Fujairah National Shipping launches floating duty-free shop for crews in the Gulf
UAE maritime services company, Fujairah National Shipping (FNS), has launched a floating duty-free shop for over 2,500 seafarers as a vital life line for crews in the Gulf region.
With ship owners, managers and crews often experiencing long voyages to reach the Gulf, many have little opportunity to go ashore for personal supplies, even if collecting cargos or refuelling. FNS is now ensuring the service in the Fujairah waters originally begun by the Angel Appeal, the Dubai branch of The Mission to Seafarers, continues after its vessel was decommissioned.
Operating from 10am to midnight seven days a week, the unique floating duty-free vessel FNSA6, now owned by FNS offers a range of supplies ranging from iPads and fishing tackle to phone cards, groceries and books, while also providing seafarers with the opportunity to meet other crews. Ships can phone a day ahead to ensure a visit, or to order particular items and it is the only seafarers support boat offering crew at Fujairah anchorage the opportunity to buy duty-free items alongside their vessels.
In just weeks since re-introducing the service the shop has already met 136 vessels and served nearly 1,500 seafarers. Comments Sanjeev Sarin, Chief Executive Officer, FNS: “When we heard the service was in danger we were determined to step in and help ensure the welfare and morale of crews in the region as part of FNS’ CSR programme.
“We see it as part of our ‘welcome to Fujairah’ message. When crews are away from home sometimes it’s just the smallest things that really matter, such as ensuring they can call home, buying some favourite groceries or another treat. Crews have told us that they are delighted that the shop is operating again and we will ensure it has a safe future. There’s also a strong possibility we will now expand the service further into neighbouring anchorage ports.”
FNS is the only maritime services company in the Gulf Region who can offer a fully holistic range of services to shipping clients and is part of the extensive Fujairah National Group, owned by Chairman, Sheikh Saleh Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi.