Mecca Clock turns into tourist draw

  • Thursday 13, June 2019 10:40 AM
Sharjah24 – AFP: Like millions of other Muslims, Cory Ireza from Indonesia travelled to Mecca to pray in the Grand Mosque. But she also found a new attraction just a stone's throw away from Islam's holiest place.
After performing the pilgrimage, Ireza, her husband Dodi and their two children were among the first visitors to a museum built inside the world's largest clock at the top of the globe's third tallest building.

Overlooking the Kaaba, a black structure inside the Grand Mosque towards which Muslims around the world turn to pray, the four-storey Clock Tower Museum opened a month ago.

- Clock hands -
The four-faced Mecca Clock, as the museum is also known, with each face measuring 43 by 43 metres (47 yards), is the largest in the world and weighs some 36,000 tonnes.

It is 35 times the size of the clock at Westminster in London, known colloquially as Big Ben.

Equipped with protection against rain, sandstorms and winds, the clock is covered by a 100-million-piece glass mosaic adorned with 24-carat gold leaf.

The Clock Tower is the main high-rise building in a complex of seven towers, comprising 3,000 hotel rooms and apartments.

The clock has a 128-metre-tall (420-foot) spire with a 23-metre golden crescent on top.

By night over two million LEDs illuminate the clock, making it legible from distances of eight kilometres (five miles).

In the first floor of the museum, visitors are introduced to the universe, the sky and galaxies with audio illustrations.

The second floor is devoted to the sun and how the moon and the earth revolve around it.

Visitors to the third floor learn of instruments and methods used to determine time, and the balcony overlooking the Grand Mosque is on the top floor.