Global culinary delights at Qatar’s food festival

Qatari capital Doha hosts the best of culinary feast from all over the world.

QATAR (MARCH 24, 2015) (REUTERS) – Residents in the Qatari capital Doha were treated to the best of culinary delights from all over the world with the annual Qatar International Food Festival.

Kicking off on Tuesday (March 24), the week-long festival features the best that Qatar’s diverse culture has to offer, attracting not just local but international guests as well.

“Visitors spend a nice time. Families from different nationalities come to the festival. We even started to see visitors from the Gulf countries, like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Abu Dhabi. They come for the festival. It’s a great event that helps introduce people to the cuisines and hotels in Qatar, which are an asset for the country and tourism,” said Anwar Aboul Hosn, assistant director of marketing at the five-star La Cigale Hotel.

Dozens of food stalls and cooking stations cater to everyone’s palates – from luscious Turkish kebabs, to Italian pasta, French cheeses, and traditional Qatari delicacies.

“We have very good success with the French food. Of course we have already expats community that’s very excited about French food, and of course the Qataris as well are very connoisseur of French foods because they go to Paris very often and Europe. So, they really appreciate the luxury of French cuisine,” said French Gael Cruchet, executive chef at Ritz Carlon Hotel.

The festival, at the city’s Museum of Islamic Art park, also provides an opportunity for people to sample five-star cuisine and five-star dining experience.

“The festival is an opportunity for the average client, who doesn’t usually go to hotels, to experience hotel food. He eats something at this hotel booth or that and tries new things. We also introduce the visitors to hospitality in Doha and how five star restaurants are working,” said Ali Hadla, chef de cuisine at Sharq Village and Spa.

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is hoping the festival will continue to bring in tourists from the Gulf region.

Last week alone, Qatar said it has received 47,000 visitors from the GCC countries which, apart from Qatar, are made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.

“We promote the food festival in Doha and the Gulf region. During this period of the year we have a huge number of visitors from other Gulf countries. Any festival, exhibition, conference or huge event like this one, attracts a big number of tourists to the country,” said Hamad Abdulrahman Al Khaja, Head of Promotions and Events at Qatar Tourism Authority.

The festival ends on Saturday (March 28).