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ANI:ME to Bring Japanese Pop Culture to the Middle East

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The creators of Middle East Film & Comic Con are bringing ANI:ME, the biggest celebration of Japanese popular culture to the Middle East. The event will include activities such as Amezaiku, Kimono Dressing, SanaSenaBona, Real Monster Battle, Mochi Pounding, Hatsune Miku Augmented Reality Photo Booth, classic ANI:ME and manga experience.

The festival promises something for everyone and will take place from 27th to 29th October at the du Forum, Yas Island with tickets now on sale at Virgin Megastores and through the Ticketmaster website. These guests and activities add to an already packed roster including Anisong bands JAM Project and Flow, manga veteran Yoshitaka Amano, sword fighter Tetsuro Shimaguchi and more, all coming to the Middle East for the first time.

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Hatsune Miku Photo Experience
Hatsune Miku, a Japanese music sensation, is a 16-year-old blue-haired girl with a unique voice and prodigious energy. She’s one of the best known singing idols out of Japan, but what makes her special is that she is not human but a virtual persona who uses a computer-generated voice and 3D graphics, bringing a truly inexplicable persona to life on stage! Yet, being virtual hasn’t stopped her from filling up concert halls, or teaming up with major artists like Lady Gaga and Pharrell Williams! At ANI:ME, fans will have the chance to get their picture with the singing idol at the Hatsune Miku augmented reality photo booth. This is truly a rare opportunity to get a memory with the ‘sound of the future’!

Classic Anime and Manga
Take a walk down memory lane at ANI:ME with classic manga and anime like Grendizer, Astroganger (Jongar) and Aizenborg. Expect official merchandise for sale, giant statues and the biggest Grendizer inflatable fans will ever set their eyes on! All this and more brought to ANI:ME by the amazing team at Cultures Factory, exclusively for the event and the fans! The CineClub will also show some of the most loved anime like Studio Ghibli classics, The Last: The Naruto Movie, Dragonball Z: Resurrection F and much more!

real-monster-battle

Real Monster Battle – Augmented Reality Game
With the HADO Real Monster Battle, players get to fight monsters in real time using a Virtual Reality (VR) headset and all their wits and tactics! In this fantasy themed augmented reality game, players can shoot fireballs, collect power ups and unleash special attacks to defeat the monsters in their way!

maidreamin

Maidreamin
Maidreamin, a Maid Café restaurant in Japan was founded in 2008 and has grown to become the largest maid cafe chain in the world with over 17 locations and over 400 servants from Japan and around the world. The servants are waiting for their masters or princesses to arrive. Enjoy an experience unlike any other as the idols perform their world famous original songs and much more!

amezaiku

Amezaiku
Amezaiku is a traditional Japanese folk art of sculpting candy into a variety of shapes using tweezers, scissors and softened candy heated to 90 degrees. During the Heian period, the art of amezaiku was imported from China and was probably first used in Japan for candy offerings made at temples in Kyoto. The amezaiku craft spread beyond the temple when many forms of street performances of the craft flourished in Japan. It is said that even in Japan, there may be only a handful of people who still practice this hundreds-year-old art form. Shinri Tezuka, one of the few amezaiku practitioners in Japan, is coming to ANI:ME to teach the fans this ancient practice.

kimono-dressing

Kimono Dressing
Experience the art of traditional Kimono dressing as native Japanese kimono dressers show fans how to drape and don the silky garment. Guests will be professionally fitted and can even buy one of the pieces to make their own!

sanasenabona

SanaSenaBona
SanaSenaBona is a “paperbag fairy” idol group from Sasebo, Japan. The 3-piece girl group are best known to sing, dance and share stories about the place they call home! Grab those dancing shoes and prepare to be entertained by these lovely idols!

mochi-pounding

Mochi Pounding
Mochi is a traditional food served during Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. Mochi Pounders soak the rice in water overnight and cooked in traditional wooden steamers. Then, the polished glutinous rice is pounded with wooden mallets (Kine) in a traditional mortar (Usu). It requires two people to work together – one pounding the Mochi while the other turning and wetting the Mochi with water to prevent it from sticking to the mallet. The Mochi is shaped by hand once the pounding process is complete. Fans can try creating their own Mochi in their favourite flavors!

enako

Enako
Professional Japanese cosplayer Enako, has been gaining fans from across the world since she started cosplaying in 2007. Now one of the most popular Japanese cosplayers around, she is a staple at conventions around Asia and she will be coming to Abu Dhabi and the Middle East for the first time at ANI:ME!

Tickets are priced from AED 650 for a 3 Day VIP entry to AED 150 for a 1 Day entry.

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Events

NVIDIA to Host NVIDIA Studio Nights in Partnership with Microsoft

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NVIDIA, in partnership with Microsoft, has announced the second edition of NVIDIA Studio Nights – a regional event to focus on content creators who are designing with the power of the NVIDIA Studio platform and RTX GPUs. NVIDIA Studio Nights will be held on 15 February 2024 at the twofour54 Community Hub in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. This year, the event will feature six creative categories, including the previously featured 3D Design, Digital Art, Videography and Photography, with a special emphasis on the newly introduced CGI and NVIDIA Canvas Art categories.

Creators will have the opportunity to enter their work for consideration in each category before the event, with the best in each walking away with coveted prizes and trophies courtesy of NVIDIA Middle East. The free-to-attend event will offer opportunities for networking with NVIDIA experts and learning through interactive presentations on content creation and workflow optimization.

