#QIFF2016 – THE BIG GUIDE
Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways are co-hosting the food festival from Tuesday 22nd March – Monday 28th March 2016. Over 220,000 visitors are expected to visit the 7 day food festival, which includes an increase in regional tourists from surrounding territories.
This year QIFF is expected to be bigger and better than ever with expanded foodie offerings and entertainments! The festival has been expanded to two new venues – The Pearl-Qatar and Katara Cultural Village. There will be live cooking, a variety of food & snack stalls – together they will showcase the five senses to provide a deeper meaning of “A Different Side of Food!”
Prices have been capped by the QTA to reasonable prices so that food offerings are affordable. You can check out the hotel dining and restaurant and snack booths expected. Food prices range from QR5 to QR35. Additional activities such as the Dinner in the Sky and the BBQ Donuts, and the water shuttle services will have separate pricings.
UPDATE: Check out our features on the QIFF 2016 – The Pearl Qatar Beach Pop Up and QIFF 2016 – Katara Foodie Zone. It will help you plan your way around Qatar International Food Festival. You will find Menus with pricings, and our rather surprising first impressions!
Special attractions have also been arranged which include daily movie screenings and children’s entertainment.
For the full 7-day events schedule for #QIFF2016 check out QIFF 2016 – Schedule of Cooking Theatre & Entertainment
Make sure you keep an eye on opening times as the timings will be different on the first day, and try to take an alternative method to driving there because there will be traffic and parking choas.
QIFF 2016 at MIA Park
Tuesday 22nd March 5:00pm – 10:30pm and 23rd – 28th March 1:00 pm – 10:30pm. Please note that school visits will occur from 10.00am but this QIFF venue will not be open to the public until the afternoon.
QIFF 2016 at Katara Cultural Village (satellite location)
Weekdays from 4:00pm until 10:00pm.
Weekends from 1:00pm until 10.30pm.
Please be aware of the last timings for the water shuttle at 9.15pm.
QIFF 2016 at The Pearl-Qatar (satellite location)
Weekdays from 4:00pm until 10:00pm.
Weekends from 1:00pm until 10.00pm.
Please be aware of the last timings for the water shuttle at 9.15pm.
HOW DO I GET TO QATAR INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL?
A FREE bus shuttle service is available to and from Old Airport Arrivals Terminal Car Park to MIA Park. Departs every day from 1:00 pm – 10:30 pm, except on 22nd March when it will be from 5:00-10:30 pm
There is limited parking available at MIA Park and will be made available only to cars carrying more than 3 persons. There is also a parking basement at Souq Waqif that visitors can use, and then you can cross over the road and come in through MIA Park entrance.
Visitors to The Pearl-Qatar can park in the Retail Parking in Qanat Quartier. From there they can walk to golf carts which will take them to the Lido Venezia Beach.
Careem Qatar Promo Code
Visitors can also use a special promotional code that the lovely people @careemqat have given Qatar Eating for users to get 20% off for TWO rides to or from any of the QIFF Venues. Use promo code QATAREATING for your discount. This applies to existing and new users and gives you a maximum discount of QR40 and valid for NOW economy bookings. The code is valid for the whole of QIFF2016.
There is also a Flat rate of QR 15 between any of the three Qatar Food Festival venues – MIA Park, Katara and The Pearl! No promo code needed!
QIFF 2016 – Water Shuttle Taxi
The water shuttle service from MIA Park to Katara or The Pearl-Qatar will be ticketed at QR25, and will run every half hour. Arrangements have been made for a free bus service at 1 La Croisette The Pearl-Qatar, from where water-shuttle users can take a bus to Qanat Quartier.
The schedule for the water taxis for QIFF2016 runs from 4.00 to 9.00pm. See the detailed image below for exact timings. No boats at 8.00pm due to fireworks. Tickets cost QR25pp each way.
Age restrictions apply. Update: Age restrictions are very loosely enforced. Young children are allowed on with parents; and it is advisable that you keep them close as there are no seatbelts and the waves can get choppy. Don’t stand and be sure to use the life vests provided.
Water Taxis have limited seating and are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Water taxi services will stop during the daily fireworks display at 8:30 pm for safety reasons.
Route One: MIA Park to Katara – Katara to MIA Park
Frequency: Every half hour. First boat departs 4:00 pm, last boat departs 9:15pm.
Route Two: MIA Park to The Pearl-Qatar – The Pearl-Qatar to MIA Park
Please note that water taxis will dock at La Croisette. A free shuttle bus will be available to transport visitors to the Festival venue in Qanat Quartier. Frequency: Every half hour. First boat departs 4:00pm, last boat departs 9:15pm.
Private Car services and Limo Services are also available.
WHAT’S NEW AT QIFF2016?
- There are three venues: MIA Park, Katara Cultural Village and The Pearl-Qatar! Water Shuttles have been arranged this year to provide alternative transport between the three locations.
- Over 130 participants will be taking part – from 5 star dining to local restaurants and snack stalls!
- There is an increase of internationally acclaimed celebrity chefs at the Qatar Airways’ Live Cooking Theatre! Headliners include Martha Stewart, George Calombaris, Tagaki Kazuo, Jesús Escalera Francisco Ruano. Popular QIFF Chefs Vineet Bhatia and Massimo Capra will be back, whilst the Fatafeat TV Quad are also back again!
