A giant clock tower constructed in Islam’s holiest city of Makkah as one of the world’s highest towers will be completed next month and will be linked to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a Saudi newspaper said Saturday.

The third face of the clock skyscraper, which was launched on a trial basis last month, has been completed while the fourth side will be finished in early November, Sahafaonline Arabic language network reported.

“The fourth side is located south of the Makkah Grand Mosque…it will be finished early next month to mark the end of the project that will be one of the most important hallmarks for Muslims around the world,” it said.

“The clock timing will be linked to UTC after the fourth and last side is completed…a 23-metre crescent on the watch has been constructed and is believed to be the largest man-made crescent in the world….loudspeakers have also been installed on top of the watch to transmit prayers call, which can be heard within a distance of nearly seven km.”

UTC, also referred to as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), Universal Time (UT), or “Zulu” is an international time scale used in astronomical and aviation publications, weather products, and other documents.

Formerly and still widely called GMT, UTC nominally reflects the mean solar time along the Earth’s prime meridian. UTC is expressed using a 24-hour clock but can be converted into a 12-hour clock–AM and PM.

Inaugurating the clock tower last month, Saudi officials said they hoped it would establish Makkah as an alternate time standard to the Greenwich median.

The tower’s height will reach 601 metres when it is completed, making it the world’s second tallest building — ahead of Taiwan’s 509 metre Taipei 101, but well behind the Burj Khalifa, the 828 metre skyscraper in Dubai.

More than six times larger in diameter than London’s famed Big Ben, the clock faces, with the Arabic words “In the Name of Allah” in huge lettering underneath and will be lit with two million LED lights.

The tower, which took two years to construct, is equipped with an elevator to take visitors to the surrounding balcony below the four clocks.

In August, the clock tower triggered panic among Muslim pilgrims when it was shrouded with fog, mistaken for smoke from a fire.

Civil Defence vehicles rushed to the tower site after receiving numerous calls from pilgrims saying that the building is engulfed in smoke.

Source: Emirates 24|7