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From High Tea to Food Trucks, 7thQatar International Food Festival expands range of visitor experiences
In a press conference to announce the details of QIFF 2016, Qatar Tourism Authority officials also revealed further additions to the Festival’s activities at the Museum of Islamic Art Park, including the Snack Court which will feature popular eateries, cafes and restaurants. The Cuisine Court will include fine-dining creations by chefs from the country’s hotels, at prices ranging between 5-35 QAR, as well as High Tea by the Bay. And, in the Culture Court, Chinese and Qatari cuisine will come together in an area dedicated to celebrating the Qatar-China 2016 Year of Culture. A new area dubbed The Market Courtwill be introduced in which delicacies and special ingredients will be on sale.
“The Qatar International Food Festival is one of our signature events and part of QTA’s strategy to grow and diversify the country’s tourism offerings in partnership with the private sector. Following the great success of last year’s festival, we have re-doubled efforts to grow the scope and variety of QIFFin 2016,” said, Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer at QTA. “With the support of our partners, QIFF will, for the first time, extend to multiple locations beyond the MIA Park,at KataraCultural Village and The Pearl-Qatar. Their collaboration will ensure that the QIFF visitor experience is cultural as well asurban, and always unique.”
Al Qurese added: “I would like to thank our long-time partners Qatar Airways for co-hosting the Festival with QTA and providing a first-class touch to the various activities they have helped us to develop over the years.”
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications, Ms. Salam Al Shawa, said: “It is a pleasure for Qatar Airways to again co-host the Qatar International Food Festival. This festival is very dear to our hearts – every day, the people of Qatar Airways connect the people of the world on their travels, and with this festival, we get to welcome them to Doha to enjoy the world’s finest cuisine. Qatar Airways is excited to announce its line-up of international and national celebrity chefs set to perform live on the ever-popular Qatar Airways Cooking Theatre this year and to invite visitors to experience our five-star hospitality at our signature Dinner in the Sky experience.”
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Commercial – Qatar Mr. Ehab Amin, said: “The Festival has all of the right elements to be attractive to people throughout the GCC – it is a family event, it has exciting food and entertainment from around the world, and it has the world’s best airline flying directly to Doha”.
Mr. Amin added: “For travelers in the GCC, QIFF makes the perfect short-break, and Qatar Airways Holidays has created special festival travel packages designed to tempt visitors with a quick getaway.”
According to Mashal Shahbik, Director of Festivals & Events at QTA, “there will be a renewed focus on healthy eating at QIFF 2016 with a large Health Court offering organic food and access to stations where visitors can receive a medical check and advice on how to take up a healthier lifestyle.”
“As QIFF continues to grow from strength to strength, we have tried to ensure that the 2016 edition has something foreveryone, wherever they are in the city,” she added.
This year’s Festival will have a presence in Katara Cultural Village, with a cooking theatre and an entertainment zone planned in the Village’sbeach area.
H.E. Dr. Khalid Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager, Katara Cultural Village Foundation, said, “We are delighted to be hosting the 7th edition of QIFF, which is considered one of the most significant cultural and social events on Qatar’s calendar, as it sheds light on different foods and their connections to various cultures and civilizations. We are confident that the combination of the Festival’s diverse events and forms of entertainment with Katara’s wide range of international restaurants and cafes, against their authentic architectural backdrop, will enrich this year’s QIFF and give its success, which has been building up for so many years, a new dimension.”
Water taxis will be available to transport visitors between the different locations. In addition, the returning Water Court will include festival favourites, Barbeque on the Bay by the Diplomatic Club and Dinner on a Dhow by Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels.
Hussain Akbar Al-Baker, Marketing & Communications Director, United Development Company, commented, “It gives a great pleasure for The Pearl-Qatar to participate in hosting the 7th Qatar International Food Festival, where the festival’s activities will be held on the Lido Venezia Beach in Qanat Quartier. As the main developer of The Pearl-Qatar Island, United Development Company is committed to providing the full support to ensuring the success of this year’s edition of the Festival, which offers a unique opportunity to attract visitors and participants looking to enjoy the best of international cuisines.”
In addition to new locations, QIFF will have new hours this year, extending its opening times from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm for school visits held in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The festival will open to the public between 1:00 pm and 10:30 pm. Organizers have also ensured entertainment for all members of the family, with a Youth Court that will host live stage performances by Baraem TV in the MIA Park, as well as a new initiative by Qatar Museums aimed at fostering healthy eating. Qatar Museums is another strategic partner of the International Food Festival. As part of the Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture, visitors will be able to enjoy a wealth of Chinese and Qatari food offered by renowned chefs.
Mohammed Nasser Al Othman, Director of Public and International Relations at Qatar Museums said:
“The Years of Culture initiative is intended to foster improved mutual understanding, and build bridges between cultures. This year is the Qatar China Year of Culture, and we’re delighted to again be supporting QIFF and to offer visitors a wealth of Chinese and Qatari delicacies and cuisine to enjoy. We’re committed to enriching the lives of all those who live in and visit Qatar, and our involvement in QIFF reflects our ambition to provide rewarding cultural experiences outside of our museums and galleries.”
He added, “As part of QIFF, Qatar Museums is also launching the Healthy Food Initiative – a programme of activities designed to increase awareness amongst Qataris about leading a healthier lifestyle and to promote healthy eating. The initiative has been developed under the visionary guidance of HE Sheikha Al MayassaBint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums with the support of Alain Ducasse.”
The High Tea in the Bay area, catered by Katara Hospitality,includes a double-deck tent with a shaded terrace, stunning views of the entire festival, as well as, English,Chinese and Arabic tea on offer throughout the Festival.
The InstaMarket will be filled with kiosks from top Qatar-based entrepreneurs who are active on Instagram, preparing dishes live in front of visitors. Festival participants can also look forward to the return of the popular A Taste of Business Class (Dinner in the Sky) by Qatar Airways. Additionally,QIFF will offer new entertainment experiences this year, designed for the whole family. Singers, as well as regional and international music bands, will take part in the festival’s entertainment shows, which can be attended free of charge by all visitors. A daily fireworks display will take place throughout the festival.