If you choose Oman as your travel destination, you go to the sultanate in the east of the Arabian Peninsula… and to an area that developed into a modern state within a few decades, but was able to preserve old traditions and thus its Arab identity. The landscape of Oman is particularly worth seeing in the narrow, fertile coastal strip of Al-Batina on the Gulf of Oman, which is separated from the desert by the Oman Mountains, which occupies most of the country. In addition to Dhiddat al-Harasis in the interior of the country, there is also the edge of the Rub al-Chali desert in the southwest. Accordingly, the climate is dry and hot, and the temperatures around the turn of the year are best suited to set out on a tour of discovery through the Sultanate. The ruins of the 7th century are particularly interesting from a cultural point of view. 000 year old city Urbar or the ruins of Qualhat, and Nizwa, the religious center of the country, where you can admire the Sultan Qaboos Mosque with its blue and gold dome as well as the monumental fortress from the 17th century In turn, you have a wide view of the city. The capital Masquat is particularly worthwhile for a tour of the old town with its narrow streets, the Sultan’s Palace, two Portuguese fortresses from the 16th century and a visit to the Bai Zubair National Museum. The tomb of the Queen of Sheba is located in Salalah, the capital of the frankincense land of Dhofar. In the mountain village of Al-Hamra you can visit old, typical mud houses. And Sur offers you shipyards in which the traditional dhows are built. In addition, Oman also has hot springs to offer.
Great Sultan Qaboos Mosque
The Great Sultan Qaboos Mosque was planned in 1992 according to the ideas of Sultan Quabus and built from 1995. The largest mosque in Oman has been open to believers, participants in study trips, students of the Islamic religion and tourists since May 4th, 2001. It is one of the special sights in Muscat and is definitely worth a visit. The mosque combines the Islamic traditions of different epochs and stands for a harmonious coexistence of all believers in the country.
The mosque as a superlative building
With the mosque, Sultan Al Qaboos created more than a house of prayer. Islamic art, culture and religious studies are at home in the huge complex in Al-Gubra on the busy main street “Al Qaboos Street” between Muscat and Sib.
The entire area covers 416,000 square meters. According to Omani tradition, it stands a little higher, surrounded by large green areas with well-tended lawn, bushes and frangipani trees. For the mosque with five minarets and two arcades, 300,000 tons of marble from Indian quarries were used. In addition to a main prayer hall and a smaller women’s prayer hall, the complex also includes a library with 20,000 valuable books, the Islamic Institute and a large information center.
Particularly noteworthy is the equipment of the main hall with a 50 m high dome. This was designed with stained glass and carries the largest crystal chandelier in the world. The chandelier is 14 m long, equipped with valuable Swarowski crystals and 1122 lamps. An imposing, hand-knotted Persian carpet with a value of more than 5 million euros lies on the floor. The wall panels with floral patterns in Persian tradition and the calligraphy on the wooden ceilings are also impressive.
Visiting the mosque is one of the most important stops when traveling through Oman. Travelers should observe the dress regulations for the Grand Sultan Qaboos Mosque. Arms and legs must be covered and women wear headscarves.
Oman is still a real insider tip for holidaymakers from all over the world. If you visit the sultanate in the east of the Arabian Peninsula, you simply cannot avoid the capital Muscat. The two old fortresses Mirani and Jalali are among the greatest attractions in the city of 25,000. The most impressive and at the same time most famous fortifications in the country characterize the historic old town of Muscat and can be seen from afar.
Evidence of Ottoman craftsmanship
The two large fortresses, which are visited annually by thousands of locals and tourists from all over the world, were built at the end of the 16th century directly on the harbor to protect against intruders and were completed by the Portuguese. In the 18th century, the so-called western fortress Al Mirani was expanded to its present size according to the wishes of Imam Ahmed bin Said. From the top of the large fortress tower you have a great overview of the entire city and the immediate surroundings. The Al Jalali Fortress, also known as the East Fortress, is characterized both inside and outside by countless testimonies of Ottoman craftsmanship. A large and extensive museum is now housed in the smaller of the two fortresses.