Sultan Qaboos University is the realization of the promise announced by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said during the 10th anniversary of Oman’s National Day in 1980. Construction started in 1982 and the first Sultan Qaboos University students were enrolled in 1986. In accordance with the Royal Directives of His Majesty, The University commenced with five colleges; namely Medicine, Engineering, Agriculture, Education and Science. Furthermore the College of Arts was established in 1987, following the College of Commerce and Economics which was developed in 1993. The College of Law joined the University in 2006 and finally the College of Nursing was established in 2008.
The design and construction of the campus was carried out with great attention to the fulfillment of these objectives, with the overall appearance of the buildings carefully planned to accommodate the physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs of students, faculty and staff.
Set in a valley beneath the stark panorama of the nearby foothills of the Oman Mountains, the University is a tasteful array of buildings designed with arches and courtyards and constructed in white and pink sandstone in a manner that reflects traditional Omani and Islamic architecture. The University was constructed on an axis in the valley with one end aligned toward Mecca.
This axis line starts at the gates of entrance to the University, runs through the Administration Building with its massive Omani doors, and extends uninterrupted through the middle of the academic buildings to the University Mosque at the western end of the campus. The Mosque, with its large dome and minarets, is situated on the higher ground of the campus, and is visible from many points within and around the University.
During the design period, the University landscaping was carefully considered and the original plantings have since become verdant gardens and flower beds. The plantings include species, native to Oman and other Gulf regions, that grow and flourish in an arid environment. The landscaping provides shade from the sun, shelter against the wind, and splendid display of colour from flowers and foliage throughout the year.
The traditional Islamic separation of the genders is maintained in the architecture of the University. There is separate access to buildings through lower and upper walkways for men and women and separate seating in the classrooms.
Altogether, the campus portrays the rich heritage of Oman and Islam while incorporating all the efficiencies of modern life. The result is an educational and living environment which is both functional and attractive.