Official statements issued on Saturday in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Yemen said the holy month will start on Monday.
The loud speakers installed at the top of the tower will carry the sound of adhan (call to prayer) from the Grand Mosque to seven kilometers far. The powerful lights in white and green blinking at the time of adhan can be seen from a distance of 30 kilometers. The lights are also helpful for people with hearing difficulties to know prayer times.
The clock face is white and indicators dark during daylight and green and white at night.
The Makkah Clock Tower Hotel, on which the clock is situated, is 601 meters high with 76 stories and 858 suites. It overlooks the Grand Mosque.
A cannon will fire seven shots to mark the beginning of Ramadan in Makkah, the Saudi Press Agency said on Saturday. Shots will be fired throughout the month to announce the time of breaking the fast, the time for suhur and the end of the suhur.
The cannon will be positioned at the top of the highest hill, away from residential neighborhoods in Makkah, and is provided with sound-producing detonators. There are special security officers to take care of the cannon, which will be sent back to the store of the Tasks and Duties Administration in Makkah after the last shots announcing the arrival of Eid Al-Fitr. A total of 150 shots will be fired in the whole month.
In most Muslim countries, cannons are fired to announce the beginning of Ramadan and fast breaking time.