MEFCC Announces House of the Dragon Star Matt Smith as First Celebrity Headliner for 2023 Edition

MEFCC Announces House of the Dragon Star Matt Smith as First Celebrity Headliner for 2023 Edition

Also confirmed:Dragon Ball voice actor Christopher Sabat and Disney artistsMike &Patty Peraza

The Cosplay Competition is now open for registrations with three categories

Limited edition VIP tickets are now

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 11thJanuary 2023: Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC), the definitive pop culture festival in the region,has announcedMatt Smith, one of the greatest incarnations of Doctor Who and the menacing anti-hero in House of the Dragon, will thrill fans as thefirst celebrity headliner. Joining him is Christopher Sabat,the voice ofDragon Ball antagonist, Vegeta, as well as iconic Disney Master Artists Mike and Patty Peraza. Regular and limited-editionVIP tickets are now available for the 11th edition of MEFCC, taking place from March 3 to 5, 2023 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

British actor Matt Smith shot to fame when he was cast as the 11thDoctor on the hit sci-fi series Doctor Who. Following this was another critically acclaimed performance as Prince Philip on the historical drama series The Crown, which earned him his first Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Smith also played the villainous Lucien in the movie Morbius, and his recent portrayal ofthe rogue prince, Daemon Targaryen – the stand-out character of House of the Dragon– hasearned him a widercult following.

Also added to this year’s MEFCC line-up, American voiceactor Christopher Sabat is known for his powerful and memorable performances in the Dragon Ball Zanime and video game series as the voice of Vegeta, Piccolo, Yamcha, Kami, and many others. He has also played classic anime characters in the hit series One Piece, YuYu Hakusho, Fairy Tail and My Hero Academia. Aside from his career as a voice actor, he delved into his production career founding OkraTron 5000, an audio production company.

L-R: Mike and Patty Peraza

MEFCC will also welcome Disney’s award-winning designer, Mike Peraza who has created movie magic for The Little Mermaid, Duck Tales, Fox and the Hound, Return of OZ, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast, among others. With Mike Peraza is his wife and another Disney master artist, Patty Peraza – the first female hire of Walt Disney Studio who worked on captivating animations for Mickey’s Christmas Carol and various Disney commercials.

The roster of talent confirmed for MEFCC also includes voice actors Paige O’Hara, who played Belle of Beauty and the Beast and Zach Aguilar widely known as Tanjiro Kamado or Demon Slayer and Aether of Genshin Impact. Catch all of them at Meet the Stars for autograph and photograph opportunities and at the Cine Club for exclusive Q&As.

The Cosplay Competition is now open for registrations with three categories. The categories include Best Craftsmanship and Best Performance on Stage with AED 30,000 prize money up for grabs and Best Kids Cosplay where everyone is a winner. The deadline for submission is on 27th of February 2023, cosplay competitors can register now.

The all-new Cosplay Central will be filled with colourful opportunities for cosplayers and anime enthusiasts to meet-and-greet with local and international professional cosplayers, repair stations to fix or store costumes and a chance to get your best moments captured on camera. 

Visitors can also dive into a different dimension of creativity and imagination, explore art, and meet the geniuses behind iconic masterpieces at the Artist Alley and International Artist Alley which is sponsored by Manga Arabia.

In the Retail Area and MEFCC Exclusive Merchandise zones, fans can snap up a range of collectibles, signed merchandise, exclusives and customised art, while the outdoor Festival Stage in the Festival Plazaboasts a packed itinerary of cosplay, dance competitions, pop quizzes, karaoke and more. The plaza will also host Kid’s World and the Foodie’s Village, with food trucks and customised MEFCC menus.

Finally, MEFCC is pleased to announce its newest VIP ticket packages for seasoned fans, which will offer unique encounters with the biggest names at this year’s show. Visitors get a chance to secure their spot to meet their favourite celebrities across three days.

Middle East Film & Comic Con is bringing an all-new exclusive VIP experience with the Ultimate VIP ticket which includes fast track access with autograph and photograph vouchers for all celebrities. The Super VIP pass gives visitors access through priority VIP queues with four autograph or photograph vouchers.

   Ultimate VIP Experience  AED 5000   Super VIP Experience  AED 2500 VIP Experience  AED 700 
Autograph OR Photograph vouchers with celebrities at Meet the Stars ✓  10 vouchers ✓  4 vouchers ✓  1 voucher 
30-minute encounter to meet your favourite celebrities!✓   
VIP Swag Bag ✓  (Ultimate VIP) ✓  (Super VIP)✓  (VIP Tote Bag) 
Dedicated Fast Track Lane at Meet the Stars✓   
Priority VIP Queue to Meet the Stars ✓ ✓ 
Priority VIP queue to purchase additional Meet the Star vouchers✓ ✓ ✓ 
Exclusive Merch✓ ✓  
Exclusive badge for celebrity autographs  ✓ ✓  
VIP Ticket Collection Point for entry to MEFCC✓ 
Early access on Day 1 of MEFCC – 2PM on 3rd March 2023✓ ✓ 
3 Day VIP Access to MEFCC – 3rd – 5th March 2023✓ ✓ ✓ 
Front Row Seating at the Cine Club – reserved for 15 minutes before the session begins✓ ✓ ✓ 

Individual passes can also be purchased at AED 135 for single-day and AED 299 for three-day access. Perks include meeting your favourite celebrities at Meet the Stars, exploring the Artist Alley, watching live stage performances at the Festival Plaza and access to the workshops at the Creative Academy.

VIP and regular tickets are now available at Platinumlist and Virgin Megastore Tickets via

For more information and updates, visit



Images are available HERE

Arabic press release HERE 


Tricia Jimenea  


Mobile:                     +971 50 913 3439  

Graeme Smit  


Mobile:                     +971 55 835 0814  

Tariq Hossam   


Mobile:                     +971 55 581 1477 


About the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi 

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism sectors, fuels economic progress and helps achieve Abu Dhabi’s wider global ambitions. By working in partnership with the organisations that define the emirate’s position as a leading international destination, DCT Abu Dhabi strives to unite the ecosystem around a shared vision of the emirate’s potential, coordinate effort and investment, deliver innovative solutions, and use the best tools, policies and systems to support the culture and tourism industries. 

DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision is defined by the emirate’s people, heritage and landscape. We work to enhance Abu Dhabi’s status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, represented by its living traditions of hospitality, pioneering initiatives and creative thought. 

About Informa Connect 

Informa Connect is a division of Informa plc, a global business that is listed on the London Stock Exchange and a member of the FTSE 100. Informa plc. has a network of trusted brands in specialist markets across more than 30 countries with 11,000+ colleagues. Informa Connect is a live events and digital platform specialist connecting individuals and professionals with knowledge, ideas and opportunities. Our purpose is to champion the specialist. Through hundreds of powerful brands, we work with businesses and professionals in specialist markets, providing the connections, intelligence and opportunities that help customers grow, do business, make breakthroughs and take better informed decisions. Operating major branded events in Finance, Biotech & Pharma and in a number of other specialist markets and connect communities online year-round. 

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