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View Full Version : MECCA | Abraj Al-Bait | 601m | 1972ft | 95 fl | T/O

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Nov 8, 2010, 4:08 AM
"God is Great" sign is lit (7 Nov 2010)



Nov 8, 2010, 7:16 AM
Im not digging the green, but seeing that thing in person must be overwhelming.

Nov 8, 2010, 1:08 PM
the inside of the tower is stunning will be very cool to see it topped out soon with the cresent.

Nov 8, 2010, 1:22 PM
i can see the tower from every angle in the city, its so huge i never seen anything like it. but you should wait till the whole top (around the clock) is lit on with the spear, this is still the testing phase.

photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29070131@N02/

The Hajj (Arabic: حج‎ Ḥajj) is a annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world,and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. :


Says November 16 to be Eid al-Adha holy day

Saudi sets start of hajj pilgrimage for November 15

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1433/5150222241_b0e2def2ba_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hissa/5150222241/)

RIYADH (Agencies)
The annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca will begin on November 15 after Saudi authorities on Saturday set November 16 for the Eid al-Adha holy day and festival, following the sighting of the crescent moon.

The kingdom's official SPA news agency says the court confirmed the sighting of the new moon Saturday. According to the lunar calendar, hajj begins nine days into the 12th month of the year - making the start Nov. 15 this year in the Gregorian calendar.

The ruling means the annual hajj will now start on November 15.

More than 1.5 million Muslims from all over the world have already converged on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in western Saudi Arabia for the hajj, the world's largest annual gathering.

Officials estimate a total of about two million will take part in this year's hajj.

Eid al-Adha, which commemorates biblical patriarch Ibrahim's (or Abraham's) acceptance of God's command to sacrifice his son Ismail (or Ishmael), always falls on the 10th of Dhul al-Hijja on the Islamic calendar.

As Ibrahim was allowed to sacrifice a ram instead, Muslim families mark the day by ritually sacrificing sheep, goats, cows and other livestock, the meat of which is also shared with the needy.


Nov 8, 2010, 4:11 PM
Never imagined seeing such large and tall towers being built around Islam's holiest site. Makes for an amazing backdrop against the Ka'ba.

Nov 8, 2010, 4:52 PM
Video presenting the Makkah Clock "GREEN" at night time


Nov 9, 2010, 4:29 AM
I've been kind of dismissive, but it is a very impressive building. The Arab world knows how to do Baroque designs like this properly, without making them look like visual gibberish.

Nov 9, 2010, 4:51 AM
^One of those embedded videos was in Arabic about cleaning Big Ben in London, but it was titled Big Bin. That's hilarious... I love this project and that's what I'm calling it from now on....

Big Bin


Nov 12, 2010, 7:47 PM
would hawe been incredible if they had topped out the clock tower with the cresent moon right around the same time as the astronomical cresent moon takes place.

Nov 13, 2010, 2:00 AM
Stupid question but...is everything from the clock on up mechanical space or is there some other use?

Nov 13, 2010, 10:21 AM
they might maybe have some observation up there in the big green ball

and i kinda have a feeling that the top section also will also might be used as a minaret.

any info on this Gulf arabia?

Nov 13, 2010, 3:45 PM

^^ clock true colors as seen with the naked eye (its not as bright as it seems in other pics)


it will have a loner centre on top + atom clocks, the highest observation dock (under the crescent) a museum, labs, telescope and other things.


this is the old one (577 meters)>>vv

Nov 13, 2010, 4:52 PM
thanks gulf arabia

Nov 13, 2010, 11:23 PM
^^that's an amazing cross section. looks like an amazing space up there! can't wait to start seeing pictures from the observation deck.

Nov 14, 2010, 1:24 AM
love this picture from flickr !


