Saudi Arabia builds a $800 million clock to dwarf the Big Ben

The Greenwich Mean Time is up for stiff competition from Mecca. The Muslim community worldwide is all set to synchronize their watches with a giant clock in Mecca’s Islamic holy city. Bearing a resemblance to the Big Ben tower, the 2000 feet tall monument will feature a four-faced clock and run on Arabia Standard Time, three hours ahead of GMT. Towering over the holy Kabaa in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at the height of 1,972 ft, will sit atop a massive skyscraper, which, when completed, will be one of the world’s tallest buildings.

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Each clock face will be set in 98 million pieces of glass mosaics and bear the inscription ‘God is greatest’ in Arabic. The 130-foot diameter clock dials will be visible over a 16-mile radius. The entire project is being designed by German and Swiss engineers and as per the Ministry of Religious Endowments’ directions. The project will cost $800 million. DailyMail reports that ‘The unveiling of the clock is a deliberate attempt to take over from Greenwich Observatory, which was chosen as the starting point for the measurement of time in 1884.’

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