[dropcap size=big]D[/dropcap]esigned for hungry jet-skiers, sailors, paddle boarders and swimmers, the world’s first “sustainable floating food truck”, the Aqua Pod, has opened in Dubai. It will be based off the shores of Jumeirah, as well as Al Sufouh Beach, Kite Beach and the manmade islands of the Palm.
Essentially an ocean-going drive-through, boats can motor up alongside it and place orders at a hatch. Alternatively, sunbathers on the beach within a 500-metre radius can wave a red flag for attention, and a waiter will deliver them burgers to their lounger via jet ski. Payments in both cash and by card will be accepted.
The vessel was designed by Ahmed Youssef, founder of Dubai’s Aquatic Architects Design Studio, and is clad in wood with bright white interiors for the kitchen. It is powered by a combination of electricity and diesel, and will suck in any rubbish discarded in surrounding waters to minimise pollution. It also has the ability to desalinate sea water for cooking and drinking, without discharging salt back into the sea.
Youssef said: “In Dubai, we are almost always surrounded by water; Emiratis and residents alike spend a significant amount of time at sea. At Aquatic Architects Design Studio, we understand the value of the region’s shorelines and beyond, so we saw an untapped opportunity to bring an innovative concept to the UAE.”Operated by Salt Bay, the 35 sqm Aqua Pod will serve beef, chicken and mozzarella burgers with curried mayo, Ranch, Devil Cook, honey mustard or bacon jalapeno sauce, as well as hot dogs, waffles, fries, crepes, slushies and cocktails.
Youssef was reported as saying: “The goal behind this project is to showcase that a market in the sea already exists. We have been realising a recent movement in the UAE towards the floating residential developments, and we believe that such developments should also be catered for just like they are on land.”
He also predicts a trend for more floating food trucks carrying “different brands [and] serving different cuisines in multiple locations that have not been tapped yet”. This seems likely as the Dubai Maritime City Authority has created a new license for floating food trucks to allow for more marine-based foodie projects.