Cosplay Culture In The UAE: Exploring The Creative Costumes At MEFCC

Cosplay Culture In The UAE: Exploring The Creative Costumes At MEFCC

The 11th edition of the Middle East Film and Comic Convention (MEFCC) took place from March 3–5, 2023, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The convention featured special guests, including actors, illustrators, writers, animators, esports professionals, and cosplayers, as well as exhibitors and vendors showcasing their latest merch and collections.

The three-day event included photograph and autograph sessions with guest artists and celebrities, panel discussions, workshops, performances, and a multi-category MEFCC cosplay competition featuring Best Kids Cosplay, Best Performance on Stage, and Best Craftsmanship.

The cosplayers representing the UAE in the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) 2023 Finals in Nagoya, Japan, were also chosen at the WCS UAE Preliminaries, which comprised one of the categories of the MEFCC Cosplay Competition.

MEFCC 2023 celebrated the best of pop culture and entertainment, bringing together 35,000 visitors from the UAE, the Middle East, and around the world.

From comics to video games, mangas to animes, and movies to TV shows, the event provided diverse activities and experiences for attendees of all ages and interests and once again proved itself to be the premier destination for pop culture enthusiasts in the region.

One of the convention’s highlights is the incredible array of creative costumes worn by cosplay competitors and regular comic-con attendees. From elaborate recreations of favorite comic book and movie characters to original designs, the costumes on display at the MEFCC showcase both the creativity and imagination of the participants and are a sight to behold.

It’s safe to say the cosplay culture is alive and well in the UAE, and below are a few of the characters spotted at MEFCC 2023.


Batman is a vigilante superhero in the DC Universe’s Gotham City. He is the creation of Bruce Wayne, a billionaire playboy and philanthropist who, as a young child of eight, saw his parents mugged and murdered.

After his parents were killed, Bruce swore he would eliminate the city’s criminal elements. He traveled and trained intellectually and physically to make good on his promise. When he returned to Gotham City, he assumed and perpetuated the bat persona and used it to terrorize criminals.

Cosplaying Batman can be as simple as purchasing a ready-made costume. He’s a popular character, so ready-to-wear Batman costumes abound.

A cosplayer can, however, improvise and make a better-fitting costume by wearing a black, long-sleeved unitard overlaid with black briefs, body armor, and a yellow utility belt. A cosplayer also needs Batman’s crest, a cape, black gloves, and boots to complete the getup.

No. 2 Type B or 2B

2B is a battle android in NieR: Automata, an anime based on a video game of the same name. The story revolves around a war between androids (created by humans to fight on behalf of humans) and machines from another world.

No. 2 Type B is part of the elite YoRHa infantry fighting for the humans. She is a skilled fighter, particularly excelling in close-quarters combat. However, she has a secret mission: to keep tabs on a new Scanner model, the 9S, whom she had to kill 48 times (much to her distress) in the performance of her duty.

2B makes a dashing figure and is a great character to cosplay.

To achieve the 2B look, a cosplayer needs to wear a black dress with a form-fitting top with a mesh-covered chest cut-out, puffed Juliette-style sleeves, a ribbon on the waist, and a deep-slit, circle-silhouette skirt bottom that falls well above the knees.

Accessories include elbow-length gloves (black hand, white arm sleeve), thigh-high stockings, and a headband worn on greenish-silver or platinum blond hair.

Kakashi Hatake

Naruto Uzumaki, the title character of the popular anime Naruto, was at MEFCC 2023, but so was Kakashi Hatake.

Kakashi is a talented shinobi from the Konohagakure village (Konohagakure means “village hidden in the leaves”). After the Fourth Shinobi World War, he would become Konoha’s sixth Hokage, the village’s strongest ninja and leader.

To dress like Kakashi, a cosplayer starts with a dark-blue or black long-sleeve shirt with a red spiral crest on the shoulder or upper arm, dark-colored pants (preferably bandaged for a tight fit), and a green flak jacket with a similar red spiral swirl found on his shirt.

One also needs to simulate Kakashi’s white-colored hair, then wear a forehead protector with the Hidden Leaf Village crest, gloves, open-toed socks, and Kakashi’s trademark asymmetrical face mask.


Jawas are small humanoid creatures from Tatooine in the Star Wars universe. They first appeared in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope and have returned in the television series The Mandalorian.

They are scavengers and traders who scour the desert planet for scrap metal, droids, and other valuable items. They are mischievous and cunning, using their small size and quick wit to outmaneuver bigger, more dangerous enemies.

Jawas are experts in repairing and repurposing technology. In fact, their mobile homes, the steam-powered sandcrawlers, are repurposed ore haulers.

They communicate using a unique language known as Jawaese, characterized by clicks and whistles and a lot of sniffing since Jawas use both words and scents to communicate.

Trivia: Jawaese was based on the African language Zulu; it’s Zulu but sped up in post-production. Jawas also use a variation, Jawa Trader Talk, when communicating with non-Jawas.

A Jawa is a particularly suitable cosplay character for a child, as Jawas are only three feet tall. In fact, children played the role in A New Hope, and a child cosplayed a Jawa at the MEFCC.

To get into character, one needs a hooded, slouchy brown robe, a leather bandolier, an ion blaster, and glowing yellow eyes.

(Creepy) Ronald McDonald

Did you see the creepy Ronald McDonald at MEFCC 2023? It was like Halloween all over again.

The costume was a Ronald McDonald’s classic: a yellow jacket overlaying a red and white striped shirt worn with yellow gloves. The cosplayer also held a happy meal box.

It was all quite wholesome—except the yellow vest and gloves and the red and white shirt were spattered with blood, and the cosplayer wore a hideous full-face mask.

MEFCC 2023: A Celebration of Cosplay Artistry

At the comic con, cosplayers learn nifty tips and tricks from professional cosplayers in the MEFCC creative academy and can join panel discussions about cosplaying in the MEFCC Cine Club. They can also mingle with and meet cosplayers from all parts of the world, just as MEFCC 2023 showcased an incredible array of cosplay characters.

The MEFCC highlights the cosplaying community’s dedication, creativity, and passion.

From iconic superheroes to beloved anime protagonists, the event brings fictional worlds to life and fosters a sense of camaraderie among fans of various fandoms.

See and experience it for yourself by joining the 12th edition of the MEFCC on February 9–11, 2024.