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DFC

Five Guys at Doha Festival City

Popular American burger chain Five Guys has opened at Doha Festival City.

This is Qatar’s first Five Guys outpost, though there are already outlets in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The eatery is known for its many toppings, and claims that customers can choose from a possible 250,000 ways to have their order served.

Five Guys / Facebook

Typical Five Guys fare

In a statement, Marwan Kandeel, Regional Brand Manager of Cravia Q Limited Services Group, said:

“The launch of Five Guys in Doha Festival City is the latest in a series of new openings across the region. We are delighted to be expanding into Qatar, and given the popularity of Five Guys in the rest of the MENA region, we are confident that the Doha Festival City branch will become a go-to destination for families and friends looking to indulge in their favorite comfort food.”

DFC

Doha Festival City, which is north of Doha, next to IKEA, soft-launched to the public in April.

Amanda Ramirez

Doha Festival City

When fully open, it will have some 500 stores and 100 food and beverage outlets. In addition to Five Guys, the mall is bringing several new names to Qatar.

They include upscale British department store Harvey Nichols, Borders bookstore, stationery specialists Paperchase, Ace Hardware and Japanese interiors label Muji.

Thoughts?

Doha News

Marmara Istanbul, closed by MME

For the third time in three years, popular Turkish takeaway Marmara Istanbul has been closed by Qatari authorities for violating health regulations.

The branch in Fereej Kulaib, near TV intersection, was shut by the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment (MME) for 10 days in mid-August.

In a statement on its website, the ministry said the restaurant was trading in “harmful food contaminated with radioactive (microbes) (parasites) (pesticides)…”

The notice did not specify which of those infractions the restaurant committed.

Doha News

Marmara Istanbul, closed by MME

As of yesterday, Marmara Istanbul remained closed to the public, its doors and windows plastered with stickers from the Health Control section of the ministry.

These state: “This establishment is closed due to violating municipal laws and regulations.”

Food poisoning

This is the third time in as many years the eatery has been shut down by authorities for food violations.

In October 2014, it shut for two months after several customers – including a pregnant woman who gave birth prematurely – reported food poisoning after eating there.

At the time, the MME published photographs of the inside of the restaurant. They showed what appears to be dirty and moldy chopping boards, unclean worktops, BBQ grills blackened with caked-on food deposits and food lying around the surfaces.

Baladiya

An image taken by inspectors of Marmara Istanbul.

A subsequent court case found the restaurant and five of its employees guilty of selling food unfit for human consumption.

In May 2015, a misdemeanor court ordered the restaurant manager and four employees to be jailed, fined and deported, and for the establishment to close for another three months.

The restaurant closed at that time, then appealed the conviction, but lost in a verdict issued in February last year.

It was then closed again for a month to serve out the rest of the sentence.

Other closures

In the past week, another four eateries across town were also shut down by Baladiya officials for breaking hygiene and food laws.

Al Shourook Modern Bakery on Khalifa Street in Markhiya was closed by inspectors on Aug. 22 for two months. “Unhygienic conditions” were cited in documents on the MME’s website.

Doha News

Al Shorook Bakery, closed by MME

The store, near TV intersection, currently has 16 closure notices stuck across its glass facade.

And Indian-Chinese cafeterias Bye Bye Garden and Top Cornich, both in the Souq area, also ordered closed for 30 days each on Aug. 17, also for having unhygienic conditions.

Affordable Indian eatery Sky Restaurant in Musheireb was closed for the same reason on the same day for 15 days.

The closures are part of an ongoing campaign to enforce safety and hygiene standards on restaurants, grocery shops and warehouses storing food in the country.

Have you eaten at these outlets? Thoughts?

QM

Museum of Islamic Art Doha

Organic coffee, Thai ice cream rolls, Indian chapati and poori, and local fusion food will be among the cuisines on offer when six food trucks open at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park in “the coming weeks.”

The trucks were chosen as part of an initiative by Qatar Museums (QM) and Qatar Development Bank.

The goal is to support local entrepreneurs while bolstering one of Doha’s most popular recreation spaces, the groups explained in a statement.

Gazanfarulla Khan

Doha Bus

In an announcement today, QM said the trucks will include a re-purposed hop-on Doha Bus, which will sell Qatari fusion food and drinks.

The other mobile outlets are:

  • Coffee-Bike: This mini-chain, which already has outlets in locations including The Pearl and Doha Festival City, will provide organic coffee, juices, smoothies, sandwiches and desserts.
  • Dareen Sweets: Serving sweet and savory biscuits, cakes and drinks, this store is already popular at Souq Al Wakrah.
  • Ice Rolls: The Thai concept that already has a stall at Gulf Mall will offer park customers rolled ice cream in cups.
  • Burger and Burmait: American food with a local twist will be on offer here, using locally sourced ingredients. The start-up already featured its wares at Chi Al-Shiqab earlier this year.
  • Poori & Karak: Here, Indian chapati, poori and parata sandwiches will be served. The MIA Park outlet will be the fifth in the country for the mini-chain, which already operates in Muaither, Al Gharafa, Abu Hamour and Al Wakrah.

QM described the winning businesses as “some of the best new arrivals on the Qatar food truck scene” and said they will open in the coming weeks.

“Additional food operators will be selected for future QM sites in the coming months,” it added.

Long-awaited

Local foodies have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of food trucks at MIA since QM opened the application process in June 2016.

At that time, it sought five trucks with a planned October 2016 launch. However, the project did not take off then.

Qatar’s food truck scene has been expanding in recent years.

Its first truck is operated by Burgeri, which tours the country offering gourmet burgers and hot dogs to hungry residents.

Cafe #999, outside Doha Fire Station, also has a truck. And other foodie ventures run pop-up stalls across town, particularly during the annual Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF).

Doha News

QIFF

Last December, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) sought to expand the market of mobile businesses.

It invited local entrepreneurs to apply to be one of 12 companies offering roaming food, beauty services and service repairs around Doha.

MIA/Facebook

MIA Park Bazaar

MIA Park is already popular with local foodies, thanks to its weekly bazaar. It features lots of home cooks and bakers keen to sell their wares.

Will you visit the new food trucks when they open soon? Thoughts?