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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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Huawei Intros a New Lineup of Flagship Products at its Summer Launch Event in Dubai

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Huawei Consumer BG held a Flagship Products Summer Launch Event in Dubai, showcasing a new lineup of flagship devices. The new devices included the HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 foldable smartphone, the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro laptop, the HUAWEI MatePad Pro tablet, the HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2, the HUAWEI MateBook 16s laptop and the HUAWEI MateBook D 16 laptop.

“In many domains, Huawei has been working to make people’s dreams come true. We are always working to bring the ultimate experience to consumers,” said Richard Yu, Huawei’s Executive Director, and CEO of Consumer BG. Since 2018, Huawei has also worked to build an all-encompassing smart office framework, based on two core capabilities: cross-device collaboration and ecosystem integration. This latest release extends Super Device capabilities to more devices, thanks to the easy-to-use Drag-to-Connect feature, which streamlines cross-device connections and interactions.”

Pablo Ning, President of Huawei Consumer BG in the Middle East and Africa said, “The cutting edge products announced today highlight our continuous dedication to our users in the Middle East and Africa region. We will continue working hard to implement our Seamless AI Life Strategy and bring the most compelling and innovative technology experiences to our consumers in order to optimize their user experience as well as ultimately to fulfil our vision of an all-scenario seamless AI life.”

HUAWEI Mate Xs 2
Introducing the HUAWEI Mate Xs 2, HUAWEI’s brand-new flagship foldable smartphone. To achieve an ultra-flat surface which is minimalistic and natural, the phone uses the Falcon Wing Design. Through that, the movement of the hinge and screen is precisely synchronised via the fixed-length linkage control. For the phone’s screen, the use of HUAWEI’s self-developed innovative industry-first composite screen to absorb all shock and buffer makes the HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 ultra-reliable.

The True-Chroma Camera System of HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 includes a 50MP True-Chroma Camera for capturing true-to-life colours. The improved HUAWEI XD Optics brings brand-new information recovery technology to further elevate image clarity, helping restore image details in a way that breaks the boundaries of physics. To top that all off, the HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 incorporates innovative interactions with multitasking capabilities and Floating Window Swipe Gestures to provide seamless control while operating the multi-window.

HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 comes pre-installed with HMS (Huawei Mobile Services), which includes Petal One and a variety of useful and premium services such as Petal Search, Petal Maps, HUAWEI Video, HUAWEI Browser, GameCenter, and more. Thanks to its big screen and its multi-window function, HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 brings easier interactions and higher efficiency when multitasking between different apps.

The new HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 in white and Black Colour Editions will be available for pre-order in the UAE from July 27th at a price of AED 7499. The pre-order offer avails gifts worth over AED 2500, including the HUAWEI WATCH GT 3 Pro, 12- months complimentary subscription to HUAWEI Music and HUAWEI Video, 3-month complimentary subscription to 200GB HUAWEI Mobile Cloud, GCC Multiple country warranty and a special HUAWEI Care service package.

HUAWEI MateBook X Pro
HUAWEI MateBook X Pro is a new-paradigm laptop that transcends the traditional notion of how a laptop should look, and what it is capable of. It comes in a skin-soothing metallic body and elegant colours, Ink Blue and White, standing out from the crowd of drab laptop exteriors, while the classic Space Grey is also available. The use of light and strong magnesium alloys in the full-CNC unibody design means that the laptop weighs only 1.26 kg, making it highly portable and durable. The 14.2-inch Real Colour FullView Display obtained the world’s first Eye Comfort 3.0 certification by TÜV Rheinland and universal colour consistency technology ensures that the same pristine colours will be displayed.

All HUAWEI MateBook X Pro laptops were certified by Intel Evo, and come with 12th Gen Core processors. The 30W performance mode handles intensive tasks with remarkable ease. Thanks to system-level optimisation supported by upgraded Super Turbo technology, the laptop works perfectly with the Windows system to unleash powerful performance and create a smoother experience in video conferences and heavy-load office work.

