The Qatar International Food Festival is a celebration of the country’s unique and diverse cultures coming together for the thriving culinary scene. With numerous restaurant openings, Qatar’s gastronomic landscape is incredibly exciting, and the 12th edition of Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) is just the perfect occasion for it. Held at the newly-opened Lusail Al Sa’ad Plaza – the street synonymous with the FIFA World Cup 2022™ final celebrations – from 11 March until 21 March 2023, the QIFF is Qatar’s largest and longest-running food and drink festival.
From fireworks and family-friendly entertainment, to chef masterclasses at the Qatar Airways cooking theatre, the festival offers something for all ages to enjoy. Foodies can choose from 100 vendors offering global cuisines, from local shawarma to Mexican tacos and Liberian rice bread. On a daily basis, all leftover food is collected and distributed by the festival’s charity partner Qatar Charity.
Here are five things to check out while you are there:
Family-fun entertainment: Throughout the festival there are roaming acts and a nightly fireworks show. Guests can even get their skates on at a custom-made rink.
Chef masterclasses and workshops: Daily live cooking theatres feature some of the world’s most dynamic and respected chefs, and food-loving festivalgoers can attend ticketed interactive food masterclasses where they have the unique opportunity to sharpen their skillset with some of the industry’s finest. Celebrity chefs in attendance include Rachel Allen from Ireland, Dario Cecchini from Italy, Sara Assi from Lebanon, Aisha Al Tamimi from Qatar and chef Wan from Malaysia, amongst others.
Immersive dining experiences: There is a host of unusual dining options available for guests at QIFF, including a unique experience with Le Petit Chef, an interactive dining experience using 3D mapping, in collaboration with The Ritz Carlton, Doha. And the festival’s customary cornucopia of world cuisine food trucks will make a return too. From Arabian spices to gorgeously flavoursome Filipino Kare Kare, guests are sure to find something mouth-watering amongst the variety of carts.
Cultural delicacies: This year, QIFF has an area dedicated to Indonesia, home to the famed Spice Islands, in celebration of the Qatar-Indonesia Year of Culture 2023. QIFF will also feature a special Qatari cultural tent for local delicacies.
Vegan and green desert zone: An entire section of the festival exclusively houses vegan cuisine and healthy food options. Additionally, to celebrate the upcoming International Horticultural Expo 2023 Qatar, which will take place in October under the theme “Green Desert, Better Environment,” a special kiosk is offering special plant giveaways for festival visitors.
(QIFF 2023 is free to the public and runs daily until March 21 from 16:00 – 22:00 on weekdays, and 16:00 – 01:00 on weekends.)