ABU DHABI: Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) 2023 cemented its success as the premier pop culture event of the year, seeing its biggest turnout yet after welcoming over 35,000 visitors spanning over the three-day festival.
Organised by Informa Connect and supported by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), MEFCC is set to be back for its 12th edition next year at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) from February 9-11.
At MEFCC 2023, fans of various iconic TV shows and films were given the chance to get autographs and pictures with their favourite celebrities, including Stranger Things stars David Harbour and Jamie Campbell Bower, Star Wars’ Hayden Christensen and Anthony Daniels, Lord of the Rings’ Andy Serkis, House of the Dragon’s Matt Smith, and Moon Knight’s May Calamawy, as well as the voice actors behind Disney’s Belle (Paige O’ Hara), Vegeta in Dragon Ball (Christopher Sabat), and Demon Slayer Tanjiro Kamado (Zach Aguilar).
The Festival Stage, sponsored by LikeCard, was kept lively with dance classes by celebrity choreographers G-Force, performances from Ashen Runway and the Boxtones, live DJ sets with DJ Abood and DJ Trina; thrilling PUBG Mobile Tournaments by LikeCard, along with One Piece, Naruto and Demon Slayer showcases.
The highlight of the Festival Stage was the Cosplay Competition, powered by TOD, where fans brought their favourite characters to life with exceptional costume craftsmanship and performative prowess. Alex and Erim triumphed for MEFCC’s 3rd World Cosplay Summit (WCS), emerging as the official UAE representatives at the WCS Summit 2023 Finals, taking place this August in Nagoya, Japan.
Creativity overflowed at the Artist Alley, powered by Manga Arabia, which convened over 300 local and 12 international artists.
Meanwhile, the Gaming Arena, in partnership with Zawaya Gaming, was packed with players participating in NBA2K, CS:GO, FIFA 23, Fortnite and Rocket League tournaments. NBA2K League further thrilled e-sports and gaming fans as e-League pro players Mihad “The Beast” Faratovic of Gen.G Tigers, Ramo Radoncic of Pistons GT, Malik “Slaughter” Leisinger of T-Wolves.
Loy Pinheiro, Show Director, Middle East Film & Comic Con, said: “While success brings us immense joy, it also sets the bar higher and pushes us to do even better next year. The MEFCC team is putting unity in community and it’s the unwavering passion of our community that pushes us to strive harder and deliver the best experience for our partners and fans. We’re proud to have the most engaged and dedicated fans, exhibitors and partners, and we’ll continue to work tirelessly to bring you the best pop culture festival in the Middle East. We look forward to seeing you all at our next edition in 2024.”
MEFCC 2023 would not have been such an overwhelming success without its partners: Ziina, the official payment partner of MEFCC, that enabled easy cashless transactions; Manga Arabia, which sponsored the Artist Alley; LikeCard, the Festival Stage sponsor who helped bring exhilarating performances and gaming tournaments to life; Sneaker District, who kept the wifi game strong and ensured fast connectivity for everyone; Kirakuya, the official T-shirt sponsor who helped create epic swag; Laban Up, the lanyard sponsor; and Geekay, the wristband sponsor; TOD as the sponsor of the Cosplay Competition; Emirates NBD and Liv, the official banking partner; MINI, the official automobile sponsor; and Oasis Water, who kept visitors hydrated throughout the jam-packed three day event.