Customers are going to need a jet ski or yacht to get to this new market in Dubai. Carrefour Bites and More by the Shore bills itself as the world’s first sail-thru supermarket. It’s basically a mini-mart anchored out in the ocean.
Instead of a drive-thru, the market, called the Aqua Pod, has a sail-thru. While on a small watercraft, passengers can float up to the window counter to pay and receive their items. Those on bigger vessels can order by calling it in or using the Aqua Pod app. The food will be delivered by boat within 45 minutes.
The market sells about 300 items including snacks and drinks. They also sell personal care products like sunscreen and over-the-counter drugs.
For visitors without a vessel, Carrefour sends out its own delivery person on a small boat to bring orders to customers on local beaches.
The water market is a product of Majid Al Futtaim, a retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Majid Al Futtaim’s Chief Operating Officer Miguel Povedano said they chose Dubai to launch their new store for a reason.
“With Dubai’s stunning coastline being enjoyed by millions of people each year, it is a natural next step to cater to our customers with relevant products in a locale where they are not currently being served,” he said.
The Aqua Pod was designed to be eco-friendly. Its rechargeable batteries provide enough energy to sail out to sea and back. It also features a bin that vacuums any trash or debris in the water and stores it in a holding tank to be emptied on shore. The pod includes a built-in purifier, which eliminates the need for plastic water bottles on board. Carrefour Bites and More by the Shore will only provide biodegradable paper straws and bags.
“More than ever, a successful business depends on continually reinventing itself to stay ahead of customer needs and expectations,” Majid Al Futtaim’s CEO Hani Weiss said. The water market is open six days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, weather permitting.