Completion of Saudi Arabia’s 577-metre Makkah Clock Royal Tower has been delayed until the end of this year.  

The 1.5 million square-metre tower was supposed to be finished by 1 August but completion is now scheduled for the fourth quarter of the year, says a source involved in the project.   

Once complete, the Makkah Clock Royal Tower will be 59 metres taller than the 508-metre Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan, but still 251 metres shorter than Dubai’s 828-metre Burj Khalifa.

The tower will also be the world’s tallest hotel, some 244 metres taller than the Rose Rayhaan by Rotana tower in Dubai.

The most distinguishable feature of the tower is a 40-metre high by 40-metre wide clock that can be seen from up to 17 kilometres away.    

The 1.5 million-square-metre tower includes a medical facility, a VIP floor and six royal floors which are reserved for the Saudi royal family and visiting heads of state.   

Makkah Clock Royal Tower is part of the 4.5 million sq m, seven-building Abraaj al-Bayt complex. Raffles Makkah Palace, which was scheduled to open in July this year, is also delayed.

Abraaj al-Bayt is owned by a joint venture of Kingdom Holding Company and US-based Colony Capital. It will be managed by Toronto-based Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. Saudi Binladin Group is the contractor for the entire development.

Kingdom is planning to build an even taller tower as part of its Jeddah Kingdom City development. At least three contractors submitted revised bids in May this year (MEED 7:5:10).