HUAWEI MateBook X Pro takes multi-device collaboration to a whole new level, thanks to the Super Device features. It lets you effortlessly connect to other Huawei devices nearby and collaborate between all of them. In addition, with smartphones like the newly launched HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 and tablets like the new HUAWEI MatePad Pro, it is even more useful. Once you have wirelessly connected your phone, you will see its UI (User Interface) appear on your laptop screen, so you can operate it as if your smartphone and laptop are one device. You can access and edit your files, use and manage up to three phone app windows simultaneously, take video or audio calls from your phone through the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, and even use your mouse and keyboard to control your smartphone.

In Mirror Mode, the laptop screen is projected onto the tablet, with both devices showing the same content. With Extend Mode, the laptop display is extended to the tablet, allowing the tablet to serve as an external monitor so you can scroll and browse easily between the two. Finally, Collaborate Mode lets you share content between the devices via a simple drag and drop.

The laptop also supports multi-device file management and AI search; the former enables users to easily search across their connected devices, while the latter supports quick search of files and images on the PC, the Internet, and other interconnected devices for greater flexibility. The new HUAWEI MateBook X Pro in Magnesium Blue and Aluminum Gray Editions will be available for pre-order in the UAE from July 27th starting at a price of AED 6999. The pre-order offer avails gifts worth over AED 1999, including HUAWEI MatePad 10.4, HUAWEI Bluetooth Mouse, HUAWEI Laptop Bag, MS Office Package, 20% discount for 1 -year extended warranty insurance and 20% discount for 1-year 1-time screen damage insurance.

HUAWEI MateBook 16s and HUAWEI MateBook D 16
HUAWEI MateBook 16s packs Intel’s Evo-certified i9-12900H Processor, and features a vast 16-inch 2.5K touchscreen, with an average ΔE<1 high colour accuracy, and a 1080p AI camera, which keeps video calls crystal clear. HUAWEI MateBook D laptops have also drawn user acclaim, due to their compact design and excellent performance. The MateBook D 16 model is highlighted by a gorgeous 16-inch display, but thanks to its 18.4 mm thickness, manages to weigh just 1.7 kg. MateBook D 16 is the first laptop to come equipped with the HUAWEI Metaline Antenna, which improves the signal conversion rate by 56%, and facilitates high-speed Internet access, even in areas where the Wi-Fi signal is weak.
The new HUAWEI MateBook 16s in Gray colour will be available for pre-order in the UAE from July 27th starting at a price of AED 5799. The pre-order offer avails gifts worth over AED 1999, including HUAWEI MatePad 10.4, HUAWEI Bluetooth Mouse, HUAWEI Laptop Bag, MS Office Package, 20% discount for 1 -year extended warranty insurance and 20% discount for 1-year 1-time screen damage insurance.
The new HUAWEI MateBook D 16 in Silver colour will be available for pre-order in the UAE from July 27th starting at a price of AED 3299. The pre-order offer avails gifts worth over AED 699, including HUAWEI Bluetooth Mouse, HUAWEI Laptop Bag, MS Office Package, 20% discount for 1 -year extended warranty insurance and 20% discount for 1-year 1-time screen damage insurance.
HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2
HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 earbuds incorporate cutting-edge TWS capabilities, taking acoustics to new heights. It’s portable listening as you’ve never heard it before. It comes with the Ultra-hearing dual-driver true sound system and digital cross-over technology, delivering a better surging bass and good sound quality with rich details. It received the HWA and Hi-Res Wireless Dual HD Audio Certification. In addition to sound quality, HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 continues to set new standards for TWS noise cancellation.
The new call noise cancellation feature called Pure Voice improves voice call quality, thanks to the presence of a 4-Mic Call Noise Cancellation system and Huawei-exclusive deep neural network (DNN) noise cancellation algorithm. The Triple Mic ANC System with 3 highly-sensitive microphones boosts the average ANC depth by an industry-leading 15% when compared to its predecessor, with offers a wider noise cancellation frequency with up to 47 dB of noise cancellation. The new HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 in Silver Blue, Silver Frost, and Ceramic White colours will be in the UAE from July 27th at a price of AED 699.
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Events

ASUS and Intel Partner for Performance Day in Dubai

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ASUS and Intel joined hands to conduct a special event called Performance Day in Dubai, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on July 1, 2022. The event was hosted to showcase some of the latest trends in the market and what ASUS and Intel are doing to meet customer demand and expectations in 2022 and beyond.