Thanks to Naja Helal :) (for those who want details)

Extra Large Picture 1 (http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/4347/najal.jpg)

Extra Large Picture 2 (http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/9080/najahelal.jpg)

Extra Large Picture 3 (http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/9080/najahelal.jpg)

Extra Large Picture 4 (http://img574.imageshack.us/img574/4391/najahelal1.jpg)

Nov 14, 2010, 4:34 AM

Nov 14, 2010, 6:35 AM
*please post extra large pictures in a link instead. if they're too big it creates a messy page and many people will thank you as well*

anyways, those pictures are fucking amazing! that area with the cranes is an expansion no? Did they ever go with the Atkins design?

Nov 14, 2010, 6:53 AM
^^ wasn't approved because of the lack of atkins understanding of the what muslims do there. like the "al saeh" (the long line which come out of the building as you can see).. and it didn't fit the area's architecture (no menirates)

Nov 14, 2010, 11:02 PM
This tower and development makes the Great Mosque and Kaaba look so small in comparison.

Nov 15, 2010, 6:08 AM
the mosque is being expanded (360 wise) + there are more floors. the towers will be like a menirate & part of the mosque the bottom floors used as prayer halls

Nov 15, 2010, 6:48 AM
So, not only are they destroying lots of the historic core of the city, but are also destroying even parts of the incredibly historic Masjid al-Haram. Wow...

Anyways, thought this was interesting, its an old video.


Nov 15, 2010, 8:06 AM
i'll say it of the thousand's time, we muslims don't worship buildings, we demolished all the buildings around the mosque every decade and two to build a new central area and this has been going on for thousands of years, makkah is not a place for you to wonder and look at pretty buildings or old trashy ones. everything built there is to serve the pilgrims and not your eyes, this is not the vatican, ppl come here to actually practice their faith. its most likely that what evey built today will be demolished 20 years later when the number of pilgrims increase from 4 Million to 15 million (as estimated).

and yes that video is old.

Nov 15, 2010, 8:18 AM
makkah is not a place for you to wonder and look at pretty buildings or old trashy ones.

Have you SEEN what they're building?

Nov 15, 2010, 8:36 AM
yes i have, its a plus this time, the plan to make it "beautiful" is new, connivance of the pilgrims always comes first, and its the reason why the saudi government is giving to much money on this unprofitable (money wise) project. servicing the pilgrims is what the country was founded on. and it will remain to do so forever.

so don't be shocked if 80 years from now, this building is destroyed

Nov 15, 2010, 5:03 PM
Hmm, that is very unfortunate. Im glad the rest of the world doesnt treat their historic sites in the same manor. Just think if the Vatican saw it as necessary to destroy parts of Sistine Chapel, or wanted to flatten St. Peters Square in order to make more room for people to see The Pope, that would be a travesty, as is destroying tons of Makkah.

Nov 15, 2010, 5:12 PM
Wow that one is really fast at the last meters.

Nov 15, 2010, 9:28 PM
Hmm, that is very unfortunate. Im glad the rest of the world doesnt treat their historic sites in the same manor. Just think if the Vatican saw it as necessary to destroy parts of Sistine Chapel, or wanted to flatten St. Peters Square in order to make more room for people to see The Pope, that would be a travesty, as is destroying tons of Makkah.

I agree, it strikes me as kind of inefficient as well, but I guess they have their own priorities.

Nov 17, 2010, 4:55 AM
The Grand Mosque and the four-faced clock, atop the Abraj Al-Bait Towers are seen from the top of al-Noor mountain in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on Nov. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar



In shadows and sunlight, thousands of Muslim pilgrims pray inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

for more : http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/11/hajj_2010.html

Nov 17, 2010, 4:59 AM
^^ this is why we need space around the mosque ^^

Nov 17, 2010, 5:06 AM
Dumb question - are there bathrooms in the central area?

Nov 17, 2010, 6:06 AM
Wow, those last two pictures are incredible.

Nov 17, 2010, 6:18 AM
^^ this is why we need space around the mosque ^^

For what is thought to be the largest gathering of humans on earth. Expansion is definitely needed. I love seeing pictures from the Hajj. I really am fascinated by Mecca and its future. Great pics.

