The Grand Mosque of Oman is built from 300,000 tonnes of Indian sandstone. The main musalla (prayer hall) is square (external dimensions 74.4 x 74.4 metres) with a central dome rising to a height of fifty metres above the floor. The dome and the main minaret (90 metres) and four flanking minarets (45.5 metres) are the mosque’s chief visual features. The main musalla can hold over 6,500 worshippers, while the women’s musalla can accommodate 750 worshipers. The outer paved ground can hold 8,000 worshipers and there is additional space available in the interior courtyard and the passageways, making a total capacity of up to 20,000 worshipers.
The Mosque is built on a site occupying 416,000 square metres and the complex extends to cover an area of 40,000 square metres. The newly built Grand Mosque was inaugurated by Sultan of Oman on May 4, 2001.
The world’s second largest hand-woven carpet and the world’s biggest and tallest chandelier will be found here.
A major feature of the design of the interior is the prayer carpet which covers the floor of the prayer hall. It contains, 1,700,000,000 knots, weighs 21 tonnes and took four years to produce, and brings together the classical Persian Tabriz, Kashan and Isfahan design traditions. 28 colors in varying shades were used, the majority obtained from traditional vegetable dyes. It is the second largest single piece carpet in the world. This hand-woven carpet was produced by Iran Carpet Company (ICC) at the order of the Diwan of the Royal Court of Sultanate. The carpet measures over 70 × 60 meters, and covers the 4,343 square meter area of the praying hall.
The chandelier above the praying hall is 14 meters tall and was manufactured by company Faustig from Italy.
We were almost not allowed to go inside because the Mosque we’re about to close to clean up the Carpet. Good thing my Omani friend used to be a tour guide and know some people inside and ask them a favor to allow us to enter the Mosque even for a short time. You can visit from 8:30am to 11:30am everyday except Friday.
FYI, when you visit the Mosque, you need to wear long sleeves, long skirt or pants or leggings and a shawl, you have to be covered up to show respect to their Culture. If you are not wearing the proper clothes, there is a store inside that you can rent Abayas for OMR2.5 and an ID is required as a deposit. Also, before entering the Mosque, you need to remove your shoes or sandals, better to wear Sandals.
Outside colorful flowers will greet you…very artistic!!! The Sultan even visits and checks, if he sees that something needs to be changed, he will change it especially if it’s for the beautification of the place.
The Hand woven Carpet made by Iranians. It is the second largest single piece carpet in the world. That’s WOW!!!
The Chandelier made by Italians. (largest and tallest chandelier in the World).
The dishdasha is traditionally a white, full-length garment but can be made in other colors, too, mostly earth tones. It has a long slit opening in the center of the chest, a long tassel hanging down from the neckline (off to the side), long loose sleeves, a very specific cut and specific pattern of embroidery around the wrists, neckline, across the back at the shoulder blades and around the slit opening.
At night the Grand Mosque is lit up and it looks amazing!!!
And yes, Omanis are allowed to wear civilian. They have a choice to wear anything except shorts inside the mall. But they said, they like wearing their National dress cause for them it’s comfortable.
I admire Oman for making their culture so alive up to this day. They still have most of their historic places intact and doesn’t want to lose it’s memory by continuously preserving it. Good job Oman!!!
Above pic is the Prayer Room for Women.
So beautiful inside, it has been well-thought and artistically made. Now I know why Omanis loves to pray, they pray 5 times a day. To be quite honest all their Mosques are all beautiful but if you are not a Muslim you cannot enter their other Mosques. You can only visit their Grand Mosque as they welcome tourists to give us a glimpse of their beautiful Mosques.
An Omani man’s ensemble usually consists of a wrap around the lower part of his body, called a wazar; a full-length garment with long sleeves and a loose fit, called a dishdasha; one of two forms of headdress, either a cap, called a kuma (this is what my friend is wearing in the picture above), or a turban called a massar (I will show you this in another blog).
Kuma: The kuma originates in Zanzibar and is believed to be a direct result of Oman’s historical ties to Zanzibar. It is a hand-embroidered cap (buttonhole stitch) made to fit its owner (not free size). What is special about this cap is that it has holes throughout the embroidery work which helps to keep the head cool.
Some of their Kumas are made in the Philippines. Very nice!!!
For Omani Women, I will be discussing their National dress in another blog.
I have always been keen to visit a Mosque and I am so lucky I get to visit Oman’s Grand Mosque. I am telling you, it is a must for you to visit their Grand Mosque. It is truly breath-taking.