Middle East Film and Comic Con to be held in April in Dubai

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

The Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC), the first-ever fun convention dedicated to pop culture in the Arab world, will be held April 20-21 at the Dubai International Marine Club, its organizer ExtraCake P.R.A said.

The MEFCC includes films, TV shows, video games, card games, comics, graphic novels, animated works and toys of wide-ranging genres, as well as Japanese anime and manga.

The event was originally scheduled to be held last year in Abu Dhabi, but was repeatedly delayed due to growing tensions in the region.

But ExtraCake, a Dubai-based advertisement and communication company, has managed to secure a venue this year. It is now soliciting exhibitors and participants for the Artist Alley.

Tickets are currently available from Time Out and Virgin Tickets websites, as well as Virgin Megastore outlets.

A one-day pass ticket costs AED 55 ($15), with a weekend pass ticket priced at AED 100. VIP tickets that will allow holders early entry are priced at AED 500 each.

According to the organizer, there will be autograph signing sessions and panel discussions involving pop culture icons, in addition to workshops and corporate exhibitions, following in the footsteps of many pop culture events held in the United States and Europe.

Many countries in the Middle East have young populations, and many of its regions, especially in the Gulf, have high income levels.

This makes the Middle East attractive for the entertainment industry.

Concerns have been raised that religious issues could pose obstacles for companies making a foray into the market.

The event seems certain to illustrate the prospects of entertainment businesses there.

The organizer will collaborate with the Baricon, an anime event held in neighboring Bahrain, to introduce Japanese anime.

This could be a great chance for anime and manga to make their presence felt in the region.

Visit the official websites of the MEFCC at (http://www.mefcc.com/) and the Dubai International Marine Club at (http://www.dimc.ae/).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.