Being a geek is a proud tradition in the Middle East. Jordan’s King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein is such a Trekkie he’s starred in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, and the kingdom is now building a multi-billion-dirham Star Trek theme park. Need some persuasion to embrace your inner geek? We’ve compiled the perfect guide to pop-culture venues to get you warmed up for MEFCC 2013.
Pick up some of the biggest video game franchises on offer, from Grand Theft Auto and StarCraft to Metal Gear, as well as figurines and gaming accessories.
Various locations across Dubai, www.geekaygames.com.
This book store stocks the best selection of comics and graphic novels in the city, and has some unique collectors’ editions.
The Dubai Mall, www.kinokuniya.com/ae (04 434 0111).
Mr Ben’s Costume Closet
Dubai’s biggest fancy-dress store, offering costumes to buy or rent. You can also get wigs, make-up, props and masks.
Al Ghazal Mall, Satwa, www.mrbendubai.com (04 346 3422).
Hone your gaming skills at this two-storey indoor attraction, which has more than 250 activities.
Dhs150 for a day pass. The Dubai Mall (04 448 8484).
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, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.mangasushi.ae (04 342 8300).
Design a custom T-shirt or item of jewellery: if it’s approved, it will be uploaded onto the UAE-based site, and you’ll get 20 percent of the profit from sales.
Get an image of your favourite character, actor or comic scene printed onto canvas or a wall sticker, making a classy alternative to posters.
Dubai Roller Derby
The club is on the hunt for potential roller derby addicts, skaters and sporty types eager to meet up and indulge in all things on wheels.
Dhs175 a month, or Dhs30 per session. Mon-Wed 7pm-8.30pm, Meydan Tennis Academy, www.dubairollerderby.com.
This store sells everything from electronic keyboards to karaoke sets and is particularly good for electric and acoustic guitars.
Al Hudaiba Road, next to Lals supermarket, Satwa (no number).
Kollektion & Co.
Suppliers of customisable wallpaper, futuristic homewares and other impressive gear, so you can bring a bit of Comic Con home with you.
Giga House Building,Sheikh Zayed Road, www.thekollektion.com (04 330 6899).
This Singapore-based group, now in Dubai, offers pro body painting, enabling you to become anyone you want, from Avatar to The Joker.
Feel more at home with futuristic appliances, LEDs, electrostatic plasma balls and quirky lights.
Various locations including Deira City Centre, The Dubai Mall, Ibn Battuta, Mall of the Emirates and Mirdif City Centre, www.tarsamimage.com (04 295 1137).
This space-age-themed white bar resembles a futuristic officer’s mess and is the perfect way to wind down late at night.
Hues Boutique Hotel, Deira, www.hueshotel.com. (04 236 5566).
Dubai boasts several venues where gaming fans can gather to test their skills and unleash the competitive streak within.
Que Club, Al Barsha and Oud Metha, www.queclub.net; Crusher Network GamesNet, www.facebook.com/pages/Crusher-Network-Gamesnet; Golden Hall, Lamcy Plaza, Oud Metha, www.goldenhalldubai.com (04 335 0901); E-Zone, Hor Al Anz East, Deira (04 269 0272).