Carrefour Launches First Ever "Sail-Thru" Supermarket in Dubai

Aqua Pod - Publicity-H 2018
Courtesy of Majid Al Futtaim

A custom-built "Aqua Pod" will cater to customers on both shore and sea.

The world's first "sail-thru" supermarket will soon service Dubai's sailors and beachgoers.

On Thursday, retail giant Majid Al Futtaim unveiled the "Carrefour Bites and More by the Shore," a waterborne supermarket housed in a custom-built "Aqua Pod" anchored at sea. The Pod, created by the Aquatic Architects Design Studio, will service customers on yachts and jet skis as well as three selected beaches in Dubai: Kite Beach, Jumeirah Public Beach and Al Sufouh Beach.

More than 300 products will be offered, ranging from food items such as hot and cold snacks to non-food items such as sunscreen and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Customers on jet skis or smaller boats can sail up to the Pod and purchase items at the window, while customers onshore and on larger vessels can order by phone or the Aqua Pod app.

Carrefour Bites and More by the Shore will be operational six days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., subject to weather conditions.

"Carrefour Bites and More by the Shore is a world-first for Carrefour and our industry," said Hani Weiss, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail. "More than ever, a successful business depends on continually reinventing itself to stay ahead of customer needs and expectations. Carrefour Bites and More by the Shore is an innovation underpinned by a clear business strategy based on 'customers first,' and aligned with our vision to create great moments for everyone, every day."

In keeping with the company's sustainable mission, the Pod has been built and designed with an eco-friendly focus and is powered by rechargeable batteries. A "seabin" affixed to the Pod's exterior will vacuum floating debris into its holding tank, which is then disposed of after the boat is docked.

The supermarket will also package its wares in biodegradable paper straws and bags.

"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," said Miguel Povedano, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Operational Excellence of Carrefour UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail. "It’s exciting to know that we can reach our customers anywhere, whether it be land or sea, and we can’t wait to delight them with this world-first service."