Food festival to host over 150 food and beverage stalls
February 26 2019 10:11 PM
QNTC's Mashal Shahbik, Qatar Airways' Salam al-Shawa, QNTC's Rashed al-Qurese and QF's Mohamed A Fak
QNTC's Mashal Shahbik, Qatar Airways' Salam al-Shawa, QNTC's Rashed al-Qurese and QF's Mohamed A Fakhroo at a press conference yesterday to announce the details of QIFF 2019 on Tuesday. PICTURE: Anas al-Samaraee

More than 150 food and beverage stalls will participate in the Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) 2019, offering “diverse flavours of the world” between March 20 and 30 at Education City’s Oxygen Park.

QIFF, one of the most popular and anticipated festivals in the country, is celebrating its milestone 10th anniversary edition with an array of culinary activities, cultural shows, roaming entertainment, and month-long side events for residents and visitors.

“We are witnessing a decade that has passed full of success and development through which the festival indeed reached unique results and it has become a source of inspiration for many,” said Rashed al-Qurese from the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC).

Festivities will spread across three dedicated areas over 130,000sqm area of the park: for the main course specialties, for children-friendly foods and activities, and for cafes and light food, along with private seating areas serving curated pre-set menus.

Besides 23 new and upcoming businesses (local), QIFF will also feature Qatar Foundation’s (QF) farmers market, Torba, which offers farm-to-table experiences.

Al-Qurese said QIFF also moved on to different locations, raising awareness on the country’s many tourist destinations and providing people of all ages with one-of-its-kind entertainment and experience.

Oxygen Park will offer an impressive venue, layout and format to festival-goers this year, according to QF’s Outreach and Institutional Advancement executive director Mohamed A Fakhroo.

“It is a green space designed for recreation in Education City. In hosting it, we are emphasising the message that our doors are always open to all members of the community,” he noted.

“We invite everyone to discover for themselves the inclusive experience that QF offers, enabling them to explore and benefit from the facilities for education and enjoyment that we provide,” Fakhroo added. “These facilities are open to the wider community, and to visitors from both within and outside Qatar, not just during this and other festivals and events, but all year round.”

Students from 50 schools across Qatar also stand to benefit from QIFF’s healthy food and nutrition awareness programme from March 10 to 14 at the Qatar National Library as part of its partnership with QF. It aims to teach students identify healthy nutrition against unhealthy foods.

The event will also witness local chefs, including Ayman Nasser al-Din, Youssef Oweida, Deldar Hussein, Noora al-Mazroui, Sarah al-Sayed, Warda Ibrahim and Coach Noora al-Kuwari, preparing healthy snacks in front of the students, helping them gain a visual understanding of where food comes from and an appreciation of healthy alternatives to common snacks.

“We are delighted to celebrate the decade-long journey of QIFF and the way it has been bringing in limelight, Qatar’s iconic venues and authentic offerings,” Mashal Shahbik from QNTC said.

“Over the years, the festival has not only inspired entrepreneurs to introduce innovative restaurants and dishes but it also paved the way for event organisers to introduce specialised food festivals, making Qatar’s gastronomic canvas more vibrant year after year,” she stressed.

According to organisers, QIFF also served as a platform for local entrepreneurs to promote their products and introduce their innovative offerings.

Since its inception in 2010, the festival grew further and attracted more than 400,000 visitors last year. Like previous years, this edition will be organised and delivered by QNTC with the support of numerous partners representing the aviation, entertainment, hospitality and food and beverage sectors in Qatar.

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