Abraj Al Bait

Saudi media was full of reports on the progress of construction in the Makkah Clock Tower last week, but today I came across this interesting infographic courtesy of Menainfra.com. The clock sits at the top of the Makkah Clock Tower Royal Hotel, which is the centerpiece of the 7-tower Abraj Al Bait Complex project. Once completed, the tower will be the second tallest building in the world after Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The project will also offer the largest floor area of any structure in the world: 1.5m sq meters of floorspace.

(via f)

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18 thoughts on “Abraj Al Bait

  1. It just makes me feel sick!. Such projects are the clear demonstration of Capitalism in its worse form. Add to that the fact that we try to focus on high rise buildings rather than raising the value of our citizens!.

  2. Can you please remind us again of how many homes were destroyed, and local people displaced to create this vulgar monstrosity? thanks.

  3. To أحمد باعبود: The project was funded privately without government money, therefore it has nothing to do with citeznship issues.

    To rusty time machine: probably zero. The area around the Haram is mostly hotels and other accommodations for pilgrims by now and is not a residential area.

    • Ahmed Ba-Aboud’s comment has nothing to do with the source of funding for the project. He was just talking about the mentality that focuses on material development over human development.

      • I don’t really think many private investors around the world are interested in human development. Much less in Saudi Arabia.

  4. Until quite recent times such luxury accommodations, unnecessary in this location did not exist. And what was there before this development? Open space? just who do think you are fooling! This monstrosity is the sperm of greedy speculators – may Allah reward them and their facilitators appropriately. Isn’t there something in the Holy Koran about tall buildings? Wise is the person who recognizes the signs.

  5. i am encouraged by everyones lack of enthusiasm.. i live in a low rise neighbourhood that is constantly threatened by the ever nearing popularity of high rise.. something my city knew nothing of when i was a kid..

    the thing i hate the most about highrise structures is the shadow they arrogantly cast on their surroundings.. i seriously hate that shadow..

    i always feel: how dare someone put darkness on someone else

    but thats just my personal view..

    architecture however is not just about simple investment – its also about politics.. by even approving the project the host territory is affirming the culture from which the project eminates.. this culture would once have been considered western – although now we increasingly see other localities sprouting these buildings as if to say that they are west friendly..

    when KL got its twin towers we looked at malaysia differently.. the burj as crazy as it may be has placed dubai on the map..

    always a controversial item :)

  6. being a monarchy, private money and public money is indistinguishable. the building is being funded by members of the royal family (talal, to be specific).

  7. being a monarchy, private money and public money is indistinguishable.

    1.Is there not an issue of Sharia here? – maybe the monarchy and attached parasites are exempt, in the public interest of course, because they know better.

    2.Is the wretched thing necessary at all? Do pilgrims need to be clock watching whilst praying?

    3.What’s wrong with the time-honored traditional way of calling to prayer?

    4.Does the wretched thing need to be put in this particular spot?

  8. This project is the endowment of King Abdul Aziz (see my name link, from the architects, which didn’t include the clock) – besides the contractors they had Turner International for management, KONE for the lifts & some German & Swiss engineers for the clock.

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