After 11 days of culinary feast, the country’s longest-running food festival has come to a close. Running over two weekends, from 15 to 25 March at Hotel Park, the ninth edition of Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) brought a rich mix of flavours, cultures and entertainment to more than 400,000 of Qatar’s residents and visitors.
While the festival has drawn to a close, QIFF continues to spread its passion for exciting culinary experiences through the special QIFF Menu which will continue to be offered at participating restaurants and cafes until 31 March. The Menu allows residents and visitors to enjoy mouth-watering food groupings of at least three menu items at a pre-set price of either QAR 49 or QAR 99.
Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing & Promotion Officer at QTA commented saying:
Festivals such as QIFF form part of our wider tourism strategy to grow and diversify the country’s tourism offerings, particularly in the area of family and urban entertainment. As QIFF continues to grow year on year, we are particularly pleased to see a similar growth in the private sector’s involvement in the country’s festivals. And, we look forward to continuing this trend as we take steady strides towards accomplishing the goals set in the Next Chapter of QNTSS 2030.’
QIFF 2018 was organised and delivered by QTA with the support of numerous partners representing the entertainment, hospitality and F&B sectors in Qatar. The Festival’s Strategic Partner was Katara Hospitality, the global hotel owner, developer and operator based in Qatar.
Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla, Chief Executive Officer at Katara Hospitality commented:
Katara Hospitality is proud of its involvement in the 9th annual Qatar International Food Festival, which has, over the last 11 days, brought Qataris, residents and visitors alike together to celebrate and share excellent culinary experiences. QIFF has given Katara Hospitality the opportunity to showcase the impeccable natural landscape of Hotel Park which demonstrates our commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. We would like to thank and congratulate Qatar Tourism Authority for all of its hard work, support, and dedication in promoting the festival and we look forward to more successful collaborations in the years to come.’
QIFF Cooking Theatre
The Festival’s long-standing feature returned this year bringing more than 30 local, regional and international food celebrities to run live demonstrations and share their best cooking tips and tricks with fans in Qatar. The line-up included Austrian-born Wolfgang Puck, US’s Christine Ha, Japan’s Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Kuwait’s Sulaiman Al Qassar, Fawaz Al Omaim and Asma AlBahar, the Philippines’ Luis Rey ‘Niño’ Logarta, Lebanon’s Chef Ramzi, Turkey’s Murat Bozok and Qatar’s very own Aisha Al-Tamimi.
Commenting on his visit, Hollywood’s favourite chef, Wolfgang Puck commented:
Qatar is a big destination in the Middle East today and people come from all over the world because Qatar Airways flies everywhere. It is truly an international food city with great food where you can get street food or go to a nice restaurant.’
Canada’s baking sweetheart, Anna Olson said:
I think a visit to Doha is just so easy. It’s on the way to so many places but also a destination in itself. As a Canadian, we love to travel and adventure and we also love going to that next new place and I think we are going to start hearing more adventurous stories of people’s visit to Doha.’
The Community Side of Food
QIFF’s support for the local community extended beyond providing a platform for budding entrepreneurs to showcase their F&B products. Early on in the month, QIFF organisers partnered with Msheireb Museums to deliver a healthy food and nutrition awareness programme for 700 schools students from 14 different schools, including Shafallah.
Throughout the festival, two booths were designated for the Social Development Centre’s Nama, where home-based businesses could showcase their wares. And in collaboration with Tarsheed, the festival grounds dimmed their lights for a full minute on 24 March to join in the international Earth Hour movement.
On the final day of the festival, QIFF lent its cooking theatre stage to eight Tomouh volunteers for a cooking competition, the products of which were distributed to support-staff working at the QIFF grounds.
Festival partners included Msheireb Museums, Doha Film Institute, beIN, Qatar Culinary Professionals, Askar, Mini Zoo Events, AlRayyan Water, RAW ME, Zomato, Talabat, UBER, Qatar TV, Al Rayyan TV and Olive Radio.