Main Muscat Mosque is located 15 minutes away from Muscat International Airport just by main road – of course Sultan Qaboos street.
An idea of building the mosque was created by Sultan and it’s of course him who the mosque is named after. The mosque is of Ibadi denomination as this is the most popular school of Islam in Oman. Ibadi school is third denomination of Islam, next to Sunni and Shiah. Around 75% of Omanis are Ibadi. Ibadis are also found in some other places in the world like Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, East Africa, but their biggest concentration is in Oman.
Sultan Qaboos Mosque was finished in 2001 and was built on grand scale. Its capacity is 20 000 people and only the main hall has 4000 square meters. The building looks impressive as it was built of beautiful Indian sandstone with the gold-shining dome.
The mosque has 5 minaretes, 4 of them located in each corner of the building are 45-meter-high, the 5th one, located in the middle of one of external walls, has 91,5 meters. The flowers around the mosque is well maintained. Must be well-irrigated as they are still in bloom despite local climate. As the most expensive materials were used to its construction there are some rules of visiting communicated right by the entrance.
Sultan Qaboos Mosqe interior is lit by 35 chandeliers. They all are decorated with the best quality – Swarovsky crystals. The biggest pride of Omanis is the one dangling underneeth the main dome – it used to hold the Guiness world record of the biggest chandelier. It’s 14 x 8 meters construction weighing 8,5 tones. 600 000 crystals and 1122 of lamps were used for its production. Plus 24 carate gold metal plates shaped as one big and 24 small minarets.
It held the Guiness record untill 2010 when Qatari built their „Reflective flow” chandelier of 18 tones and 165 000 led lights.
The main prayers hall of the mosque is around 4000 square meters and in the highiest point of the beautiful ornate dome it reaches 50 meters.
The ablution room in our opinion is less impressive than ablution rooms in Abu Dhabi mosque.
Even though the Sultan Qaboos mosque doesn’t hold the titles of biggest rug and candelier any more, it is still impressive and definitely a must-see of Oman. It is open for visitors but you have to be an early riser to get inside. They open at 8 o’clock and at 11 they are done for the day. Except for Fridays when its open only for prayers. Standard mosque rules apply – modes clothes for man and women and no shoes. Unfortunately children under 10 are not allowed to visit so we had only Dad as our representative admire the incredible architecture and decor of the mosque.