CJ E&M, Korea’s top media and entertainment company, has successfully wrapped up KCON 2016 Abu Dhabi at the du Arena, on Friday 25 March.

The event attracted more than 8,000 people from the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other neighboring Middle Eastern countries.

It was the first time KCON was held in the Middle East, and organizers are hoping that the event serves as a catalyst for the expansion of Korean culture in the region, creating ‘Korea Premium’.

As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is vital to many Korean companies, who wish to reach out to consumers, partners and investors in the Middle East in a culturally friendly way.

Seok Cho, President and CEO of KHNP, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., LTD said: “Increasing the awareness of brand Korea by promoting Korean cultural content will create a low entry barrier for Korean companies who seek to set up shop in the Middle East. We have high hopes that KCON will help expand nuclear power-related exports.”

KCON is an annual Korean culture convention, which began in California, USA in 2012. KCON 2016 Abu Dhabi, just like other KCON events, incorporated a K-pop concert with other cultural elements of K-beauty and K-food.

CJ E&M, the organisers of the event, also took into consideration the cultural characteristics of the Middle East. There was a long queue to taste Halal certified traditional Korean food, such as bibimbap, and bulgogi. At Ladies Zone, Liah Yoo, a make-up creator on DIA TV, offered beauty tips during tutorials, and DEF Dance School taught some of the most popular K-pop dance routines.

The Korean Cultural Center (KCC), which opened in Abu Dhabi on 10 March, and the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) promoted Korean culture at their own booths.

During the concert at night, BTS, Taeyeon from Girl’s Generation, Kyuhyun from Super Junior, Double S 301, Ailee, MONSTA X and SPICA wowed the audience, ending the day-long event in a festive mode.

Sul-joon Ahn, President of Music Division at CJ E&M, said: “We’re pleased to have brought KCON to the Middle East, although it was a bit of a challenge for us in the beginning. But now we see that there are a lot of business potential in many areas that are influenced by Korean culture, such as the beauty, IT and SOC markets.”

KCON first began in California in 2012, and each year it attracts more than double the amount of attendees from the previous year, demonstrating a ripple effect. The festival began to expand in earnest last year, with KCON Japan in April, KCON LA in July and KCON NY in August.

In total it drew 90,000 Korean culture fans. KCON was also held on Jeju Island in November, attracting home fans and tourists-alike.

Photos can be downloaded from www.webhard.net

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  • Password: enmpr1234
  • Folder name: 2016 Kcon Abu Dhabi | Password: 1234

The official video clip can be downloaded from www.webhard.net

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  • Password: 9779
  • Folder name: KCON AbuDhabi | Password: 1234


CJ E&M is Asia’s leading content and media company headquartered in Seoul, Korea. It has four main business units – broadcast, film (CJ Entertainment), music and live entertainment. Since 2011, CJ E&M has been contributing to the promotion of Korean culture around the world, through the company’s ‘one source, multi-content’ strategy. As a trend leader in Asia, CJ E&M has produced and distributed various popular content, some of which include Asia’s largest music festival Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), leading Hallyu convention KCON, Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots, record-breaking box office hits Roaring Currents (2014) and Ode to My Father (2014), along with sought-after television series The Incomplete and Grandpas over Flowers. With regional offices in Asia and the U.S., CJ E&M currently employs over 2,000 people worldwide, and is traded on KOSDAQ under the ticker 130960. For more information, please visit: http://en.cjenm.com.

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