At the event, it was announced that ASUS holds the number 1 market share in the East EMEA region for consumer notebooks, quoting figures from GFK’s retail market data recorded between December 2021 to April 2022. The company also announced that it was the number 1 OLED laptop brand worldwide, and the number 1 creator laptop brand, according to GFK’s and NPD’s combined retail data for the period between Q4 2021 to Q1 2022.

In terms of gaming, ASUS again came on the top. It holds the number 1 market share in the East EMEA region for gaming devices, and it has had a YoY growth of 40% in 2021. One of the most important things presented at the event was how people buy technology today, especially laptops. According to a market study conducted by KANTAR in 2019, with over 11000 users in ten different countries, end-users desired thin and light laptops.

In terms of the criteria used by people when choosing to buy a new laptop, the market study concluded that performance was the most important factor. In addition, battery life was also important – it came in the second spot of the most important feature of a new laptop. What’s more, laptop users also wanted high-quality displays and top-notch build quality.

Gaming is a High Growth Segment
At the event, Ali R. Kucuk, the Regional Director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, at Intel, spoke about the company’s 12th Gen Intel Core H-Series of processors. According to Kucuk, there are around 2.9 billion gamers worldwide and 300 million creators. The gaming industry is worth $240 billion (total addressable market), and it garners a year-on-year total addressable market growth.

The 12th Gen Intel Core Mobile Processor family is divided into three segments. The U-Series of processors are meant for modern thin and light laptops with a power consumption of either 15W or 9W. Then, we have the P-Series of processors, which is meant for performance-based thin and light laptops with a power consumption of 28W. And then, we have the H-Series of processors, which is meant for enthusiasts, with a power consumption of 45W.

According to Intel, these 12th Gen Intel Core H-series Processors, are the fastest mobile processors around offering up to 40% faster performance in a hybrid design. These processors also offer low-latency Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, and blazingly fast video editing, 3D modeling, and rendering for content creators of today.

Check out the SKU Stack of the 12th Gen Intel Core H-Series Processors below:

Intel also claims that its 12th Gen Intel Core i7 H-Series (i7-12700H) is more powerful than its 11th Gen Intel Core i9 (i9-11900H). Here’s a quick look at the Intel H45 performance advancement based on the Cinebench R20 Multi-Core Score:

In addition, the 12th Gen Intel Core i5 H-Series is 2.5x more powerful than the 11th Gen Intel Core i5 U-Series, as seen below:

Built for Gamers and Creators
Furthermore, the 12th Gen Intel Core H-series processors are built for content creators. Now, here is where ASUS plays a part in bringing top-notch gaming and creator laptops onto the market. At the Performance Day event, the company showcased the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED, the ROG Flow Z13, and the Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition, all of which were paired with the 12th Gen Intel Core H45 processor, with the ROG Flow Z13 running the company’s top-end 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor.

According to ASUS, its winning formula for being at the top of the notebook market is a combination of thermal design and chassis space. The company also said that its competitors barely implement H-Series processors in thin chassis, whereas ASUS uses that series of processors in most of its product lineup.

This includes the thin and light series such as Zenbook S Flip, Zenbook S, Zenbook, Zenbook Flip, Vivobook S, and Vivobook. In addition, these processors are also used in the company’s laptops for creators such as Studiobook Pro, Zenbook Pro, Zenbook Pro Duo, and Vivobook Pro. In addition, ASUS also uses H45 processors in its gaming lineup, which includes Flow, Strix SCAR, Zephyrus, and TUF Gaming.

