Have you passed by the iconic Deira Clock Tower? More than an architectural feat, this clock tower has a significant history.
The Deira Clock Tower Roundabout is an iconic part of the growth of Dubai, originally referred to as the Dubai Clock Tower which is situated at the intersection of Umm Hurrair Road and Al Maktoum Road, the ﬁrst land crossing constructed between Deira and Bur Dubai.
Constructed with Beach Sand
The Clock Tower was designed by Engineer Edgar Bublik and constructed in 1964. In 1972 the monument started to crack and corrode as a result of the original construction material used, which was unwashed beach sand. In those days this was common place. The beach sand contains salt and allows water to ﬁnd its way through the concrete resulting in some- thing known as “Concrete Cancer” eventually making any steel structure corrode. When this was discovered, the Clock Tower structure was refurbished and deteriorated materials removed.
The Clock tower was erected as a symbol of Dubai. Its location was chosen because the intersection was an important access point into Dubai and the first significant structure seen by travelers and traders arriving overland. The main feature of the Clock Tower is obviously the ‘Clock’. This clock was given to the late Sheikh Rashid as a gift from Sheikh Ahmed of Qatar in the 1960’s. Unbelievably, the clock faces have only been replaced once in its significant history, in November 2008. The ‘face and hands’ were replaced by Omega models, which incorporate GPS devices for accuracy, and removes the need to manually change the hands on the clock. The Deira Clock Tower is still a major thoroughfare and can be reached by Dubai Metro at the Al Rigga Station on the red line. The area around Deira clock tower is still a very important commercial district which includes the offices of major International Airlines operating in the UAE.