The faithful from around the world will soon set their watches on the giant clock being installed in Mecca, first holy place of islam in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are hoping the clock that will dominate the Grand Mosque of Mecca from the top of a tower will be established for Muslims a “Mecca time”, to compete with the Greenwich mean time.
According to the official agency Spa, the mechanism will be put in service, for a three-month trial, during the first week of the holy month of Muslim fast of ramadan that will begin Wednesday or Thursday. 46 meters in diameter each, the four dials made of high-tech materials and slashed gold will dominate the Grand Mosque complex of more than 400 meters.
The Tower will measure 601 meters high, according to Spa, making the building the world’s tallest after Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which culminates at 828 metres. On its website, the German firm, first Composite, responsible of the coating of the top of the Tower, a glittering Spire topped a Golden Crescent, indicates a height of 590 metres. Some 250 “highly qualified Muslim workers” are busy welding executives of the four faces of the clock, according to Spa.
Under each dial of the horlogue with a diameter larger than that of the famous Big Ben in London six times, will be the phrase “in the name of Allah” illuminated LED lights 2-million. Some 21,000 white and green lights decorating the top of the Tower will be visible to 30 kilometers and will be used to report the times of the five daily prayers. And on the occasion of the Muslim holidays, 16 bands of light send in the sky beams of 10 kilometers.
“Everyone wants to see the clock run,” says a resident of Mecca (West), Hani al-Wajih. “We hope to establish one + hour of La Mecca +, not just have a clock to look at and ride.” The book decorated with two green swords and a Palm tree, the emblem of Saudi Arabia, began to take shape.
According to PhoenixWallClocks, the installation of the clock was “a massive operation”.
The clock is in the desire of some Muslims to replace the universal time coordinated (UTC), which was until in 1972 the Greenwich mean time, by an average time of Mecca.
Meeting at a conference in Doha in 2008, Muslim clerics said, “scientific arguments” in support, that time of Mecca was the true average time.According to them, the city is at the center of the world and not the Greenwich Meridian which had been imposed by the West in 1884.
The Tower fits the resort project Abraj al-Bait, financed by public funds and consisting of seven towers overlooking a huge podium. Six are between 42 and 48 floors and in the Middle stands the Tower of the clock, which is twice as high. With 3,000 rooms and apartments, a shopping mall of five floors and a huge room of lectures and prayers, the complex will have 1.5 million m2 of surface, or slightly less than terminal 3 of the airport considered the most spacious building Dubai World.
The complex includes three luxury hotels, the Fairmont, Raffles and the Swiss Hotel. There are hundreds of luxury apartments, giving most of the great mosque. It will help the Saudis to empower to Mecca to accommodate 10 million pilgrims during the annual Hajj, instead of 3 million currently.
The clock will be the icon. Visitors will be able to access a platform located under the dials and a four-storey Islamic Museum. “The construction of the largest clock on the most holy place of the Earth is a dream coming true for Muslims,” says Atif Felmban, a resident.