1. ITV Report

Dubai floating supermarket proving popular with yachts, jet skis and beach goers

The Bites and More By The Shore aquapod is proving a success. Photo: AP

A new floating supermarket has proved a surprising success in Dubai.

Yacht owners, jet ski riders and beach goers alike have been turning in their droves to Carrefour's Bites and More By The Shore aquapod, which bobs in the crystal blue waters of the Persian Gulf.

With more than 300 items on board, and a fully functioning app for ordering, the aquapod has been making waves since its launch in December.

The aquapod is useful for people on jet skis and yachts. Credit: AP

"Many people they go to the beach, they use the jet ski, they're on the boats and we wanted to serve them everywhere," said Hani Weiss, the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail that operates the Carrefour supermarket brand in the United Arab Emirates.

"So we have this nice idea of the aquapod and it is available out of the sea, serving three beaches today, Kite Beach, Jumeirah and Sufouh."

Customers place their orders by phone, through the Carrefour app or, if their boat allows, right by the sail-through window.

Deliveries are made to yachts anchored elsewhere at sea and to people on the beach by a small skiff.

The scheme launched in December. Credit: AP

Employees say they often sell out of ice cream, sandwiches and fresh juices by mid afternoon.

"A lot of people are actually interacting with the app, people are calling, people are searching for Bites and More out on the sea. They are very happy," said Weiss.

There's also a selection of fresh items like salads and sandwiches as well as hot foods like French fries, chicken nuggets and coffee.

"You may say there are a lot of other floating supermarkets in the world, but this is unique in term of design," said Weiss. "This is the first sail-through supermarket in the world."

More than 300 items are stored on board. Credit: AP

Marine architect Ahmed Youssef insisted that eco-friendliness is at the core of the floating market.

The pod is equipped with Seabin, a marine rubbish collector that uses a suction device to clean up the surrounding waters.

"It collects whatever floating trash that might be out there at sea and entraps it in a net basket, as well as a water purification system that takes water purifies it to drinkable water, that's also tested," said Youssef.

"For the energy, we're using electric engines which runs on batteries. These batteries are either charged by the generator that's onboard that is there to supply the kitchen equipment or by shoreline and this is up to 60 percent less fuel consumption on the engines."

As a result of the aquapod's success, Youssef said plans are in the works to build more pods with different uses, including a floating ambulance.