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Middle east

World's largest clock to be tested during Ramadan in Mecca

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-11

Saudi Arabia's Binladen Group is building the world's largest clock on what will be the world's second-highest skyscraper, overlooking Mecca's Grand Mosque, and will test it during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, news reports said on Tuesday.

AP - Saudi Arabia will test what it is billing as the world’s largest clock in the holy city of Mecca during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the official news agency reported Tuesday.

The four-faced clock will be part of a massive skyscraper that when completed will be around 2,000 feet (640 meters) tall, the second tallest in the world after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The seven tower complex is being built by developer Saudi Binladen Group, the press agency reported.

The complex overlooks Mecca’s famed Grand Mosque, which Muslims worldwide face during their five daily prayers and is part of Saudi efforts to develop the city visited by millions of pilgrims every year.

A three-month test run for the clock will start during the first week of Ramadan, the monthlong period of prayer, reflection and sunrise-to-sunset fasting, the report said. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin Wednesday.

Only one of the clock’s four faces has so far been completed. The dial is 128 feet (39 meters) in diameter and covered with 98 million pieces of glass mosaics.

Each face will be inscribed with the name of God in Arabic and fitted with thousands of colored lights. The clock will be visible from more than 16 miles (25 kilometers).

An observatory deck is planned at the base of the clock.

Once finished, a huge golden crescent, 75 feet (23 meters) in diameter, will rise above the clock, from which some 15 beams will shoot up into the sky, the agency added. The clock itself will be 820 feet (251 meters) high.

German and Swiss engineers designed the clock and according to the Ministry of Religious Endowments, the entire complex will cost $800 million.

Date created : 2010-08-10

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