By  Rebecca Bundhun vwww.thenational.ae

Suveckshya Shah was vexed she could not get into the Burj Khalifa on Monday.

A visit to Dubai is not complete without a tour of Burj Khalifa, the world's highest building. Amy Leang /The National
A visit to Dubai is not complete without a tour of Burj Khalifa, the world's highest building. Amy Leang /The National

Even though hordes of tourists gathered around the entrance to the world’s tallest building on a bright, pleasantly warm afternoon in Dubai, tickets were sold out until late into the evening.

“It’s really a pity,” said Ms Shah, 32, a humanitarian worker from Kathmandu in Nepal. “I wanted to see this building and the seven-star hotel.”

The scene this week at the Burj Khalifa reflected the surge in the number of tourists coming into Dubai this year, with visitors coming from a far more diverse range of locations compared with a couple of years ago, when the emirate was largely attracting wealthy travellers from Europe.

Ms Shah had paid a Kathmandu travel agency 56,500 Nepalese rupees (Dh2,571) to join a three-day tour group, which included flights, accommodation and excursions such as a desert safari. She flew into the emirate on the budget carrier flydubai and is staying at the three-star Astoria Hotel in Bur Dubai.

The number of hotel guests staying in Dubai increased by 11 per cent in the first three quarters of the year compared with the same period last year, while total revenues increased by 19 per cent to Dh10.96 billion (US$2.98bn), according to figures from the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. More info

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