Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, and His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al Thani, Minister of Economy and Commerce, opened the 7th Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) at the Festival’s main location in the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park. Held from 22nd to 28th March, QIFF is a much-anticipated culinary event that highlights the country’s top chefs and diverse cuisine, alongside international celebrity cooking experts.
H.E. Li Chen, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Qatar, attended the official opening, which was marked by the striking of a Chinese gong in recognition of the Qatar-China 2016 Year of Culture. The VIP guests then toured the Festival venue, stopping by the Live Cooking Theatre to try global lifestyle personality Martha Stewart’s famous juice, and to witness presentations of special dishes by Chef Frederique Larquement Executive Chef, MIA Food and Beverage and Chef Aisha Al Tamimi.
The tour at
the MIA Park ended at the Water Court, where H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa and other VIP guests were transported by water taxi to The Pearl-Qatar, followed by Katara Cultural Village, where celebrations at QIFF’s satellite locations were kicking off.
Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing & Promotions Officer at Qatar Tourism Authority, commented, “This year’s Festival is our best yet. Thanks to our co-organisers Qatar Airways and new strategic partners United Development Company and Katara Cultural Village, visitors and residents across the city will be able to join in celebrating a world of flavours.”
He added, “Food is a universal expression of culture, and our Food & Beverage sector, along with our hospitality partners, excel at offering diverse culinary experiences of the highest standards.”
Qatar Airways launched its spectacular Dinner in the Sky experience by welcoming special guests inside its premium lounge to enjoy A Taste of Business Class and its award-winning hospitality. Martha Stewart’s cooking debut launched a supreme Live Cooking Theatre programme that will feature celebrity chefs from around the world over the course of the seven-day festival.
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications, Ms. Salam Al Shawa, said: “Qatar Airways is very proud of its role in delivering a world-class event in Doha. As the country’s national airline, the festival is an opportunity for Qatar Airways to showcase the award-winning hospitality and entertainment that our passengers experience every day when they fly with us, here on the ground, in our home, for the enjoyment of both the local community and our international guests.
“This year we have embraced Qatar Airways’ new philosophy, Going Places Together, and have brought together world-renowned international culinary forces from around the globe – including the United States, Australia, Europe, the GCC and more – who will tantalise everyone’s taste buds at this year’s Qatar Airways Cooking Theatre and take them on a global food journey.”
Throughout the week-long Festival, MIA Park will feature popular signature activities such as Dinner in the Sky by Qatar Airways, the QIFF Live Cooking Theatre, High Tea by the Bay, InstaMarket, Health Court, BBQ on a Dhow and BBQ on the Bay.
Qatar-China 2016 Year of Culture will be celebrated in a dedicated zone, offering visitors a wealth of Chinese and Qatari delicacies and fusion cuisine to enjoy.
Qatar-China 2016 Year of Culture, an initiative developed to create sustainable platforms for collaboration and cultural exchange between cultures. The bilateral Years of Culture were started under the guidance of H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in 2012 and designed to take Qatar to the world and bring the world to Qatar.
Activations at The Pearl-Qatar add a new, urban feel to the Festival, celebrating the food truck phenomenon with food trucks from around Qatar and the region. The trucks will be stationed at Qanat Quartier, where sports competitions and film screenings by Doha Film Institute will also be held.
At Katara Cultural Village, festival-goers will be able to experience popular food from multiple international cultures along the Katara Beach. Visitors can also enjoy an array of entertainment and attend sessions at a mini live cooking theatre.
A number of water taxis will provide visitors an enjoyable, traffic-free mode of transport between the three venues. Tickets can be purchased for 25 QAR per person (one-way) at the marina water gate in each of the locations.
In addition to new locations, QIFF will have new hours this year, providing special hours for school visits between 9:30 am to 1:00 pm, held in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The decision to extend opening hours for school children comes after the successful conclusion of the school nutrition awareness program, held in conjunction with Sahtak Awalan Your Health First, an initiative of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and the Ministry of Public Health.
QIFF will be open to the public between 1.00 pm and 10.30 pm. Fireworks will take place daily at 8.00 pm.
About Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF)
Now in its 7th edition, QIFF is a multicultural festival co-hosted by Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways to shed light on the country’s diverse food, beverage and hospitality offerings. The first festival was organized in 2010 as part of Qatar’s strategy to grow and diversify its tourism offerings in partnership with the private sector. Over the years, QIFF has gained popularity and gone from strength to strength, receiving 170,000 visitors last year.
The 2016 QIFF will extend beyond the main activation at the Museum of Islamic Art Park, sharing the Festival experience with visitors to many of the country’s landmarks and eateries. World renowned chefs will join Doha’s top restaurants to celebrate food in its various forms, with the freshest ingredients and latest culinary innovations. Chinese food-lovers will have plenty to look forward to with Chinese cuisine featuring as part of Qatar-China 2016 Year of Culture celebrations.