World's largest clock starts ticking in Makkah

$3bn clock tower near the Holy Grand Mosque can been seen for miles

Makkah's clock has started to tick, making it the world's largest operating clock. Photo: Getty.
Makkah's clock has started to tick, making it the world's largest operating clock. Photo: Getty.

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Makkah’s giant clock, atop what is hoped to become the second tallest building in the world, began ticking yesterday, marking the start if the holy month of Ramadan.

The clock sits 400m up a tower that forms part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project, a massive project in the centre of the holy city overlooking The Grand Mosque.

The clock is six times larger than that of London’s St Stephens Tower, which houses Big Ben and whose clock face is seven metres across, and can be seen from miles around.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the four clock faces are 43 metres in diameter and are embellished with high-tech composite tiles, some laced with gold, and were made German-owned Dubai company, Premiere Composite Technologies. The clock faces are illuminated by over two million LED lights and consist of around 90 million pieces of coloured glass mosaic.

Details of the company behind the clock’s mechanism are a closely guarded secret, but officials say the clock has been developed by engineers from Germany and Switzerland along with a team of specialists from other parts of Europe and around the world.

The clock will run on Arabia Standard Time, which is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

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