The 11th edition of Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) opened on Friday. In a first for the festival, QIFF is set to run for three weeks before closing on the eve of Qatar National Day.
The festival is being staged at Al Bidda Park against the backdrop of Doha’s skyline where over 140 vendors will serve culinary masterpieces. Vendors from Doha, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and international markets will participate in the festival.
QIFF is Qatar’s longest-running food and beverage festival, combining culinary arts with a range of activations, including a live cooking theatre by globally renowned chefs. The festivities also include plenty of family entertainment for residents and visitors of all ages, Qatar Tourism has said in a statement, adding that this is the largest ever edition of the festival.
Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker said, “QIFF is a celebration of Qatar’s multiculturalism, contributing to the diversity of tourism experiences in the country. Over the past 11 years, the festival has been
instrumental in enhancing the country’s thriving dining scene. Before opening local outlets, many international chefs have tested the waters at QIFF, as have local entrepreneurs. QIFF is illustrative of our sector, and its importance – introducing people to new products and experiences and facilitating business.”
The festival will additionally host food trucks along a stretch of Corniche Road for eight days between until December 3. There will also be fireworks displays at 8 pm on the weekends - Thursday, Friday and Saturday - throughout the course of the festival.
* QIFF Cooking Theatre
QIFF will stage a daily cooking theatre with at least two demonstrations, events and competitions every day. The cooking theatre will feature celebrity chefs from the region, including Dani García, Aisha al-Tamimi, Shams al-Qassabi, William Dissen & Saif Rahman,
Hervé Courtot, Hassan al-Ibrahim, Grenal Godinho, Aleksandre Ugrekhelidze, Arturo Mendez, Roberto Reatini, Aaj Fernando, Sergio Galaz, Hari Wahyudin and Santiago Guerrero.
Timings: from 4pm to 10.30pm. with 2+ demonstrations, events and/or competitions per day.
* Digital Recipe Wall
A digital recipe wall will be set up so that attendees can scan a QR code to access a web page app enabling them to share their favourite recipes.
QIFF is providing family entertainment throughout the festival. The entertainment features a mix of live music and DJs, roaming entertainment, mini golf, trampolines, a hot air balloon experience, carnival games and more. Multiple local and regional artistes will also perform at the festival, including Music Vending Machine, 11 Strings, Harget Kart, Pablo Discobar, Hadis, Soul Brother, REJAM, AFCENT Band and Charlie Porter Quintet.
* Chef’s Table
The Chef’s Table gives diners the opportunity to sit and eat with the chef who has cooked their meal. The following restaurants have confirmed their participation in the Chef’s Table: Hakkasan with chef Ho Yiek Chung; Scalini with chef Roberto Apa; Riyasat with chef Grenal Godinho; and Isaan with chef Somporn.
For further details and bookings, one can contact the restaurants directly.
* Opening Hours
Weekdays: from 3 pm to 11pm; and weekends: from 3pm to 1 am.
While general admission to QIFF is free, 10 VIP areas around the festival can be reserved for QR350 per two-hour booking. Each VIP area can accommodate eight people.
Qatar Tourism follows the Ministry of Public Health’s hygiene and safety guidelines to ensure visitors a safe experience at its events and festivals.
* Arriving at Al Bidda Park
The organisers of QIFF recommend using the Doha Metro to access the festival. Attendees can choose from three commute options to access QIFF at Al Bidda Park.
1. Visitors can commute on Doha Metro to arrive at Al Bidda station, which is connected by both the Green and Red lines. To facilitate the flow of visitors, the Metro will run until 3am during the festival.
2. There is also limited parking space available for cars at Al Bidda Park’s Car Park 5.
The festival will be split across five themed zones at Al Bidda Park and one at the Corniche:
1. Al Bidda Park - Oasis, Pier, Urban, Market and Garden.
Al Bidda park will also have a Qatari Corner to give visitors a unique, traditional Qatari experience.
2. Corniche - QIFF Avenue.
The 11th edition of QIFF is supported by partners across key sectors, including Qatar Airways as the exclusive airline partner, Ooredoo as the telecommunications partner, Snoonu as the delivery partner, and Al Bidda Park as the host venue.
Moreover, Monoprix is the exclusive provider of ingredients for the live cooking theatre with Askar Industrial providing kitchen and cooking equipment for the live cooking theatre. Qinwan is providing Arabic coffee and dates to guests in the VIP area. Lastly, Wasfa is supporting the event by setting up and organising the digital recipe wall.
Qatar Tourism supports its partners from the private sector in developing a diverse and rich annual events calendar in order to energise the hospitality and retail sectors, drive domestic tourism and attract regional visitors the year round, the statement adds.