Better Cooling Solution Helps
Cooling also aids in producing performance-based laptops, since ASUS invests heavily in R&D for fan design, airflow control systems, and 3D vapour chambers. According to ASUS, dual-fan outlets and dual heat pipes provide an extra 15% flow rate and increase in performance.

In addition, thinner blades, more fan blades, and optimized curved design lead to better airflow and quieter performance. Heat Pipes are also one of the most efficient ways to move heat or thermal energy from one point to another. ASUS says that thicker heat pipes or more heat pipes can both dissipate heat better.

Benjamin Yeh, the East EMEA General Manager at ASUS, said, “The innovations that ASUS engineers have implemented in our latest laptops, working together with our partners from Intel, have enabled us to deliver these incredible products for 2022. Their work on cooling technologies and chassis craftsmanship is a very important but challenging task. Sometimes the improvements are invisible to customers, but they help us deliver amazing performance while keeping our laptops compact and light, which is exactly what customers are expecting from their next laptop.”

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Calyx and Saudi Esports Federation Partner to Host the Finals of VALORANT MENA League in Riyadh in July

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Calyx, a subsidiary of Hockwood Games, and the Saudi Esports Federation have come together to host the finals of the VALORANT Regional League MENA LAN esports tournament in Riyadh. The tournament will be played in a LAN setting, where the best players from all over the region will fly into Riyadh, to battle it out in front of a live audience in hopes of securing the glory of being crowned Champions of the VALORANT Regional League MENA. As the biggest esports market in the region, the unique event will provide the Saudi Arabian gaming community with a new competitive series that features one of the most competitive games in the world – VALORANT.

Yahya Habib, Global Head of Strategy & Operations and Co-founder, Calyx Gaming, said: “We are delighted to have come together with the Saudi Esports Federation to create this unique experience. Our vision for Calyx is to be the home of esports in the region and we are excited to expand into Saudi Arabia, the biggest esports market in the Middle East. The first two splits of the VALORANT Regional League MENA tournament have been very competitive, with 152 teams registering from the MENA region, with our streaming entertaining millions of viewers worldwide. Now, with the support of the Saudi Esports Federation, we look forward to hosting the finals of the largest ever professional VALORANT tournament and four of the region’s best teams in Riyadh.”

Thanks to the support of the Saudi Esports Federation, the finals in July will feature four of the best teams in the region, including Yalla Esports, XPLDZ, Geekay Esports and Team Falcons. The VALORANT Regional League MENA Finals will be held between 4th and 7th July 2022, and streamed on Twitch, with a total prize pool of $20,000 (over SAR 75,000). The winning team of the VRL MENA Finals will represent the MENA region in the VRL EMEA Finals, where they will get the chance to compete against the other winners of every VRL in EMEA, and battle it out for a prize pool of $156,000 (over SAR 586,000).

“We are honoured to host a tournament of such stature in Saudi Arabia. Our main mission is to nurture elite gaming athletes, while also looking at unique methods to develop the gaming industry in the Kingdom. It is through our partners like Calyx that we can make this a reality and we look forward to the finals in July to help inspire the current and next generation of Saudi and Arab Nationals to help shed light on the benefits of the sport for years to come,” said Omar Batterjee Head of Communication / Marketing & Partnerships at Saudi Esports Federation.

Operational since 2016 and incorporated in 2019, Calyx is MENA’s #1 esports organiser and production company, based in Dubai and is committed to building the presence of esports in the MENA region. With tournaments like the VALORANT Regional League MENA Finals, Calyx and its partners are helping to build and expand the regional esports industry by providing local gamers with a state-of-the-art platform, play.calyx.gg, where they can have fun while showcasing their skills in various games. Calyx has successfully conducted large and small tournaments in 15 countries in the region, including Wizzo esports PUBG Mobile Cup, Regional VRL MENA League, and BLAST Premier Dune Cup.

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