Nov 17, 2010, 8:20 AM
amazing pictures there such an amazing gathering of people from all around the world

Nov 17, 2010, 8:42 AM
Even though they are destroying all the historic aspects of Mecca, Id still love to see it. Id just fake being a Muslim and get in to see the Kaaba and what not. I bet the view from the top of Abraj Al Bait is absolutely freakin incredible. I wonder if they will have an observation floor near the top to look down upon the Kaaba and Maasjid al Haraam, Id pay for a 3 grand plane ticket just to see that view.

Nov 17, 2010, 9:10 AM
i believe the historic portion of the mosque was torn down in the 80's and replaced with an expanded version (fake nonetheless). i guess my only problem is that the mosque is now being protected even though there's no historic value to it. and not only is it being saved, but expanded with an outer ring.

imo the atkins proposal was genius. i mean, that plan opened up the area with a larger plaza around the kabaa and the actual building allowed views of the kabaa from every wing. imo it should've been approved. as a follower (and i'm not) i'd like the ease of being able to view the kabaa without any obstructions. plus it seems like the atkins proposal had an innovative design, progressing with time and come on, it'd be one of the most amazing worship sites anywhere on earth if it had been approved. and (modern) minarets could've been incorporated into the design easily.

plus the wing removed from the mosque (where the giant doors would be) would have been saved and moved up on a mountain, which has immense terraces to accommodate worshipers.

Nov 18, 2010, 12:57 AM
Hmm, that is very unfortunate. Im glad the rest of the world doesnt treat their historic sites in the same manor. Just think if the Vatican saw it as necessary to destroy parts of Sistine Chapel, or wanted to flatten St. Peters Square in order to make more room for people to see The Pope, that would be a travesty, as is destroying tons of Makkah.

I am no muslim but I agree with Gulf Arabia, and seeing that he is a Muslim he would know what he is talking about more than any of us. If he says that buildings dont matter and its just about practicing your faith that makes sense and theres no reason to feel otherwise. Also I havent seen the buildings that are being destroyed in person but all they looked like to me is really old housing complexes and a lot worse than what is being built now. Its not like their tearing down the dome of the rock and building a supertall on top of it their tearing down old crappy 5-10 story brick buildings (looks like) with no real historical value anyway and building it up to be able to function as it needs to for the amount of people that go there to pray. I dont see anything wrong with what their doing and I think its coming out rather nicely for not even necessarily having to look nice and just be functional. Mecca looks like in 10 years its gonna be a really magnificant place.

Nov 18, 2010, 1:14 AM
Well, if the current mosque surrounding the Kaaba is not historc and the historic one was destroyed in the 80s than what the hell, they might as well tear it down and open the area up. The Atkins design was pretty sweet.

Nov 18, 2010, 4:35 AM
one thing to note, ISLAM is pretty much alive, its not dead. we only need to keep these buildings if the religion is dead. (like the vatican)

there was no mosque before the currant one, it was just a court

color camera


this photo was taken 120 years ago, not the 80's and still the mosque had no structure


it will look like this:

Don't know if these have been posted before :)













LARGE SIZE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aljazeeraenglish/5185658322/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Thanks again asyqulhuur :)




Nov 18, 2010, 4:45 AM

in this new render, we can see the kaa'ba, meaning the old structure will not stay for long :)

Islam is pretty much alive.

Nov 18, 2010, 6:33 AM
This build is absolutely stunning. I'm left wondering : how far away can you see it from? And once completed, how far then? Could you see it from nearby Jeddah?

ISLAM is pretty much alive, we only need to keep these buildings if the religion is dead. (like the vatican)

I'm a nonbeliever, but are you somehow suggesting that Christianity is dead or that Islam is more "alive" than other religions? Careful. Such talk has no place on a forum dedicated to skyscrapers.

