For over a century Big Ben has been the symbol of world time, but now funded by the government, Saudis seek to divert the attention and set their own time.
It is an amazing idea since our local and arabic channels use Mecca time as the standard time, but why should they copy the West yet always taller and bigger? Shouldn’t the Arab and Islamic World have architectural icons instead of replicating the Big Ben and Empire state building? Even the engineers are Swiss and German.
The concept is already being realized with impressive specifications that in a way meet the aura of the place.
The complex housing the clock (601meters high) will be the world’s second tallest building after Burj Khalifa, (828meters high) the recently inaugurated skyscraper of Dubai. The clock is 40m in diameter and is made with 98 million pieces of glass mosaics, its faces are lit with 2 million LED’s.
Built by a government-controlled fund, the complex has seven huge towers . Six are between 42 and 48 stories, and in the middle is the clock tower, appearing nearly twice as tall as the others.
The entire complex will have 3,000 hotel rooms and apartments, a shopping center and prayer and conference halls, and a four-story astronomical observatory and Islamic museum all taking up around 1.5 million square meters of floor space.
At the peak of the hajj the complex should accommodate around 65,000 people.
About 21,000 white and green coloured lights ,probably indicating the Saudi flag colors ,will flash to as far as 30 kilometers five-times a day signaling prayer times.
Sources: Fox News, The Telegraph