What’s On tells you where to buy comic books in Dubai, featuring the amazing Comicave in Outlet Mall. Learn also about Comic Central in JLT.

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Welcome to ‘nerdvana’. That’s the nickname being given to Comicave at Outlet Mall, Dubai’s new haven of film and comic book culture containing everything from original prints to giant models of The Hulk. 

It officially launched earlier this month with the help of local artists Rayden Kusumo, Naka Isurita and Darwin Guevarra commissioning and signing their prints, as well as a mini card-magic tournament and a Gundam Model Kit build off.

The first time Team What’s On visited, we posed for pictures with a life-sized Iron Man, had a rather competitive lightsaber fight (complete with sound effects) and spent our spare dirhams on comic books. If all that sounds somewhat childish, it’s because that’s what walking into this cavernous store makes you feel like – a big kid.

Covering 15,000 square feet, it’s the largest destination of its kind in the Middle East. While there are a few novelty toys for young fans, this is really a destination for teens and adults, particularly the latter. After all, only grown ups will be able to afford the Dhs900 lightsabers or, if they’re feeling particularly flash, the Dhs21,999 Iron Man suit.

Although it’s technically a place to shop, divided into distinct sections including science fiction, comics, and high-end collectibles, ‘store’ doesn’t quite cover it. The cave is simply a great place to visit, hang out and bond with likeminded people over your shared love of pop culture. Everyone who works there is super enthusiastic when it comes to their own particular niche, whether its Marvel or Manga.

The fact is, outside of the annual Middle East Film & Comic Con (MEFCC) festival, there just aren’t that many opportunities for pop culture enthusiasts in Dubai to let their geek flag fly – that’s where Comicave comes in. And with plans to expand it with a cafe, gaming and film screening room, and even a costume shop, the force is likely to remain strong with this one.

Also in Dubai is Comic Central in JLT. Located at Cluster D, this small store carries many Marvel and DC titles, plus a few independents. Our man on the ground says that after visiting a few locations in the UAE claiming to sell ‘comic books (“no, anthologies do not count”), this is finally a store worthy of any comic geek. 

Despite the fact they do not carry back issues yet (so if you were hoping to snag a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, you are out of luck), if you have been searching for a place to buy pristine comic books this is the place to go. Manga comics, models and figurines are also available. In the immortal words of Stan Lee… Excelsior! 

Additional reporting by John Evans