The Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage H E Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al Kuwari (second right) cutting the ribbon with Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways (right), and Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority (third right), to inaugurate the Fifth Qatar International Food Festival at MIA Park yesterday. Abdul Basit
DOHA: Hundreds of visitors gathered at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park yesterday to witness the spectacular opening of the fifth Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF).
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) Chairman Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi; Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker and Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr Hamad bin Adbulaziz Al Kuwari opened the four-day culinary event.
Speaking to the media after the launch, Dr Al Kuwari lauded the festival’s special focus on families and children.
With such positive feedback on the entertainment that was showcased during QIFF 2013, organisers QTA and Qatar Airways aimed to bring even more exciting family friendly acts at this years’ festival.
“In general QTA is concerned with children as we did at the book fair, and on this occasion I laud Qatar Airways for its role in this festival and in the development of tourism in Qatar. Everything is good and promising,” he said.
At last night’s opening children and families enjoyed jugglers and stilt walkers, a carnival show, food comic and popular characters from the children’s show Baraem. Doha Jazz and violinist Soledad, tanoura and break dancers and drum performers also entertained the crowd. They will be performing from today until the festival ends on Sunday.
A mixture of culture, healthy food and lifestyle and entertainment; the festival features a number of sections including the International Zone, Healthy & Active Zone, Snack Zone, Family Zone and Qatar Brazil Zone, which all offer unique food and entertainment.
Visitors may sample a wide variety of food available at 55 food stalls and five kiosks of restaurants and exhibitors. Priced from QR5 to QR25, the food items are offered by various hotels in Doha which take the chance to show off their best food and beverage offerings.
“The dining alternatives in Doha continue to grow year after year, and the Food Festival is a great way to showcase new tastes and trends,” said Al Mohannadi. “QIFF has been growing every year in size and popularity, and in keeping with that trend I expect this fifth edition will be the biggest and best yet.”
“Qatar Airways is proud to be a partner for QIFF once again in 2014,” said Al Baker. “In their own way, both QIFF and Qatar Airways are playing a part in connecting Qatar with the rest of the world – one through amazing culinary experiences and the other through amazing travel experiences.”
At the Qatar Brazil Zone, people can savour Qatari ice cream as well as pastries, salads and coffee while watching a performance of traditional Brazilian dance.
Signature zones and activities include the Dinner in the Sky zone sponsored by Renaissance Hotel and the BBQ Donut, which is sponsored by the Diplomatic Club.
QIFF social media contests were also launched simultaneously on Instagram and Twitter that allow users to compete for prizes such as free flights to Brazil and tickets to “Dinner in the Sky”.
A shuttle service is available between the venue and two areas namely the Al Bidda Park and Al Sharq. The shuttle service will run continually today from 1.30pm to 11pm, tomorrow from 12nn to 10pm and on Sunday from 1.30pm to 10pm.
QIFF is open to the public today from 2pm to 11pm, tomorrow from 2pm to 10pm and on Sunday from 2pm to 10pm.