Photographing Architecture: Sultan Qaboos Mosque · Best 5 Tips

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Moving to a new country every two years

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Photographing the Sultan Qaboos Mosque is an absolute pleasure.

Oman has super diverse landscapes, wadis, beaches, the desert, mountains, old forts, and a long cultural history.

The Sultan Qaboos Mosque, or Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Muscat, is one of the Muscat’s treasures. This beautiful mosque signifies Omani pride and shows how much the country cares about religious harmony.

People in Oman are mostly very traditional regarding religion, but they welcome tourists and anyone who is not religious.

There is a really chill and relaxed island kind of vibe in Muscat and other parts of Oman.

In this article, you’ll learn photographing tips for shooting the beautiful Sultan Qaboos Mosque!

Table of Contents

The Sultan Qaboos Mosque's history

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque was built in 2001 and is named after the former ruler of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who died in 2020. The mosque was built to mark the 30th year of Sultan Qaboos’ rule. It can hold up to 20,000 people who want to pray there.

The mosque is in the middle of Muscat, the capital city of Oman, and is more than 40,000 square meters in size. The mosque is made from 300.000 tonnes of Indian sandstone.

How the Sultan Qaboos Mosque is made

The Sultan Qaboos Mosque is a beautiful example of Islamic architecture. It combines traditional and modern styles to make a unique and impressive building. The mosque is built in the classic Persian style with its central dome, minarets, and courtyards.

A giant chandelier made of Swarovski crystals and gold-plated metal that weighs more than 8 tons hangs in the main prayer hall.

The Sultan Qaboos Mosque Chandelier inside the mosque, is the biggest chandelier in the world!

It’s hard to capture the true size of this massive chandelier in a photo.

The floor is covered with the famous Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque carpet, that is 70 x 60 meters, making it one of the largest in the world.

The mosque is a place to pray, but it also has a library, a lecture hall, and an Islamic museum with rare books, ancient artifacts, and Islamic art.

Photographing the Sultan Qaboos Mosque

Making great photos of the mosque is really easy because everywhere you look, it’s beautiful.

For my photos I used the Sony a7C camera. Read my full review here.

I recommend bringing a wide-angle lens for the best pictures because the distance between you and the huge buildings is not that big, so you need a wide angle to capture everything in the photo.

The right lens

Because of all the white marble, it is suuuper bright there (don’t forget your sunglasses), making it even easier to take good photos. You won’t need a lower f-stop like F2.8 or lower. F5.6 is perfectly fine. A wide-angle lens works best in my opinion.

using Reflections

A cool thing about The Sultan Qaboos Mosque is that the white stones can create beautiful reflections. Use these reflections to add depth and interest to your photographs. You can also use a polarizing filter to reduce glare and make the reflections more visible.

Shoot in Raw Format

Shooting in raw format will give you more control over your photographs during post-processing. Raw files contain more information than JPEG files, so you can adjust exposure, color, and other settings without losing quality.

This is especially handy when photographing the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat because there are many bright reflections.

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Another great thing about the mosque is whenever somebody is in your photo, it’s relatively easy to photoshop them out because of the structure of the mosque walls. Just use the spot healing tool in Photoshop to remove some unwanted items in your photo.

Can you spot the difference in this photo? 😉


Using a flash is not allowed when you’re inside the praying hall.

Check out the
best places to visit in Oman

Visiting the mosque

There are a few things to remember if you want to go to the Sultan Qaboos Mosque. When people aren’t praying between 8am and 11 am, people can tour the mosque but must dress modestly and take their shoes off before entering. But it’s actually nice to walk around on your socks!

Women must also wear scarves to cover their hair. You can rent them at the mosque entrance if you don’t bring appropriate clothes. Guards will check your clothing.

The best time to visit the mosque is early in the morning. It can get quite busy, especially the last 1,5 hours. Tour buses will be there, and it will be crowded. Also, for photography, the light is much better early in the morning when there is still some shade.

Final Thoughts on The Sultan Qaboos Mosque

If you are in Muscat, then it is something you have to visit. I’m more interested in nature on most of my trips, but the Sultan Qaboos Mosque was special.

I’ve spent more time there than I initially thought I would. I thought I would walk there for maybe an hour, shoot some photos, and go somewhere else in Muscat, but there was plenty to see, and the amount of white marble and how it looked was fascinating.

F.A.Q. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Everybody is welcome to visit the mosque between 8 and 11 am.

The mosque is open to visitors from 8:00 am to 11:00 am every day except Friday.

Yes, people who come to the mosque must dress modestly. Ladies will need to cover their heads, shoulders and ankles. People who need them can get scarves at the entrance.

The price is about 3 OMR, which is around 8 dollars.

No, flash photography is not allowed in the mosque.

Nope, drones are not allowed near the Sultan Qaboos Mosque. They are allowed in Oman, but you must get official permission before entering the airport with your drone.

The best time of day to visit the mosque is during golden hour, which is the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset.
Exact times of sunrise and sunset can be found here.

No, entrance to the mosque is free for visitors. There is only a fee for renting clothes if you need appropriate ones.

It’s the only mosque in Oman that is open for tourists. The capacity is 20.000 people.

A man standing on top of a sand dune with his arms outstretched.

About the author

Chris Oberman is the founder and author of Moving Jack and has been traveling the world for over 20 years to 40+ countries.

He lives in a different country every two years which allows him to gain unique in-depth insights and experiences in new places abroad.

Quoted on, NRC Newspaper, Vice,and Feedspot.

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