Chantelle Tavid – Head of Marketing, NVIDIA MENAT said, “Our inaugural NVIDIA Studio Nights was very successful last year, and we are extremely excited to be doing it again to support local content creators. NVIDIA Studio Nights is the perfect opportunity to see the limitless creativity that is possible when designing with NVIDIA Studio, and we know that the community appreciates a space such as this to interact with each other. We can’t wait to see the entries in this year’s competition go even bolder and more creative than what we received last year. NVIDIA Studio Nights embodies our commitment to hosting artists, fostering community, and celebrating the incredible talent of local artists, all while showcasing the transformative power of the NVIDIA Studio platform and RTX GPUs.”

NVIDIA Studio Nights will offer visitors the opportunity to get a hands-on experience with how the industry-leading RTX GPUs paired with NVIDIA Studio drivers can dramatically improve and accelerate challenging tasks in leading design applications, having the newly launched Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 devices introduced and available to test. From AI-driven object removal to smoother 4K video playback, NVIDIA Studio drivers are designed to let you truly create at the speed of your imagination.

NVIDIA Studio is much more than just a GPU – one of the advanced features that comes with RTX GPUs is the fact that all top creative apps are accelerated by AI which results in artists being able to create faster and better. There are over 75 creative apps that are accelerated by AI on RTX GPUs, which include top apps for photography, videography, rendering and broadcasting such as Adobe Premier Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Blender, and Adobe Photoshop.

“Created by Microsoft, Surface devices are thoughtfully designed with you at the centre, adapting in versatile ways to how you work, learn and create. In collaboration with NVIDIA Studio Nights, we are proudly bringing Surface Laptop Studio 2 – our most powerful laptop ever – to the creative minds of UAE, and can’t wait to see, what you do with it,” said Adam Labancz, Surface Category Lead, Middle East and Africa at Microsoft.

Winners will each receive a Microsoft Laptop Studio 2, along with a Surface Slim Pen 2. Through the power of 13th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA RTX GPUs, drawing, sketching, and designing on the Microsoft Laptop Studio 2 is natural and exciting, with a seamless transition from a canvas for drawing to a powerful touchscreen laptop. The ultra-versatile design with multiple form factors and input options allows creators to work smarter with AI tools in Windows 11 and Microsoft 365 apps

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Events

Dubai Police Esports Tournament Conducted in Partnership with ZOWIE and eXTREMESLAND 2023

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The Dubai Police General Headquarters accomplished a significant milestone in their continuous commitment to building a safe and inclusive digital environment, with the successful conclusion of their 3rd eSports Tournament. This event was much more than just a gaming platform, it acted as a venture to engage the esports gaming community, promote digital literacy and security, and raise awareness about online safety.

The eXTREMESLAND 2023 Counter-Strike 2 Middle East Championship, which was held on December 10 at the esteemed Dubai Police Officers Club, was one of the event’s main attractions. Several teams from throughout the Middle East competed in this esports event, and the winning team will get to represent the prestigious Dubai Police in the grand finals in China on January 26–28, 2024.

Ever since the inaugural eXTREMESLAND CS: GO Asia Cup took place in 2016, eXTREMESLAND has been hosting successful gaming events and aiming for annual excellence. It covers more than 32 nations in the Middle East, Asia, and Pacific areas. With an enduring impact on the competitive gaming scene, eXTREMESLAND has emerged as a key player in the development of esports in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Initiating the competition was a big deal since it gave emerging players a chance to show their gaming skills in front of local and global audiences.

The forward-thinking strategy of eXTREMESLAND has been instrumental in elevating gaming skills in these areas as well as driving the expansion of esports overall. Players now have the chance to compete at the top levels of professional gaming thanks to eXTREMESLAND’s tournaments, which have emerged as a catalyst for the identification and advancement of up-and-coming talent. The Middle East and Asia Pacific esports scenes are thriving as a result of eXTREMESLAND, with individuals and teams finding newfound success on the international gaming stage.

eXTREMESLAND has made a big contribution to the global esports narrative by offering a platform that surpasses geographical boundaries and embraces diversity. This has elevated the status of esports in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East in the global arena. Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East, expressed his enthusiasm about the event with great fervour. “We’re incredibly excited to be part of this platform and hosting eXTREMESLAND 2023. Dubai Police has shown a progressive approach that values the wide range of interests and emotions of its community by embracing the eXTREMESLAND 2023. This gesture not only demonstrates Dubai Police’s modern outlook and excellent support for the gaming community but also their dedication to building a robust gaming community in the heart of UAE.”

Twelve elite teams competed in the Counter-Strike 2 event, showcasing their distinct tactics and gameplay abilities. The winners will now have the privilege of competing in the eXTREMESLAND 2023 CS2 Asia Cup on behalf of Dubai Police. The Four04 Esports staff oversaw and assisted in the tournaments. First Lieutenant Saeed Adel Al Suwaidi, from Dubai Police General Headquarters, commented on the partnership with BenQ Middle East, “Our collaboration is not just about hosting an Esports Tournament. It’s about creating an interactive platform where we can engage with our youth, educate them about the potential pitfalls of the digital world, and equip them with the knowledge they need to navigate it safely. This initiative reflects our commitment to leveraging popular platforms to drive meaningful conversations around online safety.”

 

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Creator Tools

Sony MEA to Host Creators Convention in Dubai Tomorrow

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Sony Middle East and Africa will roll out the red carpet on 16 December for content creators and photographers from UAE to an electrifying day at the Creators Convention. At this event hosted at Garage Studio in Dubai’s buzzing Al Quoz neighbourhood, Sony Middle East and Africa will not only celebrate creativity but take it to newer heights.

What can one expect at the event?

  • Inspiring sessions by industry experts and top content creators
  • Hands-on workshops where you can dive into the latest techniques with some of the coolest digital imaging devices and accessories
  • Thought-provoking keynote addresses and networking opportunities to connect with fellow creators

The event will kick-start tomorrow (16th December, 2023) at 2:00 PM. You will need to bring your SD cards along for the event. Registration for the event is being accepted, here.

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