Makkah Clock Royal Tower:Biggest clock tower in the world in Mecca:Pictures:Photos
World's Tallest Clock Tower in Makkah (Mecca)
The Makkah Clock Royal Tower is the third tallest building in the world and the biggest clock tower, now standing at 601 meters high it is 83 meters taller than the Taipei Tower in Taiwan but still shorter than the Burj Dubai (or Burj Khalifa) which stands at a huge 828 meters.
Some sites are claiming that this iconic skyscraper was completed in 2012, however with all previous dates missed and work still ongoing I think these claims were a little premature! After all they had a huge party to celebrate the clock tower becoming operational but we have yet to see any announcement or celebration for the completion of the towers themselves. Maybe they were embarrassed by all of the delays!
The Mecca Clock tower is part of the Abaj Al-Bait (or Al-Bayt) project just 50M in front of the Grand Mosque in Makkah (Mecca), the site that all Muslims must face to pray 5 times per day, their holiest of shrines. The clock tower itself will be used for the call to prayer within the city of Makkah or Mecca.
The Clock will be lit and visible from around 17 kilometers away at night and up to 12 km during the day, the Clock is six times the size of Big Ben's clock.
If you are an expat working in Saudi Arabia or someone wishing to visit this truly awe inspiring building then be warned, unless you are a Muslim you will be unable to enter the holy city. The roads into this area are dotted with checkpoints to ensure that only the faithful enter. I once got lost trying to navigate past and stopped at the checkpoint into Makkah, I was forced back into my car at gunpoint and sent on my way without directions by these humble, helpful, forgiving people.
Going to Makkah
If you want to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia either for work or to visit this iconic building then this guide to Saudi Visas may be of help.
Rules to follow in Makkah
There are many rules and regulations that you need to be aware of in Saudi Arabia, not following them could very quickly get you into serious trouble; read this about working in Saudi Arabia to keep you on the right side of Saudi traditions and laws.
Makkah Clock Royal Tower Completion
Well we are now moving through 2015 and the building work does now seem on the whole complete, previous dates in 2010 and 2011 and 2012 have all passed without any formal announcement.
As with all other projects in the region it has been plagued with many delays and has even had three fires within the towers the latest only being in march of 2011.
The building has however reached its full height of some 601M which is far shorter than the originally planned 734M.
They were to have the clock up and running during Ramadan 2010 but failed to do so and things have gone very quiet! The clock itself was finally inaugurated in 2011 finally during Eid with a massive party and fireworks display.
I was looking forward to the opening party as I am sure it will be huge (if they have one), but unfortunately I will have to watch the video afterwards as I am not Muslim so I will not be able to enter the Holy city.
Some websites have reported that the building was completed within 2012 however I have not seen any official announcement to that effect and there certainly has not yet been any party to celebrate the completion of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower. I think maybe there has been some embarrassment due to the many delays so they have i think just kept with the inauguration of the clock to minimize any poor publicity.
Inaugaration of the Makkah Clock
Satelite View of Makkah Clock Tower
Views of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower
Abrj Al-Bait Development and the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Project
The Abrj Al-Bait project is one of the world's biggest development projects covering over 1.4 million square meters. It will have over 6000 units of housing and have seven towers forming the central area. The Abrj Al-Bait towers will house a 3000 room hotel complex, most of the rooms overlooking the Haram with views of the holy Kaaba. Construction firms such as Saudi's Bin-Laden group are involved in this massive project which they claim can house some 100,000 people.
The development also contains a prayer room which will accommodate some 10,000 Muslims for prayer.
There are some 500 food and retail outlets within the development to keep most people busy on a minor shopping spree inside their 5 storey shopping mall.
Makkah Clock Tower Vs Big Ben
Makkah Clock Royal Tower Hotel - The Fairmont Makkah
The central tower houses the worlds tallest hotel, the Fairmont Makkah, or the Makkah Clock Royal Tower Hotel.Standing 601 meters tall with 76 stories of hotel it will be the central part of the Abj Al-Bait complex. It will replace the 333 meter Rose Rayhaan in Dubai as the worlds tallest hotel, the Rose having only been opened at the start of 2010.
The Fairmont Makkah, now operational, has 858 rooms serviced by 76 elevators and is available for any muslims visiting the Kabah or the historic town of Mecca. You can check them out on Facebook also.
The Clock Faces of Makka Clock TowerClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Makkah Clock
The Clock Faces will sit at a height of 380 Meters on all sides of the royal tower and be visible from up to 17km during the night. The two largest faces will be 80m by 65m with an actual clock face of 39M Diameter. The "smaller" two faces being 65m by 39m with a clock face of 25m diameter. Designed by Swiss engineering firm Straintec the clock will be the biggest in the world.
Each Clock Face will bear the Name of Allah and an Observation platform will be sited just 5m below each face served by two lifts.
The clock faces are lit with a huge array of lights ensuring that they are visible during the hours of darkness.
Putting The Hands on The Mecca Clock TowerClick thumbnail to view full-size
View from the Makkah Clock Tower, The Biggest Clock Tower in the World
Lunar Observatory and Islamic Museum at the Makkah Clock Royal Tower
In addition to the worlds largest clock tower to call all muslims to prayer the development will also boast a lunar observation center which will be used for sighting the moon for holy months, and an Islamic Museum to protect the heritage of Muslims for future generations.
The Tower will be equipped to shoot 16 beams of light 10km into the night sky on special occasions.
View of the Makkah Clock Royal Tower
Makkah Time vs Greenwich Mean Time at the Clock Royal Tower
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) has long been the time the time standard that we have all set out clocks to, however the Islamic scholars are now stating that as Makkah is the true center of the world we should all move over to "Makkah Time".
So watch this space to see if the worlds tallest clock tower also becomes the time keeper for the whole world!
Makkah Clock Tower ViewsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Makkah Clock Royal Tower Construction and ViewsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Location of Makkah Saudi Arabia
Mecca Clock Tower is located here.
Working on the Makkah Clock Tower
If you would like to work on projects such as this massive tower in Makkah then this guide to finding work in Saudi Arabia will be of help.
Is Makkah now just for the Rich?
With the construction of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower reaching completion there are voices being raised about how this development and others within the city are trying to profit from their religion. The rentals within the new mall are claimed to be exorbitant and I know for a fact that the costs of apartments within the clock tower itself are huge compared to any other development in the kingdom.
People are claiming that the divide between rich and poor within the kingdom and the religion is growing due to the government and the developers trying to profit from the annual pilgrimages to this holy city. They fear that these developments will prevent the poorer elements from ever being able to visit!
Makkah Clock Royal Tower
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More Saudi Arabia Information when visiting the Makkah Clock Tower
If you are considering visiting the Makkah Royal Clock Tower firstly you had best be a Muslim as only the faithful are allowed to enter the holy city and secondly you had best be prepared for the very different way of life that you are going to encounter.
Saudi Arabia is unlike any other country in the world, the weather is extreme and the rules and culture are completely alien to many of us. Before you consider traveling you should do your research and prepare yourself for what you will encounter there in KSA. Take the time to read this Expatriate guide for Saudi Arabia even if you are going on pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj.)
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