The Qatar International Food Festival
The Qatar international food festival (QIFF) brings together the world’s best culinary cultures in an exceptional event that reflects Qatar’s diversity and thriving culture. The event showcases the world class hospitality and food services Qatar has to offer with a long weekend of gastronomic alfresco eating and drinking as well as family fun and entertainment.
The food festival is hosted by Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways in the Museum of Islamic Art Park. This year the festival was held from the 20th to the 23rd of March 2014, internationally distinguished chefs together with many of Doha’s best restaurants celebrated fine dining with the latest food trends and freshest ingredients, as well as healthy eating options.
Overlooking the Doha waterfront in the Museum of Islamic Art Park setting, there were 55 food stalls with wide range of activities was held in the food festival and a dedicated family zone for families to test eclectic cuisine while enjoying live music and watch kids play. Creative programmes were also conducted alongside the event, as well as four food zones, 11 general zones, a live cooking area where contests were held and five kiosks for exhibits and restaurants. As in previous years, visitors learned how to polish their culinary skills and pick up tips from well-known chefs who shared their secrets live on stage in the Qatar Airways Cooking Theatre.
A major attraction in 2014 food festival is display of Qatar and Brazil cuisines along with their traditional entertainment. In addition, there was a 'Health & Active' zone for healthy food outlets, and information on nutrition and a well-balanced diet for the well being of visitors.
Visitors had to be in long sweltering queues in the previous years, to purchase tickets before buying food from the festival food booths. This caused some disorder about what to do with surplus vouchers. This year organizers have done away with the voucher system and cash is accepted in every booth.
There was also a transformed emphasis on entertainment this year with a Brazilian, Korean bands kicked off the performances, in an opening ceremony attended by the Minister of Culture and the heads of the QTA and Qatar Airways.
The Qatar International Food Festival 2014 featured several different styles of music entertainment and dancing which included electronic violinist Patricia Mae, Doha Jazz, and Multicultural Dancers from all over the world. On all days of the Festival, Doha Jazz performed 2 shows a day of 30 minutes each in the evening to captivate the crowd.
How to go?
The food festival is held every year in ‘The Museum of Islamic Art’ park which is located on the south side of Doha's Corniche nearby the Doha port. There is no onsite parking. Visitors to the festival must park at one of two lots near the museum of the Islamic art (Lot A on the Corniche at the Ministry of Interior building and Lot B by Sharq Village), and take a shuttle to the venue.
Dinner in the Sky
This was the dining experience with a thrill, for the adventure buffs. The guests were seated on a specially made dining set platform and they were elevated into the air by cranes. The dining platforms has spaces for 22 guests and have a magnificent view of the bay from a height of 40 meters as they sit and dine a three-course menu. Safety harnesses was provided for everyone. The dining platform had a central serving station to take orders up in the sky.
The Diplomatic Club Donut BBQ
As the name suggests, it is a circular donut–shaped floating capsule fitted with a barbecue station in the center of the vessel. Docked at the MIA park pier, it is propelled by an outboard motor with diners seated around the edge of the craft. The BBQ Donut was hugely popular for visitors and families who want to float out in the bay while relaxing and enjoying their meal. There can be a maximum of up to 8 adults and thus ideal for groups and families.
Qatar Airways Cooking Theatre
In a large tent, this featured live cooking shows and education on a more healthy diet and lifestyle. The theatre also had demonstrations from some of the International Chefs of Qatar Airways and celebrity chefs such as Aisha Al Tamimi, Chef Ramzi and other Brazilian chefs. The theatre can house approximately 120 people and incorporated with a long cooking counter with cooking equipment and units.
Food Festival Zones
Family Zone:These are for families with playgrounds, picnic areas, kid’s entertainment areas and ball & grass games. There were also other exciting options including football grass pitch, golf, learning basic rugby movements, two spring trampolines and kiosks for kid’s snacks such as popcorn, sweet corn and candy floss. Rope skipping, Face painting, sack race, hula hoop, egg & spoon race, crawl tunnels were also offered.
International Zone with 20 stalls of country-themed food courts offering Arabic, Asian and American cuisines The European food court served appetizing Italian, Spanish, French & Greek cuisine favorites. Guests enjoyed the Mediterranean cuisine with guitar music played in the background by the renowned guitarist Tarek and typical mezze bowls of olives and dips.
Qatar / Brazil Zone incorporated elements of this year’s Qatar Brazil Year of Culture 2014 and had special, traditional Qatari tents for Qatari food as well as separate Brazilian food stalls.
Healthy Food Zone had several food stalls and beverages dedicated to healthy food options theme. The zone emphasized one of the key messages of the Food Festival – stays fit with healthy food and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Kiosk Zone- The Kiosk Zone along the waterfront in the MIA Corniche offered handy snacks in two different locations. The Family Kiosk Zone also had a dedicated kiosk zone for kid’s snacks.
Address: P.O.Box 24624, Doha
Tel: +974 4499 7499, +974 44302072
06.00pm – 11.00pm
The entry to the event is free of charge.
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