Nov 18, 2010, 7:20 AM
i think he was suggesting that the vatican is only a tourist destination, which in fact is, but also the head of the catholic church, a religion which is far from dead. but let's leave that out of this thread please, and stick to the construction of this (and for a moment the mosque which even though is a bit off topic, is neighboring this behemoth).


but anyways, there is in-fact a structure around the kaa'ba in that picture, those beautiful arches and domes. those had historic value and could have been saved. but the past is the past so nothing can be done.

moving on, i believe the building does matter. everything matters when designing a structure which will see millions and millions of people each year. plus, if the building didn't matter it wouldn't have so many intricate (faux) details like the arches, the golden stars on the columns, giant chandeliers, etc. the structure itself might be cheaper, but the amount of details put into this building probably puts it in-par with what having simple details, but a challenging structure would have cost (the atkins design would've been quite a feat of engineering and would impress people worldwide).

Back to details, I think something simple would probably actually prove that the building didn't matter because it wouldn't be so distracting and have so much going on on the inside.

plus the atkins design allowed worshipers to view the kaa'ba from both the first and second floor.

Gulf, can you please create a proper thread for the expansion of the mosque on the General Developments section? That way I can move these posts onto the proper thread (and we can finally get more international threads in that section). Thanks in advance.

Nov 18, 2010, 7:46 AM
sure i'll start a thread :)

but i want to point out that the structure is still there, and soon be removed to make way for ppl to circle the kaabaa in a more round and larger court, it was built in the ottoman empire era (they also removed the older structure)

still here::

still here::

atkins DOES NOT WORK, because it didnt support this part: open link : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/Tavaf.jpg


its the reason the mosque has this tall "run way" and doesn't look like a circle


++ atkins are not muslims

Nov 18, 2010, 9:14 AM

Nov 18, 2010, 5:52 PM
Al jazeera flyover footage over makkah after the end of hajj :

Abraj Al-Bait @ 1:40

Nov 18, 2010, 6:04 PM
it's doing some funky thing when i move the posts to the other thread, so i'll just leave them here, but let's move the mosque convo's to that thread from now on.

EDIT: Please let's just stop the comparison with the vatican and responses. Let's move on to better conversations.

Nov 20, 2010, 6:52 PM
The area's topography is just amazing. A city built around hills.

Nov 20, 2010, 7:19 PM
most of its highways are under these mountains and hills

Thanks to hasanhatrash





By Nora Al-ali


The Grand Mosque and the four-faced clock, atop the Abraj Al-Bait Towers are seen from the top of al-Noor mountain in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on Nov. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

for more : http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/11/hajj_2010.html


Nov 20, 2010, 7:30 PM
That last picture really puts it all in perspective. I like this building.

Nov 20, 2010, 11:28 PM
topped out very soon now amazing pictures thansk for sharing

Nov 21, 2010, 4:09 PM
from Marwan al Marzugy ( flickr )


Nov 21, 2010, 4:59 PM
:previous: Hmm... that last pic looks very Sci-fi to me

Nov 21, 2010, 7:17 PM
Buck Rogers returns!

Nov 22, 2010, 9:44 AM
By m.alsaadi

By Faisal Alzeer

Nov 22, 2010, 2:51 PM
^^ Abraj Al-Bait @ 1:00

Nov 22, 2010, 4:04 PM
Earlier someone also commented that the buildings destroyed to make way for any kind of construction within the city of Makkah, including Abraj-al-Bait, were of no historical value. That is not strictly true, some of those destroyed were definitly of historic value and worth preserving.

However, the demands on the city are extreme during the peak Hajj season so one has to understand that certain development activities are required in order to make it easier for people on the ground.

I've been in the midst of the chaotic crush on the ground floor outside the main complex and trust me - you cannot move! Building is necessary.

Can anyone confirm what scale this building has in world terms once complete? Drawings indicate that this will be (for the short term) the 2nd tallest building in the world once topped out.