- Qatar Museum Authority brings the Chinese Court as part of the Qatar-China Year of Culture 2016 – so expect lots of Qatari and Chinese treats.
- There is a bigger focus on healthy eating this year with increased offerings of organic, vegan food and beverages. MIA Café is launching a series of recipes that have been developed through a unique collaboration with a selection of lifestyle and food bloggers from the local community. The brand new menu features a range of healthy eating options and will be released in April.
- QMA will also be launching the Healthy Food Initiative – a programme of activities designed to increase awareness about leading a healthier lifestyle and to promote healthy eating. The Healthy Food Show on March 25th from 4:30pm to 8:30pm will bring together three world-renowned experts to share dietary advice and promote physical exercise. Alain Ducasse (IDAM) will also be attending the festival as part of QMA healthy eating initiative.
- QMA has also organised workshops for schools and families during QIFF 2016. From 24th until 27th March you can enjoy workshops about: Planting Your Seed; Make Your Own Smoothies: blind tests of fresh produce and smoothies; Edible Flowers. Children will receive certificates, take selfies with chef’s hat, and get to take home their own plant pot.
- There are increased entertainments for children with Baraem TV participating to provide live stage performances.
- Food Trucks are a big feature at new venue The Pearl-Qatar with local and regional food trucks and stands, inlcuding Burgeri Truck!
- The Foodie Zone at Katara will showcase all sorts of delicious culinary goodness including street food.
What’s On At MIA Park – QIFF 2016
Daily Fireworks at 8.00pm!
Dinner in the Sky Qatar Airways will once again be putting on the gourmet “A Taste of Business Class” experience priced at QR500 per person. Flight timings are 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:00pm and 8:30pm. Guests to arrive 30minutes before their ticketed flight and enjoy the amenities of the Lounge with Fauchon sweet treats.
Entertainment Court – Expect increased family and cultural entertainment with LED Drummers, Nily Nils (back again with his unicycle!), and KidzMondo entertainers.
All-Star Court – There was some good news about the different food offerings with an increased focus on cheaper priced snacks ranging from QR5 to QR35 at the Snack Court which will feature popular eateries, cafes and restaurants.
5 Star Court – With fine-dining creations by chefs from the country’s hotels at prices ranging between QR5-35.
Qatar Airway’s Cooking Theatre – The crowd favourite with headliner guest chefs including Martha Stewart, Vineet Bhatia and Massimo Capra.
High Tea Court – High Tea by the Bay is organised by Katara Hospitality. Ritz Carlton Doha will be hosting the attraction, with pricings from QR5 – QR50.
Qatar-China Court – Chinese pavilion for the 2016 Qatar-China Year of Culture, with a focus on Chinese and Qatari cuisine.
Instagram Court – With kiosks from 12 Qatar-based entrepreneurs who are active on Instagram.
Market Court – A showcase of local foods including tea, and visitors will also be able to purchase ingredients.
Health Court – Healthy Eating will again be a focus at QIFF 2016, with a Health Court. There will be organic food and access to stations where visitors can receive medical checks, and advice about healthy living. School activities have already begun educating children about the importance of fruit and vegetables and the message of healthy eating is being enforced by key partners.
Kids Court – Arabic channel Baream TV will also have live cartoon character shows for children.
Water Court – Will have the popular QIFF activities Barbecue on the Bay by the Diplomatic Club – enjoy a fun meal with friends and family on a floating BBQ Donut. Or choose to board a traditional wooden dhow for Dinner on a Dhow by Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels. Dinner on the Dhow has two packages: “Arabic Live BBQ and Mezze” priced at QR130pp and is timetabled from 7:00 to 9:00pm. “Moroccan Afternoon Tea” package priced at QR60pp/QR100per couple and runs from 3:00pm until 6:00pm. You can call +974 4433 6666 or just walk over to the Dhow jetty area at MIA Park.
What’s On At Katara – QIFF 2016
This year’s Festival will have a presence in Katara Cultural Village, with a cooking theatre and an entertainment zone planned in the Village’s beach area.
Foodie Court – expect a range of restaurants to serve up culinary delights for every palate along the Katara promenade.
Live Cooking – This includes dishes as varied as pomelo salad, beef wellington, jamaican jerk chicken and ackee saltfish. Visitors will also be taught how to make the popular regional dessert Kunafa!
Entertainments – includes DJ, Nily Nils (the unicylist), and Barbs
For a full review including menu prices check out QIFF 2016 – Katara Foodie Zone
What’s On At The Pearl – QIFF 2016
Food Trucks are expected at the Beach Court. Vendors will be from local brands here in Qatar and regional favourites from Kuwait and KSA.
Entertainments – will include Nily Nils juggling on his unicycle, Barbs, Chefs & Waiters comedy show and LED Drummers. There will also be a Lion Dance performance at The Pearl-Qatar!
Live Cooking – Cooking from some of the headline chefs including Chef Massimo Capra, Chef Vineet Bhatia and Qatari vegan social influencer Ghanim Al Sulaiti.
Movie Screenings – Doha Film Institute will screen popular food-related movies Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and Ponyo!
For a full review including menu prices check out QIFF 2016 – The Pearl Qatar Beach Pop Up
For full coverage about QIFF 2016 check out the following Features: