Date: 22/10/2016
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Saudi Arabia seeks Muslim alternative to GMT

From Arabian, thanks to Alan

The launch of the giant new clock tower in Makkah could establish the site as alternative time zone to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for the world’s Muslims.

Saudi Arabia is hoping that the landmark project will encourage Muslims to set their watches to the time shown on the faces that sit more than 400m over the Holy Haram courtyard of Islam’s holiest site, AFP has reported.

MAKKAH TIME: The under construction clock tower rises above the Holy City in Saudi Arabia. (Getty Images)The clock, which sits in a tower that will be the world’s second highest building on completion, has four faces of high-tech composite tiles, each more than 46 metres across. Each face is six times larger in diameter than London’s Big Ben. Someone has already pointed out that Big Ben is the bell, not the clock. The tower is St Stephen's Tower, hence the St Stephens Tavern opposite.

Around 250 workers are completing welding work on the clock’s frame. Around two million LED lights will light the phrase ‘In the Name of Allah” in Arabic on the clock faces, and some 21,000 flashing green and white coloured lights will be visible from as far as 30 kilometres away, to signal prayer-times.  On special occasions, 16 vertical flashlights will be sent 10 kilometres into the sky.

As my Mum said, money can't buy taste.