It is truly monstrous, but has an aesthetic quality i quite like, one of the previous pictures showing it in scale with rest of the city is truly wonderful. I've stayed in this building, the part called the ZamZam Tower Hotel. I look forward to visiting the Royal Clock Tower hotel in the future...

Nov 22, 2010, 5:10 PM
Fascinating video.

Nov 22, 2010, 9:21 PM
Fascinating video.

As an American non-Muslim, is it possible to stay in this hotel? Or is the city entirely reserved for Muslims?

Nov 22, 2010, 10:03 PM
As an American non-Muslim, is it possible to stay in this hotel? Or is the city entirely reserved for Muslims?

Nope - it's Muslims only:


(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.org)

Nov 22, 2010, 10:24 PM
Does anyone know what construction project is going on on the other side of the kaa'ba? Is there a thread to it or has no one started it yet?

Nov 23, 2010, 12:26 PM
here is my contribution, not as good as some pictures here.






more coming>>>>

the "Annoying Building" has about one third of it removed so far....






thats all.... hope you like it :)

>> continued>>>








still more coming>>>>



back clock progress......







still more coming>>>>>

Nov 23, 2010, 2:23 PM
Will there be a clock face on the back side as well?

Nov 23, 2010, 4:08 PM
^^ yes its going to finish next month

Tom In Chicago
Nov 23, 2010, 4:48 PM
GulfArabia. . . please don't post the same images more than once. . . thanks. . .

. . .

Tom In Chicago
Nov 23, 2010, 5:20 PM
I hate to be an ogre, but you need to properly source your images. . . copying and pasting threads from SSC is NOT the way to do it. . . PM me if you're having trouble understanding the policy here and I'll do my best to clarify that for you. . .

. . .

Nov 24, 2010, 4:32 AM
shes almost there

Nov 24, 2010, 11:14 AM
fantastic pix

Nov 25, 2010, 1:46 PM
CNN report on Makkah

"Construction Boom in Makkah"

CNN's Nima Elbagir reports the increasing number of pilgrims
to Mecca is causing a billion-dollar construction boom.


for those who asks alot of questions with misconceptions

Nov 27, 2010, 11:20 PM
it took just 2 years to build a complex with 7 towers one of them over 600 meters !

That cannot be true, i stayed in a room in the mostly completed ZamZam Tower in 2006. I have no idea when they started the build on the first of the 7 towers, but it has been at least FIVE years if not more. Anyone have a construction start date?

Nov 28, 2010, 6:51 AM
i found that the info is wrong. i believed some guy on the other forum, he may have meant the middle tower only in 2 years.

Nov 28, 2010, 6:04 PM
This looms like something out Of Las Vegas.

Nov 28, 2010, 11:01 PM
This looms like something out Of Las Vegas.

A theocracy-themed resort with no gambling, booze, or prostitutes. :yuck:

Nov 29, 2010, 3:33 PM
Mecca development promises pilgrims better hajj


This aerial image made from a helicopter taken on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, shows Muslim pilgrims moving around the Kaaba, the black cube seen at center, inside the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The skyscrapers, sporting towering glass facades and luxury shopping malls with international brands, have sprouted up in recent years around the esplanade in front of the sprawling, multi-level Haram Mosque. The mosque surrounds the Kaaba, the cube-shaped shrine that Muslims around the world face during prayers and pilgrims circle seven times during the hajj rites.

(AP) – Nov 19, 2010

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A dozen glittering skyscrapers tower over Islam's holiest shrine, the Kaaba, boasting hotel rooms with 24-hour butler service and luxury marble bathrooms. Below, throngs of Muslims perform the annual hajj pilgrimage, many of them impoverished, sleeping in the streets.

Saudi authorities have transformed the look of Mecca, Islam's most sacred city, and are planning even more dramatic change in years to come. But much of the change has catered to high-end pilgrims, and critics say what is supposed to be an austere spiritual ritual bringing Muslims closer to God has turned into a luxury expedition for some.

Samir Barqah, a guide who runs tours of the historic city in Mecca, says luxury towers are turning Mecca into Manhattan.

