.
Muslim and non-Muslim visitors can explore independently or on audio or house guided tours. Most, however, visit Muscat tours that include other sights like Mutrah Souk and convenient return transport. Others take evening tours that show the illuminated mosque against Oman’s darkened mountains. Additional possibilities include Muscat tours paired with a lunch or cruise; mosque tours that continue to places such as Nizwa; multi-day tours that cover Muscat and Oman’s interior; and Muscat tours from Dubai.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Audio and live guides can be hired on entry.
- Visitors must dress modestly, with no shorts or uncovered arms, and with women wearing head coverings. Shoes need to be removed before entering prayer areas. Women can hire full-length abaya robes if required.
- The mosque is stroller- and wheelchair-friendly.
- On-site facilities include free parking, restrooms, a gift shop, and refreshment area.
How to Get There
The Grand Mosque sits in Muscat’s Ghubra district, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the center, and is difficult to reach by public bus—the nearest stop is a 20-minute, and possibly sweltering, walk away. Other options are cabs or self-drive—via Muscat’s westward Route I—but the easiest way to visit is on tours that include return transport.
When to Get There
The mosque is open all day, every day to Muslim visitors, but only during mornings from Saturday to Thursday for non-Muslim visitors. Check the website for exact opening hours. Due to the time limits, it’s often very busy during mid-morning, so aim to arrive as early as possible.
Highlights at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque The mosque’s crowning glory is its main prayer hall: a vast, opulent room with huge pillars supporting an ornate, porcelain-paneled dome. Look up to observe the huge Swarovski chandelier before admiring the carpet: a hand-loomed masterpiece of 1,700 million knots that took more than two years to make.
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