Tourist Attraction in Muscat: Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the main mosque in the Sultanate of Oman. It is in the capital city of Muscat. In 1992 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 December 1994. Building work took six years and seven months. 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 mosques chief visual features. The main musalla can hold over 6,500 worshippers, while the womens 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. 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. It is the worlds largest chandelier.