By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter
The seventh Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF), which concluded yesterday, attracted an estimated 200,000 across its three venues over seven days, breaking last year’s record of 170,000.
“This year’s edition of QIFF has set a new standard for festivals and events in Qatar, which we will continue to build on with our partners in future editions,” Qatar Tourism Authority’s (QTA) Chief Marketing and Promotion officer Rashed al-Qurese said in a statement.
The culinary celebration had seen a surge in the number of visitors since its opening last Tuesday at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park, Katara – the Cultural Village, and The Pearl-Qatar.
Highlighting the major activities of the festival, al-Qurese described QIFF 2016 as a “perfect platform” to showcase authentic five-star culinary offerings to hundreds of thousands of local and international visitors.
While various zones had been set up to entertain all ages at the main venue, Qatar Airways’ Cooking Theatre featured some of the world-renowned chefs who enthralled the audience with their live cooking demonstrations.
Martha Stewart, George Calombaris of Master Chef Australia and Salma Soliman of Fatafeat television showcased their cooking prowess at the event, inspiring many foodies and aspiring chefs to pursue their passion.
“We are proud of the success QIFF has achieved as a homegrown event that is now eagerly anticipated by people in Qatar and visitors from across the region,” al-Qurese noted.
He believes the event has become the largest and one of the most awaited popular events in Qatar due to the huge following from residents and tourists.
Dubbed as “A Different Side Of Food,” QIFF also focused in raising awareness on the importance of healthy living by offering healthy foods and beverages.
A number of stalls also encouraged people to regularly exercise and eat healthier options such as organic foods, which help in preventing various kinds of diseases.
QIFF welcomed hundreds of students from 10 schools in Qatar who had the chance to savour different dishes and participate in some of the activities at MIA Park. Young children were treated to wide range of entertainment activities at the Baraem TV’s children theatre, Doha Film Institute’s daily film screenings and nightly firework displays.
QTA has been getting feedback from the public on how to make the festival better each year.
“Early on in the planning process, we asked members of the community to share what they would like to see in QIFF this year, and that was a large part of its success,” QTA’s Events and Tourism Festivals director Mashal Shahbik said.
To further improve next year’s festival, organisers urged visitors to share their comments and suggestions about the 2016 celebration through QIFF’s social media pages.
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