DIYAFA (meaning hospitality in direct Arabic translation) kicked off its 7th edition of the Hotel, Restaurant and Food exhibition Press Conference yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton Doha to talk about what they’ve got in store for this year.
Opening its doors to industry professionals from the 16th – 18th October at the Doha Exhibition Center from 15:00-21:00, the DIYAFA team talk enthusiastically about the hospitality industry as a whole and the platform they plan to provide.
Representing each key special feature at DIYAFA this year, the panel was filled with passionate experts who have collectively teamed up to achieve a common goal that they support and believe is both measurable and achievable.
DIYAFA was first inaugurated in 2004 as an exhibition for showcasing products. Today, it is an annual industry celebration and platform that aims to provide qualitative opportunities. Now in its seventh edition, the landmark exhibition is more than just an expo of products; rather, it has become a destination to showcase skills and expertise, to improve upon industry standards and explore cutting-edge opportunities. DIYAFA adds value to the hospitality industry of Qatar- a sentiment that was echoed by the hospitality industry’s top experts at the press conference yesterday.
Over the years, DIYAFA has introduced new offerings to lineup of activities in the hopes of increasing motivation in the industry, improving training regiments, introducing competitions to highlight world-class talent, and creating industry-wide mechanisms to measure success and improvements within the industry.
In the years since its inception, DIYAFA has tailor-built signature offerings for Qatar’s hospitality industry- most notably, the hugely popular Salon Culinaire – a full – fledged culinary competition challenging all aspects of a chef’s expertise from master showpieces to live cooking signature dishes.
Sarah Mroueh, the Project Manager behind DIYAFA and its unique offerings, noted yesterday that, “Lots of time was invested in not just putting together a competition but in developing a competition that encourages team building, supports motivational relationships between executive head chefs and their comis chefs as well as providing an opportunity for chefs to get some directional feedback from expert judges from around the world. Salon Culinaire started with just under 30 chefs competing in 2009– today, the competition plays host to just over 200 chefs. ”
Supporting Salon Culinaire for its third year in a row, Imad Askar, Director of Operations at Askar Industrial, told members of the press that, “DIYAFA sets the standard for Qatar’s growing hospitality industry. There is no one else doing this right now. With all the new hotels and restaurants coming to Doha, DIYAFA is a great platform for showcasing how cutting-edge the industry is really getting in Qatar. Standards at Salon Culinaire have sky rocketed in the last three years – it’s impressive to watch. We, as Askar industrial are here to support DIYAFA all the way because we believe that Salon Culinaire is important to the industry’s growth.”
Also on the panel supporting DIYAFA for its third year running, was Training Partner Boecker Food Safety Deputy Country Manager, Rami Jebai who noted that “We continue to believe that DIYAFA’ s ultimate benefit is to assist the industry in achieving excellence at every level. We provide 1005 free training sessions in HACCP and Basic Food Hygiene at DIYAFA because we believe that everyone in this industry should have the opportunity to train and develop themselves in the absolute basic requirements.”
“Whether a DIYAFA participant is partaking in the Boecker Food Safety workshops or whether they are visiting to check out the latest equipment for their kitchen or hospitality business, their ultimate aim is to exploit the opportunities presented to them by this booming market. DIYAFA offers them a chance to do that, and much more,” said Jebai.
Sarah Mroueh informed the press that, “Qatar’s hospitality sector is undergoing an unprecedented boom. DIYAFA is custom-built to cater to all aspects of the industry – whether it is training staff members, introducing new suppliers, launching new products, starting conversations with potential partners, or even generating some healthy competition through organized competitions. In this vein, DIYAFA is launching new signature events- namely, the Spa Concept Conference and the Qatar Choice Awards.”
Renowned international spa consultant, Raquel Calleja, was commissioned by IFP Qatar to build an exciting program for the Spa Concept conference. While giving her insight into the newly launched conference, Calleja noted that, ‘’The Spa Concept is an opportunity to engage the industry, to work with the industry to define a new model of business for spas in Qatar. It is a very exciting time and I am glad to be working with IFP to make this a reality. I recommend anyone who has anything to do with the spa industry to take time off on the 18th October from 15:00 till 20:00 to attend the one-day conference. ”
Sarah Mroueh added: ‘With the immense growth being witnessed within the spa sector, there is a need for industry-wide standards in Qatar, as well as a need for tailoring products and services that are culturally appropriate. These subjects have to be approached with the industry as a whole. With Raquel’s expert assistance, we hope to kick start a much needed nation-wide conversation on spas in Qatar.”
Along with the Spa Concept conference, DIYAFA has also unveiled a brand new industry-focused program – the much anticipated and much publicized Qatar Choice Awards.
DIYAFA has teamed up with ILoveQatar.net and Qatar Happening magazine to launch a 100% public voting initiative to highlight Qatar’s favorite hospitality industry service providers across all sectors of the industry.
Moona Whitice, Executive Director at Qatar Happening Events magazine and Abode Qatar lifestyle magazine, informed the press yesterday that, “This is the first time such an event is being organized in Qatar. What we are trying to accomplish is to give Qatar’s residents a voice. Everywhere I go people are talking about the awards. The hotels have taken an unprecedented initiative to promote an event that is not being held at their properties. We are very excited that our efforts and hard work is being noticed and embraced by the entire community. Qatar Happening is very proud to have partnered with Diyafa and ILoveQatar.net to stage an event of this caliber and we are overwhelmed with the response. We look forward to announcing the results at the Qatar Choice Awards Gala dinner being held on the 17th October at Al Gassar Resort.”
Speaking of the exhibition in general, Dikran Vartan, Business Development & Sales Manager at GulfCrafts noted that, “As a company which holds the highest quality standards to heart, we are extremely delighted to sponsor Diyafa. It consistently showcases best of breed products and services to an industry that is looking to exceed expectations. We look forward to showcasing our work too, and hope for a prosperous exhibition for everyone.”
Belal Al Kadry, Executive Assistant Manager at The Ritz Carlton Doha added: “The efforts that are being made by IFP Qatar to develop DIYAFA as an industry platform is something not a lot of organizers really care to do. As a professional in this industry, I appreciate the initiatives that have been made to support the developments of my teams and our industry as a whole. We remain committed to the both the idea of DIYAFA and the innovative initiatives it is undertaking.”
DIYAFA 2012 is supported by Boecker Food Safety, Askar Industrial, Red Bull Qatar, GulfCrafts, Hot Hoteliers, WARP, Al Isteklal (IACQatar), Premium Projects, Netizency, Trinity Talent, Maya La Chocolaterie, Integral Services, Strategem, Ventures Onsite Middle East and the Ritz Carlton-Doha.
‘’There are many people involved in making DIYAFA what it is today. It is because of the very people sitting on this table with me amongst several other supporting partners that we are able to put together these tailor-made features. Our partners have led the change, and we remain indebted to them for their continuing support and their vision of the future,” added Mroueh.
Diyafa is expected to host over 3,500 industry professionals, with over 200 brands being showcased at exhibition.
Salon Culinaire, Boecker Training, The Red Bull Bartenders Academy, The Spa Concept conference and the Qatar Choice Awards will all be held concurrently with DIYAFA.
DIYAFA 2012 will open its doors to industry professionals from the 16th – 18th October at the Doha Exhibition Center from 3-9pm daily. For more information, visit www.DIYAFAQatar.com.
You must be logged in to post a comment.