Of all the places to visit in Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Oman is the top of my recommendation list. Presented to the people of Oman as a gift from Sultan Qaboos in 2001, it is an opulent example of modern Islamic architecture. Whether you visit out of curiosity, for tranquillity, to see the world’s second largest carpet and chandelier, or to enjoy the gorgeous, vibrant mosaics and intricate carvings, the Grand Mosque Oman is a must-see in Muscat.
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of only a handful of mosques in the Arabian belt that allow non-Muslim visitors. Respect is critical, and both men and women are required to dress modestly, remove shoes before entering the prayer halls, and avoid mobile phone usage, eating, or sleeping.
Approaching the Grand Mosque Oman
With an area of 416,000 m², it is a vision to enjoy, even before entering. Always remember, this mosque is an active place of worship.
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque has the capacity for 20,000 worshippers; 8000 inside and another 12,000 in the courtyard. Like most mosques, furniture is limited as prayer is done on prayer rugs on the ground. Children under age ten are not permitted in the prayer halls.
Courtyards of the Grand Mosque Oman
More Photos of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
More information and tips on visiting the Grand Mosque Oman:
- Located along a stretch of the Sultan Qaboos Highway, the Grand Mosque Oman is a key feature of Muscat’s skyline.
- The mosque is open daily for non-Muslim visitors from 8:00 to 11:00 am, except on Friday. Tour buses don’t arrive until 9 am, so getting there early has a big advantage as it is one of the popular places to visit in Muscat.
- Modest dress for men includes covered legs and shoulders. Women are required to cover legs, arms, and their hair. If you arrive unprepared, women can hire Abeyyas (full-length dresses) and scarves from the mosque gift shop.
- The onsite Islam Centre is worth a visit. Muslim ladies will serve you free tea and dates, answering questions about the Qu’ran and the benefits of Islam.
- The mosque library is also open, with over 20,000 books on display.
- We used Lonely Planet’s Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsula travel guide to find the best places to visit in Muscat and other parts of the region.
- We visited the Grand Mosque on our own. If you prefer a tour, Viator offers a variety of tours of Muscat that include the mosque.
More Places to visit in Muscat and Oman
Oman is the first middle eastern nation we visited and remains one of my favourite countries. Aside from the Grand Mosque, we have written about some of our other Omani highlights:
- Wandering the Streets of Muscat
- Nizwa’s Castles, Forts and a Palm Oasis
- Oman Grand Canyon and Jebel Shams
- Misfat Al Abriyeen, a village in the Hajar Mountains
- Travelling South: Bedouins, Dhows, Sink Holes and Camel Riding
When visiting Oman, find the best prices on accommodations at Booking.com.
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*This article was inspired as this week Albom Adventures was featured in the Times of Oman, the largest English speaking newspaper in Oman. We visited the Grand Mosque of Oman and the city of Muscat in 2012. I recently moved all my photos to Lightroom, thus rediscovering these not previously shared images.
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