Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
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 mainmusalla 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. 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 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 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 4,343 square meter area of the praying hall, all in a single piece. The chandelier above the praying hall is 14 meters tall and was manufactured by company Faustig from Germany. 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.
Sea faring town
By the 6th century, Sur was an established centre for trade with East Africa. In the 16th century, it was underPortuguese rule but was liberated by the Omani imam Nasir ibn Murshid and underwent an economic revival, as a trade centre with India and East Africa. This continued until the mid-19th century, when the British outlawed the slave trade. The city was further ruined by the opening of the Suez Canal, which saw it lose trade with India. One of the famous cities in the Persian Gulf in building wooden ships. Its historical location gives it the hand to monitor the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. Many ships have been built in this city, like the sambuk andghanjah.They formerly went as far as China, India, Zanzibar, Iraq and many other countries. These vessels were also used in pearl fishing. Today the city has retained its reputation as a major dhow-building town, the very same vessels that were used for trade two centuries previously. Sur experiences a hot desert climate with very little rainfall and high temperatures. Because of its coastal location, Sur's night-time temperatures are never very low. There is no distinct wetter season, but March tends to be the wettest month, and September the driest.
Muscat Gate Museum
The Museum tells Oman’s long history, and focuses in particular on the history of the capital, Muscat. It also provides an explanation of the Falaj irrigation system Oman is famous for, in addition to Oman’s distinctive architecture, whether in the construction of niches in mosques, halls, doors or wooden arches. This museum takes the visitor on a journey through the various stages of development and growth of the city, from a commercial port to a prosperous capital, and stands witness to Muscat’s relics and history. Muscat Gate Museum explores the city's history from its beginnings up to the present day. The gate formerly marked the city's boundary, with Muscat once being contained within fortified walls. After you have finished examining the museum's displays, you can enjoy the views of the city from the top of the gate. The museum is open from Sunday to Thursday.
Bahla Fort; translated in Arabic as Qal'at Bahla' is one of four historic fortresses situated at the foot of the Djebel Akhdar highlands in Oman. It was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, when the oasis of Bahla was prosperous under the control of the Banu Nabhan tribe. The fort's ruined adobe walls and towers rise some 165 feet above its sandstone foundations. Nearby to the southwest is the Friday Mosque with a 14th-century sculpted mihrab. The fort was not restored or conserved before 1987, and had fallen into a parlous state, with parts of the walls collapsing each year in the rainy season. The fort became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It was included in the List of World Heritage in Dangerfrom 1988. Restoration works began in the 1990s, and nearly $9m were spent by the Omani government from 1993 to 1999. It remained covered with scaffolding and closed to tourists for many years. It was removed from the list of endangered sites in 2004. The reviewed and updated Management Plan 2009/2010 by UNESCO is adopted and undergoing.The fort of Bahla has been semi-reopened to the public in September 2012.
The Frankincense Tree
This tree has gained worldwide fame and frankincense is mentioned in ancient history books. Dhofar has known frankincense since time immemorial. In addition to its aromatic fragrance and use as incense to aromatise houses, frankincense is also used as a therapeutic ingredient. Humanity has known the frankincense tree since ancient times, and a special relationship has grown between the two. Frankincense is a symbol of life, or rather it is life itself, for the Dhofari people. It is not a mere tree, but an embodiment of culture, history, sociology and geography. Over the centuries, cities and civilisations have been based on frankincense trade, as the ruins of Samahran and Khawr Rawri cities, bustling with life one thousand years BC, tell us. In these ancient cities, writings in the southern Arabic alphabet, today called Al Jabaliya, relate the story of establishing these cities for the purpose of exporting Frankincense to different parts of the Arabian Peninsula. The Omani researcher and historian, Abdul Qadir bin Salim Al Ghassani, mentions in his book ‘Dhofar, the Land of Frankincense’ that Alexander the Great had imported huge quantities of incense from Arab lands. Other sources suggest that frankincense was used round the throne of King Solomon as incense. These sources also mention that when Emperor Nero’s wife died, the Emperor burned the equivalent of the whole southern Arabian Peninsula’s yield of frankincense. In the preset time, we know that this incense is used at the Vatican in Rome.
Welcome to Hazam Castle
Al hazam Castle was built by Imam Sultan Bin Saif, the fifith ruler in the noble Ya'ruba dynasty of imam who reigned over oman from 1624 to 1738.He was the grandson of ana imam by the same name who had a chieved lasting fame. Under the Ya'ruba mastery of the seas brought a revival of trade and unprecedented wealth. Key projects included restoration and expansion of the falaj irrigation system which resulted in bountiful agricultural production. Through the revival of islamic scholarship, the Ya'ruba fostered an efflorescence of ideas and learini.It was in these flourishing times that Ya'ruba built monuments of great strength and beauty, most notably the imposing citadal of Nizwa and thier fortified palaces. Approaching Al Hazm Castle from the wide plain of the Batinah,one can imagine what a solitary and imposing figure the fortress was on the open landscape of three hundred and fifty years ago. From the parapets of the Castle, the naked eye could survey the coastline for unending miles. Any hostile advance from the sea would soon be sighted, as would approach overland from any other direction.