In 1992 His Majesty Sultan
Qaboos directed that his country of Oman should have a
Grand Mosque. A competition for its design took place in
1993 and after a site was chosen at Bausher construction
commenced in 1995. Building work took six years and four
The Mosque 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 worshippers. The outer paved ground can hold 8,000
worshippers and there is additional space available in
the interior courtyard and the passageways, making a
total capacity of up to 20,000 worshippers.
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 million knots, weighs 21 tonnes and
took four years to produce, and brings together the
classical Tabriz, Kashan and Isfahan design traditions.
28 colours in varying shades were used, the majority
obtained from traditional vegetable dyes. It is the
largest single piece carpet in the world. The world's
largest hand-woven carpet was produced by Iran Carpet
Company (ICC) at the order of the Diwan of the Royal
Court of Sultanate of Oman to cover the entire floor of
the main praying hall of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
(SQGM) in Muscat. The carpet measures over 70 × 60
meters, and covers the 4343 square meter area of the
praying hall, all in a single piece.
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 His Majesty the Sultan of Oman on May 4,
The whole interior of the Grand Mosque is panelled with
off-white and dark grey marble panelling clothed in cut
tile work. Ceramic floral patterns adorn arch framed
mural panels set in the marble forming blind niches in a
variety of classical Persian, predominantly Safavid,
designs. The ceilings are inspired by those of Omani
forts. The mihrab in the main prayer hall is framed by a
border of Quranic verses and a gilded ceramic surround.
The dome comprises a series of ornate, engraved stained
glass triangles within a framework of marble columns,
and a Swarovski crystal chandelier with gold-plated
metalwork hangs down for a length of 14 meters.
The Grand Mosque inspired the founding of a contemporary
institute dedicated to advanced Islamic studies with
appropriate educational facilities and accommodation.
The Institute is situated to the south of the Mosque