CosPlay Anyone into anime or cosplay (aka ‘costume play’, or dressing up as your favourite character) should check out Dubai Anime Club. The group holds regular meet-ups, and offers info on anime art classes and more. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/dubaianimeclub
Ground Zero Gaming Despite its prime location above The Walk at JBR, this venue still manages to offer very competitive rates, and houses 50 computers with more than 20 games to choose from, though hardcore gamers are welcome to bring their own. There are also two PlayStation consoles and a VIP room for private competitions. Dhs10 for one hour of game time. Plaza Level, Bahar, JBR, www.facebook.com/groundzerogaming (04 422 6935).
Kinokuniya This book store stocks the best selection of comics and graphic novels we’ve ever seen (tip: if you ask the staff nicely, they’ll open the sealed bags so you can flick through). The store also sells collectors’ editions of boxed graphic novel sets, along with memorabilia and figurines of cult characters. The Dubai Mall (04 434 0111).
Laserdrome Like playing Dungeons and Dragons? There’s something about running around in a Day-Glo chamber wielding a gun and utility vest that will satisfy anyone’s dreams of comic-book combat. Dubai Autodrome, Motor City (04 367 8700).
Living Rooms This well-equipped gaming café offers console-addicts a home away from home, without the off-putting presence of nagging parents, spouses and flatmates. From Dhs30 for 30 minutes. Festival Centre, Dubai Festival City (04 232 9291).
Manga sushi This aptly named restaurant serves Japanese food, stocks the latest manga comics and shows anime cartoons on its nine plasma TVs. Opposite Beach Park Plaza (next to Emirates Hospital), Jumeirah Beach Road, www.mangasushi.ae (04 342 8300).
Metal Asylum There’s always been something slightly geeky about heavy metal. Maybe it’s the militant dress code, or the fact many metallers double as comic-book collectors. Nonetheless, you’ll meet some of the friendliest metalheads in town at Metal Aslylum, which hosts regular gigs at Aussie Legends and elsewhere. Keep an eye on Time Out’s music listings for upcoming events. www.facebook.com/MetalAsylumUAE.
Mr Ben’s Costume Closet Dubai’s biggest fancy-dress store is a cosplay lifesaver. As well as full ready-made costumes to buy or rent (including plenty of superhero options), starting from about Dhs200, the store also stocks wigs, make-up, props and masks. Al Ghazal Mall, Satwa, www.mrbendubai.com (04 346 3422).
The Zoo Concept From Bart Simpson dolls to Saddam Hussein masks, this little slice of pop-culture heaven stocks novelty items such as old-school slot machines, quirky T-shirts and affordable gimmick-style gifts and accessories. Jumeirah Beach Road, opposite Dubai Zoo (04 349 5585).
Paintball Dubai We know plenty of comic-book fans who love nothing more than getting technically tactical when it comes to war-based scenarios. Paintball packages from Dhs75. Near Wonderland theme park, next to Garhoud Bridge, www.paintballdubai.com (04 324 4755).
Party Zone Packed with dress-up paraphernalia, including Marilyn Monroe wigs, spandex Avatar outfits and masquerade masks, this is your go-to store for ‘look-at-me’ fancy dress ensembles. Jumeirah Town Centre, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 8464).
Pub quizzes In the pop-culture kingdom, knowledge rules: there’s no better platform for geeks to shine than a pub quiz. And the geekiest in town? Monday nights at Carter’s, where the quizmaster uses a Powerpoint presentation. Free. Mon 8pm. Carter’s, Wafi, Oud Metha (04 324 4100).
Sega Republic If there was ever an excuse to play video games for six hours, Sega Republic is it. With two floors, nine interactive rides and more than 250 games, this indoor amusement park is the perfect venue to embrace your inner geek. Dhs150 for a day pass. The Dubai Mall (04 448 8484).
The Party Centre This Garhoud venue stocks a small range of budget wigs, accessories, masks and hats that are perfect for cosplay. Near Welcare Hospital, Garhoud, www.mypartycentre.com (04 283 1353).
Wizards of the Gulf coast Much to our disappointment, these wizards don’t dress up – they’re very normal family men who play fantasy card game ‘Magic: The Gathering’, and they welcome newcomers. Call ahead to check times. www.wizardsofthe gulfcoast.com (050 574 3415).