Petros Stathis: Taking the Taste of Asia to the Middle East with CE LA VI

Petros Stathis

Greek businessman Petros Stathis has over the past three decades built an international luxury business empire spanning hotels, retail and now dining, with his first restaurant venture, NAMMOS Dubai, opening its doors in 2019. In under two years, Nammos Dubai overtook Nobu in Malibu and Cipriani's in New York as the world's highest-earning restaurant.

Now, he is taking the iconic Singapore bar and club, CE LA VI, global and the first stop is the Middle East.

As the sole owner of investment company Monterock International, employing 2,500 people across 18 countries, Stathis built a global business portfolio including the recent acquisition, through ADMO a new joint venture, of the famed Asian-fusion restaurant brand CE LA VI. The Dubai branch is open with more planned across the Middle East.

Dubai is the CE LA VI brand's fourth outpost and the first situated outside of East Asia. Long known as one of the most exclusive places to wine and dine in Singapore, Stathis knew that it would be a perfect fit in Dubai.

Located in the Address Skyview Hotel, CE LA VI Dubai doesn't deviate from the winning formula pioneered at its Marina Sands counterpart. It too is a rooftop bar, restaurant, and club lounge, offering breathtaking views of the skyline with its Asian-fusion cuisine recognised by Michelin for extraordinary quality and culinary innovation.

But the CE LA VI acquisition is a two-way affair. At the time of the acquisition, Stathis, also Vice Chairman of ADMO, said the acquisition was not just a strategic move, "but a bold statement of our vision and pace to identify and invest in brands that have a distinct market presence and transform them into world leading brands. This acquisition not only expands ADMO's global lifestyle presence to the East but also underscores our focus on building and nurturing a portfolio of world dominating lifestyle brands."

Stathis' business empire was born in his native Greece, where he was an advisor to the Minister of Culture and Sport in the run-up to the 1996 centennial Athens Olympics bid. When the Olympic games arrived in 2004, seeing a construction boom, Stathis built up a real estate business which became the foundation of his global leisure portfolio. His first move into leisure came when he saw opportunity in Montenegro.

"Montenegro was hugely underdeveloped as a holiday destination, but there was massive potential to turn it into a luxury travel hotspot," says Stathis. "So, I got to work opening a high-end restaurant and hotel on the Montenegrin coast."

Working with hotelier Adrian Zecha, he opened an AMAN resort on the island of Sveti Stefan in 2011. Built amidst a 16th-century coastal village, the venture was a success. This motivated Stathis to open another hotel on the Adriatic coast. The celebrated AMAN in Venice swiftly followed in 2013 fast becoming the haunt of A-List celebrities including George and Amal Clooney whose wedding was held in the hotel.

Since the pandemic's end, entrepreneurs and businesses have found consumers are hungry for novel experiences, in stark contrast to the monotony endured throughout lockdown.

This hunger catalised new momentum for both new brands and investment in established marques. It is a momentum that Monetrock through its partnership with ADMO are fully engaged in. In 2024 ADMO entered a JV with Addmind launching a new lifestyle vertical Alpha Mind, featuring seven iconic experiential lifestyle, F&B and entertainment brands.

The launch of Alpha Mind aligns with the UAE's tourism strategy which aspires to attract 40 million hotel guests and draw AED100 billion in tourism investment by 2031.

Commenting on the Alpha Mind announcement, Stathis said: "ADMO growth journey testifies our commitment to bringing world-class brands and experiences to people in the UAE and around the world. We are working to build a larger, more diverse portfolio of leading lifestyle, luxury, hospitality and entertainment concepts. Our goal is to tailor brands from and for the UAE and propel them to the global market."