"The fast urban development managed to remove all the character from Mecca," Barqah said. "Mecca as our parents and grandfathers knew it no longer exists ... Mecca is now becoming a layer of glass and cement sheets."

The skyscrapers, sporting towering glass facades and luxury shopping malls, have sprouted up around the esplanade in front of the sprawling, multilevel Grand Mosque. The mosque surrounds the Kaaba, the cube-shaped shrine that Muslims around the world face during prayers and pilgrims circle seven times during the hajj rites.

Until recently, Mecca, the homeland of Islam's seventh century Prophet Muhammad, was a rather ramshackle city, built up with little planning over several desert hills with low, often dilapidated buildings. It could barely handle the burden when the numbers of pilgrims descending on it every year were only in the hundreds of thousands.

Now those numbers are in the millions, making the hajj one of the biggest annual events in the word. And it's only growing — officially nearly 3 million participated n this year's pilgrimage, which was ending Friday, not counting hundreds of thousands of "unofficial" pilgrims who sneak into Mecca without hajj permits required by Saudi authorities.

So Saudi Arabia is launching a massive project to upgrade Mecca and nearby shrines over the next 10 years. The goal is to accommodate five times the current number of pilgrims.

"Don't be surprised by anything in the next decade," the governor of Mecca province, Prince Khaled al-Faisal told journalists Thursday, promising the most advanced technology to "make things comfortable for the pilgrims." He wouldn't give the cost, but said it was "unimaginable."

The plan includes removing slums and old buildings around Mecca and replacing them with a new generation of housing and hotels. Authorities also plan to build new hospitals and improve transportation and communication infrastructure, said the governor's deputy, Abdulaziz al-Khedheiri.

The housing will have a "a diversity of levels, from one-star to seven star hotels," he said. For this hajj, Saudi authorities unveiled a train line that carried pilgrims to one of the ritual sites in the deserts outside Mecca although that was reserved for Saudis and citizens of other Gulf nations until it becomes fully operational next year.

Already, buildings are being removed from hills on the northern side of the Grand Mosque to allow an expansion adding room for 1 million more people to pray. So far the expansion has cost $10 billion, al-Khedheiri said.

Management of the hajj is a major way for Saudi Arabia's ruling family to tout the Islamic credentials central to its legitimacy. Saudi King Abdullah includes among his titles "the guardian of the two shrines" — Mecca and the nearby holy city of Medina.

Over the five days of hajj, the pilgrims trek simultaneously between a string of sites, from the Kaaba to Mount Arafat, a desert hill 12 miles (19 kilometers) away in the desert.

The kingdom has been expanding infrastructure in recent years, and some of the changes have doubtlessly saved lives. The rites at Mina, between Mecca and Arafat, often saw deadly stampedes as huge crowds tried to pass three stone walls symbolizing the devil to pelt them with stones. Now a complex resembling a gigantic, multilevel parking garage surrounds the walls, allowing pilgrims to file by them more easily, and no crushes have occurred since 2006.

But the grand scale — and luxury atmosphere — of some changes threaten to overwhelm the religious sites themselves at times. Historic sites, like houses believed to have belonged to the prophet's family or old mosques, have been leveled in past construction.

Hayat Hama, a 47-year-old German pilgrim of Iraqi origin, said she didn't care too much for the skyscrapers crowding the Kaaba. "They were pretty. But when I saw them, I thought they were part of the rituals, something for us to visit," she said. Still, she said, her trip to Mecca was like "visiting heaven."

The towers, which contain hotels and malls, are also a stark contrast to the conditions for other pilgrims. Many cram into rented houses, up to 20 people a room, or tromp between the holy sites with only a small tent to sleep under.

Al-Khedeiri pointed out that the land on which the skyscrapers are built is owned by Islamic authorities, so profits go to maintaining and upgrading the holy sites.

The worry is that the massive development will also favor wealthier hajjis in a pilgrimage that is supposed to be a time for Muslims to appear before God equal and pure and lead a few days of hermetic life.

