On Thursday October 27, PopCon will open its doors. The three-day festival, which will be the first PopCon event held in Dubai, will take place inside the Dubai Outlet Mall.
The first event was held in Manila in the Philippines last year, under the moniker AsiaPop Comicon, and with plans to travel the globe, the Dubai version promises to be the biggest festival of its kind in the world.
Here’s what to expect.
1. It’s a celebration of all things popular culture, so expect more than movies
While there are similar events going on in the UAE throughout the year, such as the Middle East Film and Comic Con and Games Middle East, PopCon will be far less niche. It was first announced back in July this year, and instead of focusing on just one thing, PopCon will celebrate every aspect of popular culture imaginable – movies, television, comics, music, beauty, fashion, gaming, health, food and more.
2. There will be music, too
The centrepiece of PopCon will be a Halloween-themed concert, Fiesta De Los Muertos, on Friday October 28. The gig will see a mix of local and international acts taking to the stage, including All Saints, the ’90s girl band best known for their hit Pure Shores, who reformed earlier this year.
Joining them on stage at the Autism Rocks Arena will be dance act Major Lazer, the group behind the tracks Lean On and Cold Water. Also on the bill will be US pop rock band DNCE.
3. Celebrities will be in attendance
At the inaugural AsiaPop Comicon event in Manila last year, some of the celebrity guests in attendance included Captain America: Civil War star Paul Bettany and Nathalie Emmanuel from Game of Thrones. There will be celebrities from both the big and small screens at the Dubai event, too. Names are expected to be announced soon.
4. You are encouraged to dress up
Anyone who attends is encouraged to dress up for the event and for the Fiesta De Los Muertos concert – it’s the weekend before Halloween, after all. The theme is heroes and villains, so you’re free to turn up as anyone, from Voldemort to Iron Man.
There’ll also be a cosplay competition, The CAGE – Cosplay Authority Global Challenge. The winner will go home with Dhs25,000, so start working on your home-made Batman suits now.
Register online at www.cosplayauthority.com if you fancy your chances of winning.
5. You’ll get to see some works of art
PopCon’s Walk of Fame will feature comic book artists from all over the world displaying their work. Those taking part include Whilce Portacio, Jason Palmer, David Yardin and Agnes Garbowska, who have worked on everything from Batman and X-Men to Star Wars and My Little Pony comics.
Dubai Outlet Mall’s comic book shop, Comicave, will also be relaunching at PopCon after being completely remodeled, and will be selling limited-edition comics and collectibles.
6. Everyone is welcome
PopCon will be open to all ages, so you can turn up with the whole family and attend the workshops, talks and meet and greets that will be happening over the weekend. Best of all, it’s completely free to get in. It’s only the first PopCon in Dubai, but hopefully there’ll be many more to come.
Free entry to PopCon; Dhs350-995 for tickets to the Fiesta De Los Muertos concert.
Oct 27-29, noon-10pm. Dubai Outlet Mall, Dubai Al-Ain Road, www.popcon.com.