Work began on the construction of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
complex on a site by a main road between Muscat and Seeb early in
1995. It was completed six years later and inaugurated by His Majesty
the Sultan in May 2001.
The developed part of the site, including the fully consolidated areas and landscaping, covers 416,000 square metres. The Mosque complex (covering 40,000 square metres) is constructed on a raised podium in keeping with the tradition of Omani mosques that were built elevated from street level.
It can accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers and consists of a main prayer hall, ladies prayer hall, covered passageways, a meeting hall, and library which will eventually contain up to 20,000 books.
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.
© Eric Lafforgue