Official pilgrims come through tour groups, which arrange transportation, hotels and space in the tent cities set up around Arafat and Mina. Just like any tour, the more you pay, the better the amenities. Covering the costs of hajj for the poor is a common charity activity in many Muslim nations. Unofficial pilgrims are often those who can't afford the packages and come to Saudi Arabia long before the hajj season to do it on their own, or residents in Saudi Arabia who can reach Mecca easily.

Some of the luxury towers offer rooms with a view of the Kaaba — a favorite among the better off who don't want to rub shoulders with the masses but want to still pray in sight of the shrine. Moreover, the rooms offer 24-hour butlers and even a so-called 'hajj kit' with designer clothes to be used in rituals, with prices ranging from a whopping $6,000 per night for a royal suite to $1,600 for the regular room. Officials said the hotels were at full capacity this year.

Even the tent cities outside Mecca are cashing in on the high-end. Nicer camps boast BBQs for dinner, juice stands, parasols and plastic chairs for leisure time.

"It is too expensive," said Khaled Abdel-Maksoud, a 50-year old Egyptian civil engineer.

He has performed hajj for the past four years, each time without a permit, because he lives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Even so, this year, he spent nearly a $1,000 for his and his wife's hajj. For the first days in Mecca, they slept in a rented flat with other families, and for the rest he camped out on the ground.

Along the roads between sites, hotels even rent rooms by the minute to allow pilgrims to pop in, change clothes or shower. They start off at $27 for 10 minutes, but on the last day soared to $267, Abdel-Maksoud said.

Ossama al-Bar, Mecca's mayor, said new projects aimed at low to middle incomes are also on the list.

"We want every sector to find what they want in this holy city."



These aerials images made from a helicopter taken on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, shows Muslim pilgrims moving around the Kaaba, the black cube seen at center, inside the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The skyscrapers, sporting towering glass facades and luxury shopping malls with international brands, have sprouted up in recent years around the esplanade in front of the sprawling, multi-level Haram Mosque. The mosque surrounds the Kaaba, the cube-shaped shrine that Muslims around the world face during prayers and pilgrims circle seven times during the hajj rites.


Dec 1, 2010, 9:57 PM
I really hated this at first but now it has grown on me...looks
deadly in the aerial shots.

Dec 2, 2010, 5:53 AM
I wasnt a fan of it from the renderings, but seeing it in the pics from this thread, i love it.

Dec 2, 2010, 6:47 AM
Abraj Al Bait Clock Tower diagram:

(made by Lions_215 from SkyscraperCity, clock made by Skyscrapers144)

Dec 3, 2010, 8:38 PM
beautiful rendering there great job on the clock

Dec 4, 2010, 2:36 AM
Just like Big Ben with a crescent on top.

Dec 4, 2010, 2:45 AM
Nope - it's Muslims only:

How would they know?

Dec 4, 2010, 3:24 AM
^That's why I call it "Big Bin".


I love this project. The scale is just right for my liking.

Dec 4, 2010, 4:01 AM
How would they know?

Naked body scans

Dec 5, 2010, 6:44 AM
abraj albait chiller plant

Full Size (http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/static.panoramio.com/photos/original/19513438.jpg)

Dec 8, 2010, 8:18 AM
Hmm, reminds me a bit of Las Vegas. Except taller.

Dec 9, 2010, 1:14 PM
Great picture there very intresting.

The cooling systems for this huge mega complex ofc is a huge project in its own right.

do you have any info on how much heat and such the plant will remove form the building Complex. and other relevant facts? would be very cool to know

Dec 10, 2010, 6:31 PM
Largest chiller I have ever seen.

