Proportions can be deceiving in a mosque that is littered with superlatives – largest, biggest, most, prettiest are common words you hear when researching the mosque that was completed in 2001. The mosque’s total capacity is 20,000 visitors/worshipers – larger in size than many of the cities in Oman. The dome rises 164 feet above the floor, and the chandelier illuminates a space of 46,000 square feet below.
Walking into the main prayer hall is breathtaking, thanks to the chandelier made of Swarovski crystals with a diameter of 26 feet. But the hall is also graced by the world's second-largest handmade Persian rug. The delicate rug took four years to produce and weighs in at 21 tons. 600 dedicated women tied 1,700 million knots to create this masterpiece. One of my favorite parts about the rug was the graduated color used to mimic the light reflection outward.
Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the mosque every day, except Friday, from 8:30 until 11:00 am. Visitors are asked to dress modestly and in a way befitting places of worship. Women are also required to cover their hair.
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Tiles of The Grand Mosque Oman
When visiting the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque don't miss the tiilework! Walk through the north and south riwaqs (along the perimeter of the mosque) which has a lovely display of tilework. Each niche represents specific themes and styles from the Arab Islamic eras and countries from Spain to Central Asia.
Have fun and try to guess which country each of the tile-work displays are from...it's harder than you think!
While working in Muscat we found time to visit the Grand Mosque. The scale of the mosque is so large that it is difficult to photograph. It is one of the largest chandeliers in the world. The craftsmanship that went into this structure is unbelievable. It is not to be missed if you are in Muscat.