Deira Clock Tower: How latest tech keeps Dubai's 58-year-old landmark ticking

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Dubai - The timepiece is managed by leading watch brand Omega.

By SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Wed 11 Aug 2021, 11:42 AM

Last updated: Tue 21 Sep 2021, 10:02 AM

It may well be the oldest landmark in Dubai, but the Deira Clock Tower is powered by the latest technology. It features a high-tech dial and the internal machine is fitted with GPS sensors.

The machine’s sensors ensure extreme accuracy and no manual operation is required to change the time.

The timepiece is managed by leading watch brand Omega.

The brand has been the timekeeper of the clock tower since 2010.

Time travel to nostalgia

The Deira Clock Tower was the first internationally noted construction of Dubai and it has been ticking for more than 58 years now.

A Pakistani expat, Atiq Ahmed, who came to Dubai in the 1970s, said every time he sees the clock tower, it's like going back in time. “The tower symbolises Dubai’s transformation into the world’s best city in no time and we have witnessed that.”

Back in the 60s and 70s, when there were no skyscrapers dotting the Dubai skyline, the clock tower could be seen from afar.

“Like how the Burj Khalifa can be seen from any part of Dubai now, it was the clock tower then,” he said.

The tower was erected in 1963 to celebrate the emirate's first oil exports and has served as a major landmark in the city. The arches of the tower connect together to hold the clock at the centre. A water fountain was set up at the base of the structure.

The clock at the centre of the concrete structure is said to have been gifted to the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, then Dubai Ruler.

The gigantic timepiece was the first connecting point for major routes leading to Dubai before the Dubai-Abu Dhabi roads were constructed.

The clock tower was built at a place where the routes led to Dubai before the construction of the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Expressway. It was a gateway to Sharjah and Abu Dhabi; and served as a link between Deira and Bur Dubai.

The tower not only served as a dependable timekeeper, but also aided in traffic movement at the most prominent junction of Dubai.

Picnic spot

Mohammed Adam, another long-term expat, said the sandy riverbed of the Dubai Creek was a place for family visits in the evenings.

“The structure was visible from the Dubai Creek. The clock tower had always been a visual treat and attracted people from all over the UAE as a must visit place.”

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