8th QIFF to celebrate cultural diversity through food, entertainment

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Daisy

Festival organisers today revealed more details about the eighth edition of Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF), which returns this year with a focus on cultural diversity and home-grown culinary talent.

Kicking off on the 29th of March and running for 11 days at Hotel Park as the main festival venue, the Festival has grown even bigger this year with a 20% increase in participants compared to the previous year.

The scenic Hotel Park, overlooking the Doha Corniche, opened to the public since the last edition of QIFF and has hosted popular weekend activations during the inaugural Shop Qatar festival, held in January. Hotel Park carries four levels of underground parking with over 2,500 spaces that makes the venue easily accessible for thousands of visitors to enjoy the festival with ease and comfort.

Mashal Shahbik, Director of Festivals and Tourism Events at QTA commented saying “QIFF invites visitors and residents to enjoy Qatar’s exciting and diverse food and beverage offerings in a festive atmosphere. This year’s festival is not only longer but has attracted a significant increase in the number of participants sharing the Festival’s main platform at Hotel Park. Among them, we are particularly excited to have more young entrepreneurs and local businesses sign up to use this platform to showcase themselves and grow their client base.”

She added, “For QTA, it is very important that the country’s festivals not only engage the private sector’s entrepreneurs and SMEs, but that our home-grown talent find their seat at the table. Their presence enriches the festival’s offerings and is indispensable in providing visitors with a uniquely Qatari experience.”

This edition of QIFF will be organised and delivered by QTA with the support of numerous partners representing the education, entertainment, hospitality and F&B sectors in Qatar. QIFF 2017’s Strategic Partner is Katara Hospitality, the global hotel owner, developer and operator based in Qatar.

Salem Al Kubaisi, Chief Corporate Services Officer at Katara Hospitality commented saying, “Qatar International Food Festival has become a beacon for Qatar’s growing hospitality industry and we are honoured to partner with Qatar Tourism Authority for the second consecutive year. With the aim of providing unique yet diverse culinary experiences within our local and international hotel portfolio, Katara Hospitality places high importance on initiatives that enhance our combined product offering while highlighting our passion for creating ultimate guest experiences. Katara Hospitality is delighted to give back to the community through its recently opened Hotel Park, an illustration of our commitment to social responsibility and the importance of promoting sustainability.”

Other partners include Doha Film Institute (DFI), JEEM TV, Qatar Foundation (QF), Qatar Culinary Professionals (QCP) and Qatar University Culinary Club. FOODEX, a B2B exhibition slated to run from 2-4 April at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, is also a QIFF partner showcasing the business side of food tracing a meal’s journey from farm to fork.

All four corners of the world

Courtesy of international embassies based in Doha, festival-goers can savour the flavours of the West and East at the Cultural Zone which will host stalls from numerous countries. Participating countries including Germany, South Africa, and Ethiopia will also be providing live entertainment shows to celebrate the unique mix of culture that Qatar is home to.

Special Festival Experiences

Some festival staples are back this year such as the food trucks and the signature Live Cooking Theater with participation from the QCP and the QU Culinary Club from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm daily. Also featured this year, is the high tea and fine dining pavilion that overlooks the Gulf waters and for slightly more breezy and elevated vistas of Doha, visitors can enjoy Dinner in the Sky. New additions include the garden picnic where families can collect a basket and blanket to enjoy a casual meal on the grass in the pleasant outdoors.

Exciting Entertainment

Adding to the festive atmosphere at Hotel Park, there will be stages set up for a variety of live performances and cultural shows running throughout the day. In the evenings, fireworks displays will light up the sky above the Doha corniche. And, movie-lovers can enjoy outdoor screenings courtesy of festival partners, DFI and QF. The special movie line-up of food-related movies includes all-time favourites such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as well as select local and international productions. Screenings will be held daily from 9:00 - 10:00 pm.

Family Fun & Children’s Edutainment

In addition to a designated children’s food zone, there will also be child-friendly edutainment in the form of daily screenings of Siraj, Qatar Foundation's new 3D animation 'edutainment' TV series. QIFF Partner, Jeem TV will also be screening its Baraem shows throughout the Festival.

Book worms can explore a more virtual world of food through the QIFF library which will be stocked with cook books and food-related literature.

In Doha & Around Qatar

QIFF returns with new concepts that take QIFF beyond the festival grounds offering an array of delightful culinary experiences all around the country.

Bringing QIFF to restaurants and cafes across Qatar, festival organisers have introduced the new QIFF Menu. The Menu, offered from March 23rd to April 8th, allows residents and visitors to enjoy mouth-watering food groupings of at least three menu items at a pre-set price of 59, 99, 139 or 179 Qatari Riyals.

Select five-star hotels across Doha are offering residents and visitors a unique opportunity to join internationally-acclaimed chefs for an interactive cooking and dining experience through the QIFF Chef’s Tables. Those after this exclusive dining experience should look out for the hotel’s announcements and book through the usual reservation platforms.

The Community Side of Food

Demonstrating its consideration for the community, QIFF organisers have once again signed up with Eid Charity’s food collection and distribution service for this year’s Festival. The Charity will ensure that any of the festival’s unsold and untouched food is collected daily, carefully repackaged and given to those in need. 

To encourage conscious eating habits and life choices that promote overall well-being, Festival Partner, Qatar Cancer Society will be running a Health Awareness Competition. Festival-goers can conveniently run a quick health check while enjoying the outdoor festivities at Hotel Park.

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