City of Brass

City of Brass


Big Bin – the Royal Clock Tower of Mecca

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been meaning to post these photos for months, but recent events reminded me of it, even though of course this has absolutely nothing to do with the death of Osama bin Laden. These are photos of the Abraj al-Bait Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, taken during my hajj. The clock tower is part of a campaign to establish “Mecca Time” as a direct competitor to Greenwich as the global Time Standard for muslims.

So, here it is – the Royal Clock Tower, or as I liked to call it, “Big Bin”: Photo Set on Flickr

Big Bin: photo set on Flickr

I’ve railed about the ongoing architectural pillaging of Mecca before so I won’t repeat my rants here. The general impact of the tower is to add a Las Vegas touch to the Meccan skyline.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Timhogs

    When I first heard of this I was intrigued by the architectural and engineering challenges of the build; and I’d always wanted to see ground-level photos, so I’m grateful for that. But…UGGHH!! Your “Vegas” comment is dead-on!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kenneth

    Does what happens in Mecca stay in Mecca? :)

  • http://www.cartoonmuhammad.com Cartoon M

    Just what I need when I’m trying to leave behind the worldly life for a moment to remember Allah -_-.

  • http://www.eveteslimmarket.com eve teslim market

    thank you thi for establish this article I have a lot of information with this topic.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment dizzo

    do it chime when it’s time to pray?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment GIZMO

    SPELL THE WORD MAKKAH(AS IN ARABIC) NOT MECCA, SEE DICTIONARY FOR UNDERSTANDING.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment your name

    “The clock tower is part of a campaign to establish “Mecca Time” as a direct competitor to Greenwich as the global Time Standard for muslims”

    Yeah, because a worldwide standard that happened to be started by Christians is just unacceptable, isn’t it?

    Hey, how about a Muslim metric system while you’re at it?

    What a joke.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Anne Vance

    Ugly tower, ugly comment by (your name?). But really, isn’t time already confusing enough? I have to count back (or is it forward?)when I call or granddaughter in Paris.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment z

    You say you were on Hajj whilst taking this picture? And you make stupid remarks so that the non muslim world can take laugh at all muslims. just look at the comments left above, they are more or less having a good laugh at the expense of the best place on Earth. You and others eg: people who believe interpret everything their own way, are a disgrace and should be in a position to write articles about a religion you dont understand!!!!!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Abambagibus

    At the risk of repeating a rant, which the spinner of this thread must have spun now and again and understandingly so, I repeat a rant of my own. There was a time when the buildings of faith-in-God had dwarfed the buildings around them. But now is the time when these buildings of faith-in-God are dwarfed by the buildings of faith-in-mammon. This dwarfing grows bigger by the hour. Tho I do not agree with their methods, I understand at least in part why Islamic fundamentalists have been spurred to action. They are sickened by our love of matter devoid of spirit. Scilicet Ab Ambagibus.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rick

    The RCT hotel in MECCA (I communicate in English, not Arabic!), is disgusting, but typically kitsch, “nouveaux-riches” Muslim architecture.

    The religious pilgramage (Arabic: hajj)is a commercial venture more than anything. The Saudi Royal Family, a horrible bunch and a phony “monarchy”, make billions of Riyaals, Euros, Pounds and US Dollars out of the poor unenlighted suckers who travel to Mecca every year in their millions! The Ka’aba has, since long before the “prophet” Mo’s times, been the centre of commercial gathering – and it remains so!

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