This year’s Qatar International Food Festival got off to a crowded start last night, bloggers report. The eats were plentiful, various and delicious, but organizers appear to be struggling with some of the logistics.
Here are a few tips if you plan to go to the food festival, which runs through Sunday at the Museum of Islamic Art park. Hours today (Friday) are from 1pm to 11pm; Saturday from 1pm to 10pm; and Sunday from 2pm to 10pm.
-Carpool if you can. According to blogger and longtime Qatar resident Glenn McKay, parking is not available at the museum. He adds that even dropping off can be a hassle:
The security guards were even yelling at drivers who are trying to stop at the gate to drop people off (TONS of cars were driving up to the gate so stopping to drop people off would start to cause gridlock).
However, parking is available at Al Sharq Village and Spa and the Ministry of Interior building, according to Qatar Tourism Authority on Twitter. From there, shuttle busses will transport festival-goers every five minutes to the MIA Park.
–Plan ahead when buying vouchers. Vendors do not accept cash, so festival-goers must buy a booklet of vouchers to pay for the food, which is priced from QR5 to QR25. But this year, there is also a QR10 service charge per booklet. So try to figure out how much you want to spend before buying your vouchers, McKay said.
-Think twice about dining in the sky. You can reserve seats and buy tickets (QR500 a seat) online, but according to Doha Diaries:
A table was being carried off ground by a large odd-looking crane. It looked inconvenient for the foodies back on ground level as we wondered if they felt comfortable enough to be eating good food up there.
–Make your own seating. McKay said there are lots of benches and tables set up on the festival grounds, but a picnic blanket would make it easier to sit on the grass.
–Finally, bring some change, he added. “Keep some 1 riyal bills with you. Many of the stalls sell water or soda for 1 or 2 riyal and will accept cash for it so you don’t have to waste a 5 riyal ticket.”
Also, check the QIFF page for program details. There will be live music, performances, etc throughout the festival.
Have you gone yet? What advice do you have?
Credit: Photo courtesy of QTA on Facebook