A wide range of culinary offerings from around the world will again take centre stage at the ninth Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) from March 15 to 25.
As many as 177 stalls, food trucks and trolleys are to be featured across an 80,000sq m area at the Hotel Park, it was announced.
The 11-day event, organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) in partnership with Katara Hospitality, will bring back “festival favourites” this year such as the Live Cooking Theatre, featuring internationally renowned chefs who will be preparing an array of dishes for visitors to enjoy.
Michellin Star chef Wolfgang Puck, who has been preparing the post-Oscars feast for 24 years, along with US MasterChef Christine Ha, Qatar’s very own Aisha al-Tamimi, Kuwaiti cook Fawaz al-Omaim, Indian celebrity chef Ajay Chopra, and Lebanese celebrity chef Ramzi Choueiri, will share tips and tricks with a special food theme for each day between 6pm and 10.30pm.
“As an international food festival that celebrates a host of cultures from all corners of the globe, QIFF demonstrates Qatar’s message of welcoming the world, both to its residents and visitors,” QTA’s chief marketing and promotion officer Rashed al-Qurese told a press conference.
“Offering authentic family friendly experiences through festivals such as QIFF continues to be an important pillar of the Next Chapter of the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030,” he noted.
Apart from various culinary delights, QIFF 2018 will also highlight locally-owned coffee shops, which have become contemporary symbols of cultural and social exchange, according to organisers.
The Coffee Zone is expected to attract a large number of festival-goers, especially coffee lovers, who will experience the bean’s rich aromas and flavours.
As Qatar’s food value chain rapidly develops, the annual festival will also shed a spotlight on the role of local farms, farmers’ markets and Qatari-owned food and beverage entrepreneurs “in bringing food from gate to plate.”
“For QTA, it is very important that entrepreneurs and small and medium entrepreneurs are engaged in providing visitors with a uniquely Qatari experience,” QTA’s festivals and tourism events director Mashal Shahbik said.
“We are pleased to see that the festival paved the way for innovative initiatives in the space of festivals and events,” she stressed, adding that QIFF continues to grow in terms of the number of participants (by 36%) and total area covered in this edition.
QIFF, the country’s longest-running food festival, promises to be a bigger celebration of Qatar’s cultural diversity and home-grown talent through an array of food and entertainment this year.
“The festival has become a beacon for Qatar’s growing hospitality industry and we are honoured to partner with QTA for the third consecutive year,” Katara Hospitality’s chief corporate services officer Salem Ghanem al-Kubaisi said.
As Qatar hosts a unique mix of cultures, the event will also see nine embassies in Doha “inviting visitors to savour the flavours of East and West.” These include the US, South Africa, Vietnam, Philippines, Turkey, Lebanon, Mexico, India and Ethiopia.
Organisers said QIFF 2018 brings back the Health Zone, which encourages and promotes healthy eating habits, as well as free fitness classes, a variety of live performances and cultural shows, fireworks displays, a mini zoo, sports classes, ‘QIFF Menu,’ charity work, and other fun-filled activities.
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