Thursday, September 2, 2010

Arab Nation to Start Up Their Own Comic Con

Surely they would win the costume contest

United Arab Emirates in the Middle East will now have their own comic convention. In March 2011 Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibition Centre will be the first in the region to host its own version of the San Diego Comic-Con International.

The organizers of the event in the United Arab Emirates are expecting 10,000 to 15,000 visitors.

Arafaat Ali Khan is the managing partner at ExtraCake PR, which is organizing the event.  “What we see now is that there is interest in the infrastructure as far as stores over here stocking anime, [Japanese] manga [cartoons] and comics,” he said. “It’s all coming together at the right time.  The genre is exploding in the Middle East. We have a growth in the sales and bookstores are dedicating entire shelves to comics,” Khan said.

Nitin Mathew, a marketer of video games based in the United Arab Emirates said that he was very excited about the event.

“The United Arab Emirates is host to many international events in the fields of business, technology and sport,” Mathew told The Media Line. “The Middle East Film and Comic Convention will add to that with a bit of culture, not just putting Abu Dhabi on the map of pop culture, but also exposing the residents of the country to some of the most iconic pop culture brands and products in the world.”

One example of the new regional interest in comics is the success of “99”. It has been labeled the world’s first superhero comic based on Islamic culture, featuring 99 characters each with a skill set inspired by the 99 names traditionally assigned to Allah in Islam.

Another success story is “Freej”, an animated series about four grandmothers living in Dubai, trying to adapt to living in a modern city that was just a small village when they were young. When the Cartoon Network announced earlier this year they would open an office in Abu Dhabi, they also announced a distribution deal with the local production house behind Freej, Lammtara.

1 comment:

  1. These girls are Israelis, not Arabs