Makkah Royal Clock Tower 2024: History, Hotel, and Features

As an avid traveller and explorer of Saudi Arabia’s, I’ve been captivated by countless cultural and architectural wonders.

Yet, few sights leave me as awestruck as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower, also known as Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower, a majestic edifice that pierces the sky in the heart of the holiest city, Mecca.

When it comes to iconic landmarks of Saudi Arabia, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower stands tall as a symbol of grandeur and spiritual significance.

Today, I invite you to embark on a journey with me, unravelling the secrets and significance of this iconic landmark.

History of Makkah Royal Clock Tower

Makkah Royal Clock Tower 2024: History, Hotel, and Features

This architectural marvel has become an integral part of the city’s skyline and an important landmark for millions of Muslims worldwide.

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower was constructed as a part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project, which aimed to modernize the holy city of Makkah.

The construction of the clock tower began in 2004 and was completed in 2012.

It was designed to accommodate the ever-increasing number of pilgrims visiting Makkah for Hajj and Umrah because it is located only 350 feet from Masjid Al-Haram.

Remarkable Features of Makkah Royal Clock Tower

Rising 601 meters above the bustling streets, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower is a breath-taking skyscraper.

Its central tower, housing the Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower Hotel, is the fourth-tallest building in the world, while the entire Abraj Al-Bait complex, of which the clock tower is a part, is the world’s second most expensive construction.

This architectural masterpiece comprises seven towers, each representing a different Muslim country.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower 2024: History, Hotel, and Features

The clock faces are adorned with LED lights that change color during different prayer times, further enhancing the spiritual ambience of Makkah.

The Makkah tower is also equipped with a sophisticated timekeeping system that accurately determines the five daily prayer times, allowing worshippers to synchronize their prayers with the call to prayer from the Grand Mosque.

Floor Area of Tallest

Makkah Royal Clock Tower 2024: History, Hotel, and Features

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower holds the title of being the tallest clock tower in the world owned by the Government of Saudi Arabia.

The tower has a massive floor area of over 1.5 million square meters.

It has a structure of 120 floors considered as tallest clock and hotel with 1618 guest rooms and suites in the world.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower 2024: History, Hotel, and Features

From luxurious hotel rooms and suites to world-class restaurants and shopping centres, the floors of the Clock Tower cater to the needs and desires of visitors from around the globe.

The lower floors are dedicated to commercial spaces such as Parking for Al Haram, while the upper floors house the five-star Fairmont Hotel, providing unparalleled views of the Holy Kaaba and the surrounding cityscape.

Tower Adoration

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower is adorned with intricate details and exquisite craftsmanship, reflecting the rich Islamic heritage and the cultural significance of Makkah.

The exterior of the tower is adorned with beautiful calligraphy, depicting verses from the Holy Quran and inscriptions of the names of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

The use of traditional Islamic geometric patterns and arabesque designs further enhances the aesthetic appeal of the Clock Tower, making it a true masterpiece of architectural artistry.

Pinnacle of the Megastructure

At the pinnacle of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower, a majestic clock face spans a staggering 43 meters (141 feet) in diameter, making it one of the largest clocks in the world.

This iconic clock is not only a timekeeping device but also serves as a symbol of unity among Muslims, as its hands align with the direction of the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam.

Tower Superstructure

Makkah Royal Clock Tower 2024: History, Hotel, and Features

The superstructure of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower is a marvel of engineering.

Its unique design and construction make it both visually striking and structurally sound.

The tower is supported by a reinforced concrete core, which provides stability against high winds and seismic activities.

The superstructure also features a high-performance curtain wall system, consisting of glass panels that allow natural light to flood the interior spaces while offering panoramic views of the holy city.

  • Steel structure: 12,000 t steel, 347–607 m above the ground
  • Composite material: 43,000 m², 600 glass-fibre-reinforced panels on the clock faces
  • Mosaic: 98 million glass mosaic tiles in 6 colours, 46,000 m² mosaic, of which 13,000 m² gold mosaic
  • Jewel: 3,000 m² glass, 65 mm thick, withstands wind loads of up 170 kg/m²
  • Crescent: 23 m, 1,050 m² gold mosaic

Significance of Makkah Royal Clock Tower

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower holds immense significance for the Muslim community worldwide.

As mentioned earlier, it serves as a visual reminder of the importance of time in Islam and the significance of punctuality in observing the five daily prayers.

Furthermore, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower has elevated the infrastructure of Makkah, providing state-of-the-art facilities for pilgrims.

The tower houses luxurious hotels, shopping centers, and conference halls, allowing visitors to experience unparalleled comfort and convenience during their stay in Makkah.

Experience Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower Hotel

Makkah Royal Clock Tower 2024: History, Hotel, and Features

Stepping into the opulent lobby of the Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower is like entering a portal to another world.

Soaring ceilings adorned with intricate mosaics, polished marble floors reflecting the grandeur of the chandeliers, and the gentle murmur of multilingual conversations create an atmosphere of awe and reverence.

High-speed elevators whisk you upwards, offering glimpses of the sprawling city shrinking beneath you.

As you reach your room, anticipation builds.

Stepping onto the balcony and witnessing the panorama of Mecca for the first time is a moment that stays etched in your memory forever.

The Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, stands as a beacon in the distance, its black Kiswa cloth shimmering under the sunlight.

The sprawling white expanse of the Grand Mosque, teeming with pilgrims circling the Kaaba, fills you with a sense of profound peace and belonging.

Can I pray Salah following the Imam in the Makkah Clock Tower?

You can pray in your hotel in Makkah and receive the same reward as praying in Masjid al-Haram, under certain conditions.

Men

Hearing or seeing the adhan (call to prayer)

If you can hear the adhan from the clock tower within your hotel, or if your room is facing the Haram or the Kaaba, then you can pray in your hotel and receive the same reward as praying in Masjid al-Haram.

Joining the prayer through a microphone or speaker system

If your hotel residence has a prayer room with a microphone or speaker system that is connected to Masjid al-Haram, then you can join the prayer there and receive the same reward.

Women

Praying alone

Women are allowed to pray alone in their hotel rooms or in the prayer room within the hotel residences. 

There is no requirement for them to be in a group.

Seeing or hearing the congregation

It is preferable for women to be able to see or hear the congregation (jama’a) while praying in their hotel rooms, but it is not essential.

In general

Closer is better

While praying in your hotel is permissible and grants the same 100,000 times reward as praying elsewhere, coming closer to the Kaaba is always encouraged. 

If you are able to go to Masjid al-Haram and pray closer to the Imam, you will receive a greater reward.

Don’t rely on convenience

The scholars advise against relying solely on the convenience of praying in your hotel and neglecting going to Masjid al-Haram altogether. 

If you are able to go, it is recommended to make the effort to pray there.

I hope this clarifies the conditions for praying in your hotel in Makkah Royal Clock Tower and receiving the same reward as praying in Masjid al-Haram.

Note: Please remember that this is a brief summary of the information found on the internet, and it is always best to consult with a qualified scholar for specific guidance.

Makkah Clock Royal Tower Restaurant

The Makkah Clock Royal Tower is a microcosm of the diverse tapestry of cultures that converge in Mecca.

In the bustling restaurants, you’ll hear snippets of conversations in Arabic, Urdu, Malay, Turkish, and countless other languages.

The aroma of exotic spices mingles with the scent of freshly brewed Arabic coffee, creating a sensory feast that reflects the global Muslim community.

Friendly staff members, fluent in multiple languages, cater to your every need with genuine warmth and understanding.

FAQs

Is the Makkah Royal Clock Tower a hotel?

Absolutely! The Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower is a luxurious 5-star hotel housed within the central tower. It boasts 1,650 exquisitely designed rooms and suites, many offering breathtaking views of the Kaaba and the Grand Mosque.

How many hotels are there in the Makkah Clock Tower complex?

The Abraj Al-Bait complex encompasses seven skyscraper hotels in total, each catering to the diverse needs of pilgrims and visitors. These include the Pullman ZamZam Makkah, Swissôtel Makkah, and Jabal Omar Hyatt Regency Mecca, among others.

How tall is the Makkah Clock Tower?

Standing tall at 601 meters, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower is the fourth-tallest building in the world, surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa, Merdeka 118, and Ping An Finance Centre. Its sheer scale and presence are awe-inspiring, especially when contrasted with the ancient city surrounding it.

When was the Makkah Royal Clock Tower built?

Construction of the Abraj Al-Bait complex began in 2007 and was completed in 2012. The project aimed to modernize Mecca’s infrastructure and provide comfortable accommodation for the millions of pilgrims who visit the holy city each year.

Can we go on top of the Makkah Clock Tower?

While the public doesn’t have access to the very top of the clock tower, the Clock Tower Museum occupies the top four floors and offers fascinating insights into the history and significance of the Abraj Al-Bait complex. Visitors can marvel at the intricate clock mechanisms, learn about the construction process, and enjoy panoramic views of the holy city.

How big is the clock tower in Makkah?

The four clock faces adorning the Makkah Royal Clock Tower are no ordinary timepieces. Each face measures 43 meters in diameter, making them the largest clock faces in the world. They’re illuminated by over 2 million LED lights, transforming the tower into a beacon of faith visible for miles around, especially at night.

How big is the crescent in the Makkah Clock Tower?

The crescent moon atop the Makkah Royal Clock Tower is a symbol of Islam and a beacon for pilgrims navigating towards the Kaaba. It measures 23 meters in height and 56 meters in width, making it a truly monumental representation of Islamic faith.

How to book a hotel room in the Makkah Clock Tower?

Several reputable websites offer online bookings, like Booking.com etc. for the various hotels within the Abraj Al-Bait complex. You can choose your preferred hotel based on your budget, desired amenities, and proximity to the Grand Mosque.

A Final Note

From its awe-inspiring height to the intricate details of its design, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower leaves an indelible mark on every visitor.

It serves as a beacon of guidance, its clock faces illuminating the night sky and its call to prayer echoing through the holy city.

My journey through the Makkah Royal Clock Tower has been an enriching experience, and I hope it has sparked your curiosity and inspired you to learn more about this magnificent landmark.

Thank you for joining me on this exploration. Ma-Salama!

P.S. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

I’d love to hear your stories about the Makkah Royal Clock Tower.

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