Doha Burger Festival offers Qatari twist

Doha: The classic American burger is given a Qatari twist at an expanded version of the annual Doha Burger Festival which kicked off yesterday at Katara Cultural Village.

With the success of its inaugural edition last year along with the aim to support local brands engaged in the food and beverage sector, the second edition has been organised this time in a bigger space with even bigger participation, said organisers.

“More than 35,000 people attended the first edition of the festival which was held at the Hotel Park last year with 40 participants. This year, we have 72 participants, majority of which are Qatari companies. We want to support Qatari businesses, who use their own local spices and ingredients on the classic American burger,” Omar Shamiyeh, CEO of Cosette Solutions, organiser of the festival, told The Peninsula yesterday.

Although the festival witnesses the presence of several international franchises, the participants are mainly local set to surprise foodies by putting their own spin on the burger, which has been one of the more popular food in the country.

“In general, fast food, which includes burgers, is the most popular meal in Qatar after local cuisine. With the growing demand, there are more than 280 burger restaurants in Qatar and today more than 70 of them are here,” said Shamiyeh.

He added: “With the demand and in support of the love and passion of local businesses who are trying to compete with international brands, we have created this festival as a platform to let people know of these new homegrown companies and sample new tastes.” This year’s festival have also almost four times doubled the exhibition space-from 4,000sqm last year to the present 15,000sqm, said Shamiyeh, adding they are expecting the number of visitors to increase to 75,000 from last year’s 35,000.

The festival also includes six food trucks with local concepts and a vegetarian section for the health conscious. There are also several stalls offering non-food products.

“We also have the biggest bouncy castle in the world, a kid’s area, a stage where shows will be held daily, and an electronic games section with competitions with a total of more than QR30,000 in prizes at stake,” said Shamiyeh.

Katara’s Services Department Manager Hussein Al Baker, led the inauguration of the festival on behalf of Katara General Manager Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti.

“Katara has been keen to host such a festival to introduce visitors to the different flavours and choices of burgers available in the market and to get updated with the latest fast food options,” said Al Baker.

Running for five days, the festival located in Katara’s southern area is open to the public from 12 noon till midnight until Saturday.

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