The three-day Middle East Film and Comic Con at Dubai World Trade Centre carried on regardless, despite other events being shelved because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Organisers took precautionary measures to help avoid the spread of infection. At the entrance, thermal cameras monitor event-goers’ temperatures before they entered the venue hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Since 2012, the Dubai version of the pop culture festival has been welcoming film, comic book and video game fans through its doors, most of whom perform cosplay as their favourite characters.

Cosplay is always a highlight at Middle East Film and Comic Con and this year’s event was no exception.

Despite other events being cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak, the three-day convention held at Dubai World Trade Centre went ahead. Organisers decided to push through amid growing worry about the spread of Covid-19 at public events.

Precautionary measures including installation of hand sanitiser dispensers around the venue. According to Tet Bautista, one of the artists showcasing and selling his work at the event, they were also regularly checking-in on participants and their state of health.

He said that the thermal cameras were also present when vendors were setting up their booths.

Mortadha Jalal, a regular at the festival, said that he felt this year’s Comic Con was “empty” compared to previous years and attributes it to fears over Covid-19. He said that around four or five of his friends decided not to attend.

“But they seem to be taking care of the situation… From what I saw, there was no need to be afraid at all,” he said, adding that the presence of thermal cameras and medical staff had given him some reassurance.

The final day concluded with discussion sessions with Aladdin star Mena Massoud and Carice Van Houten from Game of Thrones.

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