Organised by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways, Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) 2015 marked a record number of visitors with more than 170,000 visitors and tourists attended this year’s festival.

The QIFF 2015 took place for five days, for the first time, from 24 to 28 March 2015 at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park. QTA’s Chief Marketing and Promotions Officer, Rashed Al Qurese, said:

QIFF is a great platform to showcase global cuisines and to show Qatar’s culinary delights as well as the elegance of its variety of hotels and restaurants. There is no doubt that this will positively impact the tourism and hospitality sector and we look forward to even more innovation and creativity in next year’s edition. We are delighted to see the high turnout of tourists and visitors who attended QIFF’s sixth edition. Therefore, I would like to thank all participants, partners, and sponsors who helped to make this event a great success. We always seek to make this festival exceed all expectations every year by hosting a larger number of restaurants and exhibitors, and providing international entertainment activities, and yet again we have achieved this.’

Visitors were able to sample delicious Qatari, Gulf, Arabic and international cuisine at the festival’s variety of zones, and the International Zone showcased dishes from 31 of Doha’s most high profile restaurants, with 69 participants at the Festival this year.

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Visitors and tourists also enjoyed the wide-ranging entertainment activities that were held to suit family members of all ages and tastes as the MIA’s beautiful green spaces were crowded with families enjoying the festivities.

QIFF’s sixth edition included a wide range of areas including a special entertainment zone specifically targeting families. Tourists and visitors sampled mouthwatering local and Turkish dishes at the Qatar Turkey 2015 Year of Culture Zone, where delicious food was prepared under traditional Qatari tents. The five-day festival included an exciting programme of contests, workshops and live cooking activities.

A number of celebrity chefs prepared sumptuous international dishes at Qatar Airways’ Live Cooking Theatre, which included high-tech equipment and a seating area for more than 100 people to watch and participate in the live demonstrations. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Qatar Airways, Salam Al Shawa, said:

We are delighted and proud of the growing popularity and success that QIFF has achieved year after year. The enjoyment of visitors and guests reinforces our relationship with QTA and our continued desire to offer even more entertainment options for all to enjoy. Authentic Qatari hospitality is at the heart of our business, and we are very pleased that this year’s festival provided visitors with the opportunity to experience Qatar Airways’ hospitality and Business Class menu and taste the delicious food that our internationally renowned chefs prepare for our passengers on board of our five-star flights.’

Qatar Airways’ Live Cooking Theatre attracted a large number of visitors, giving them a chance to taste delicious food cooked live by top chefs, including celebrity Chef Vineet Bhatia and Chef Massimo Capra who stunned the audience with their culinary skills. Furthermore, great musical performances and fireworks filled the atmosphere with joy during the festival.

QIFF 2015 Cooking TheatreQatar Airways’ Live Cooking Theater provided the audience with the opportunity to learn how to cook enabling them to meet celebrity chefs. Live cooking sessions, consisting of 30 minutes each, were organised for those who wished to learn culinary arts with the help of skillful chefs. Qatar Airways’ Live Cooking Theatre also provided training to prepare Qatari cuisine, providing 50 participating professional hotel chefs in Qatar with guidelines and tips on how to prepare traditional and fusion Qatari dishes. The training was delivered by two skillful chefs, Qatari cuisine expert Chef Aisha Al Tamimi and renowned Kuwaiti Chef Fawwaz Al Amim.

As every year, the Festival hosted this year BBQ Doughnut by Diplomatic Club. Souq Waqif Boutique hotels sponsored the ‘Dinner on a dhow’ activity.

Qatar culinary professionals held an ice sculpting competition, while Philips sponsored an amateur cooking contest. This year’s festival hosted number of new activities among those is the High Tea-Lounge Zone by the Kempinski. The festival this year also saw participation of Fetafeat famous Chefs, Chef Salma Soliman and Chef Daad Abu Jaber. Also among participants was Kulluna for health and safety initiative. Also new this year is the Instagram Market Zone, which was filled with stalls from top Qatari female chefs who are active on Instagram for live preparations of local dishes as the organisers are supporting local culinary talents and intend to promote the festival on social media channels.

Qatar’s hotels and tourist facilities witnessed a large increase in the number of regional and international visitors during the festival. This undoubtedly constitutes a success for the industry sector as well as for QTA’s plans to promote Qatar as an international tourist hub with deep cultural roots.