- Jason Rezaian The Washington Post
Food trucks are a standard feature of life in big cities around the world, but leave it to Dubai to offer up the latest version of mobile dining: a food boat.
Actually, a floating burger stand, to be precise.
Salt Bay DXB debuts this weekend and is the latest in the Persian Gulf city state's long list of modern architectural achievements, which include the world's tallest building, a seven-star hotel and massive shopping malls boasting attractions like indoor snow skiing and scuba diving.
While many of those innovations have been criticized for serving no purpose beyond bragging rights, the team that designed the "aqua pod" - which runs on a combination of electricity and diesel fuel - insists its creation can provide an essential service unique to the needs of the local community.
"In Dubai, we are almost always surrounded by water; Emiratis and foreign residents alike spend a significant amount of time at sea," said Ahmed Youssef of 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 [United Arab Emirates]."
Being billed as the world's first sustainable seaborne food delivery vehicle, Salt Bay will deliver high-end hamburgers to yacht drivers, jet skiers and paddle boarders in Dubai's posh waterfront neighborhoods, as well as around the Dubai Palm's Lagoon, part of the Emirate's famed man-made islands.
"The goal behind this project is to showcase that a market in the sea already exists. We have been realizing a recent movement in the UAE toward the floating residential developments, and we believe that such developments should also be catered for just like they are on land," Youssef said.