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Festivals and Major Events

QIFF - The Qatar International Food Festival

18 March 2019

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 tenth edition of QIFF is to be held from 20th March 2019 to 30th March 2019 at the Oxygen Park in Qatar Foundation's Education City.

qatar food festival

QIFF 2019 Highlights

According to organizers of QIFF, the highlights this year include more than 150 Food and Beverage stalls spread across three dedicated areas:

  1. Main Course Specialties
  2. Kids-Friendly Foods and Activities
  3. Cafes and Light Food along with private seating areas serving curated pre-set menus.

Other popular features like Cooking Theatre is set to return this year with around 30 international and local celebrity chefs, apart from vibrant cultural shows, entertainment, and other month-long side events being organized to learn culinary craft and healthy nutrition to participants of all age groups.

Live Cooking Theatre

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, QIFF will host about 30 international and local celebrity chefs from about 14 countries to showcase their culinary magic in a popular live cooking theatre. Among the popular chefs this year are: Manal Al Alam, Tasneem Al Nasrallah, Jameela Al Lanquawi, Al Yazi AL Awadh, Morimoto Masaharu, Eric Lanlard, Goila Saranch, Ranveer Brar, Richard Sandoval, Salma Souleiman, Jenny Morris, Siba Mtongana, Sam Cevikoz, Wafik Belaid, Hend Salah, Sarra Al Sayed, Ameera Mussa, Aisha Al Tamimi, Dominique Ansel, Stephane Buchholzer, Chef Hassan, Chef Belkihams, Noora Al Kuwari, Noora Al Mazroui, Rusly Ahmed, Shane Macneill, Francesco Scala, Jason Atherton, Elif Edes Tapan.

Chef’s Table

Some select 5-star restaurants across Doha would be offering residents and visitors a unique opportunity to join internationally-renowned chefs for an interactive cooking and tasting experience through QIFF Chef’s Table. The chefs include Japanese celebrity chef and restaurateur Chef Nobu Matsuhissa, Acclaimed US chef Richard Sandoval, Francesco Scala and Shane Macneill from Novikov Doha, Chef Eric Lanlard, Jason Atherton and International Barista Trainer Sam Cevikoz.

Cooking Master-classes at Chef’s Garden

Aspiring chefs can register themselves to attend the Masterclasses with celebrity chefs such as Masaharu Morimoto, Siba Mtongana, Jenny Morris, Barista-Sam, Jason Atherton, Wafik Belaid, Salma Souleimain, Wafik Belaid at the Chef’s Garden restaurant in the Education City.

Curated QIFF menus

Spreading the QIFF experience for food lovers beyond the festival’s venue, about 35 restaurants and cafes would be offering special food groupings comprising a three-course menu with 3 different set of discounted prices of QR45, QR95 and QR125.

At the festival this year, there will be exclusive private booths serving pre-set Qurated QIFF menus for those who like to dine in luxury.

The Strategic Partner of QIFF 2019, Qatar Foundation (QF) and the iconic Oxygen Park in Education City will offer an impressive venue, layout and format to visitors this year.

Nutrition Awareness Programme at Qatar National Library

Together with QF, the QIFF will deliver food and nutrition awareness programme for students from 50 schools across Qatar from 10th to 14th March 2019, helping students distinguish between healthy nutrition and unhealthy foods, and understand the benefits and harms of each.

Local chefs including Ayman Nasser Al-Din, Deldar Hussein, Youssef Oweida, Sarah Al Sayed, Noora All Mazroui, Warda Ibrahim, and Noora Al Kuwari, would prepare healthy and tasty snacks in front of students, helping them gain a visual understanding of where the food comes from and an appreciation of healthy alternatives to common snacks.

Small & Medium Entrepreneurs

QIFF successfully contributes in enriching the dining canvas of the country by not only attracting international chefs to open local outlets, but also offers a platform for local entrepreneurs to introduce their innovative offerings including businesses that offer local produce from Qatari farms offering unique authentic food experiences. QIFF 2019 has dedicated 15 percent of its spaces to budding entrepreneurs and local SMEs.

Exciting Entertainment

A variety of live performances, cultural shows and roaming entertainment running through the day, adds to the festive atmosphere at Oxygen Park. In line with the Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019 theme, the festival will showcase food and cultural offerings.

Education City

So far, the QIFF has been hosted across various scenic venues across Qatar, including Katara Cultural Village, Hotel Park, MIA Park, and The Pearl Qatar. This year, residents and visitors from all over the world will get an opportunity to explore the well-designed and landscaped Oxygen Park, referred to as ‘green lungs of Education City’, and other amenities within the premises, including Qatar National Library, the Minaretein building (Education City Mosque), Qur’anic Botanic Garden and Torba Farmers Market.

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.

Signature Activities

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.

dinner 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.

Contact Details

Address: P.O.Box 24624, Doha
Tel: +974 4499 7499, +974 44302072

Timings

06.00pm – 11.00pm
The entry to the event is free of charge.

Here is the list of popular restaurants in Qatar.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.