Dec 10, 2010, 7:24 PM
Actually i think of it the height of the Chilling plant alone is almoust tall enough to be the Tallest non observation tower in The city of Trondheim in Norway.
Where i grew up. if it was placed there.

seems like its about 15 floors from top to bottom maybe more

Dec 12, 2010, 5:33 AM
i don't have much info on the plant, but i will post if it reaches me... New major update however



the globe on top is progressing very well

1st Muharram 1432 ~ 7th Dec 2010

http://www.upislam.com/images/63866547026918961455.jpg (http://www.upislam.com/)

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8 Dec 2010

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Jum'at, 10 Dec 2010

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11 Dec 2010

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Dec 13, 2010, 1:00 PM

12-14 December 2010

For the rest of the displayed projects open links:
SkyscraperCity Thread link: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1275129
SkyscraperPage Thread Link: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=187251
Photos shot by user: On_My_Own in SSC

http://up.milanesta.com/uploads/images/milanesta-ee859d0c46.jpg (http://up.milanesta.com/view.php?file=ee859d0c46)

Abraj Albait project ... I had to wait almost more than 20 minutes for
a woman to finish talking to the person in charge. she ended up buying
3 apartments in the colck tower :nuts:

http://up.milanesta.com/uploads/images/milanesta-863ebaf784.jpg (http://up.milanesta.com/view.php?file=863ebaf784)

Abraj Albait - Emaar

Dec 13, 2010, 6:03 PM
I wonder if this entire development received any level of opposition considering it sits smack in the middle of Islam's holiest city.

Dec 13, 2010, 9:38 PM
if you meant protests ? No .... we don't value buildings that much in islam..

Dec 14, 2010, 2:16 AM
new update

12 Dec 2010

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13 Dec 2010

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Dec 16, 2010, 3:45 AM
The spear is now taller !:

15 Dec 2010

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Dec 16, 2010, 9:16 AM
This building has grown on me. My first impression wasn't too great, and I thought it looked a bit out of place. But now that the site and area is in full swing, the building nearing completion; the opulence of the area is astounding. Incredible. I love it.

Dec 18, 2010, 4:04 AM
new update:

17 Dec 2010

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Dec 21, 2010, 7:39 AM
interesting angle . they are not up-to-date
source http://www.spiegel.de/reise/aktuell/0,1518,735614,00.html


Dylan Leblanc
Dec 21, 2010, 7:28 PM
I wonder, has this building cased any controversy within the Islamic community in terms of some Muslims not feeling that such a large building is suitable right beside the Kabba, or that the building is too lavish? And if so, how such criticism has been accepted by other Muslims who are in support of the project? Has there been any debate on these issues by Muslims?

Dec 21, 2010, 8:08 PM
if you meant protests ? No .... we don't value buildings that much in islam..

There you go.:)

It has such a long way to go until it reaches the crescent, but it will be fun to watch, just like Burj Kalifah.

Dec 21, 2010, 8:19 PM
Looks like the clock's turned on already.

Dec 21, 2010, 9:00 PM
Though the renders indicate clocks on all sides, it doesn't look as if the back side is getting one. That's lame. What, the pilgrims on that side of the city aren't worthy of knowing what time it is? Or is it a half-baked cost-cutting measure on such an expensive and important project? I know that a massive complex is slated to be built right behind it, but the tower is still much taller than the complex will be.

By the way, why is the observation deck so tiny? I would think they would dedicate a large floor to the deck. The flow of pilgrims in that city is staggering. A large observation deck overlooking Islam's holiest site would make much more sense than that tiny, cramped one.

Dec 21, 2010, 11:12 PM
By the way, why is the observation deck so tiny? I would think they would dedicate a large floor to the deck. The flow of pilgrims in that city is staggering. A large observation deck overlooking Islam's holiest site would make much more sense than that tiny, cramped one.

I don't believe the observation deck is intended to be a public one. More of one for VIP's and officials.

Dec 22, 2010, 2:49 AM
There are 2 observation decks, one on top of the spear and an other on the first floor of the clock. I don't think there restrictions , the top will be expensive I guess.
the clock on the Back is still under construction, the tower is not finished yet lecom there is No cost cutting ur in Saudi Arabia .