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  1. Luxury
May 6, 2024

Dior and Dion at Nammos Dubai: Visiting the world’s highest-earning restaurant

Nammos Dubai, the unashamedly opulent restaurant within the Four Seasons, is the world’s highest-earning restaurant with a months-long waitlist. Spear's takes a seat to find out if it's worth the wait

By Aisha Alli

Under a canopy of fairy lights and fire-lit torches, designer-clad guests recline on linen deck chairs scattered with Dior cushions. Sipping a cocktail while listening to a jazz musician playing Celine Dion and Adele, one would be forgiven for thinking this was the latest hot opening in Cannes, or perhaps St Tropez. But this is Nammos Dubai: the unashamedly opulent restaurant within the Four Seasons hotel which holds the accolade of being the world’s highest-earning restaurant.

Opened in 2019 as a beach club and restaurant, Nammos Dubai was asked by the country’s authorities to meet one specific requirement in exchange for occupying coveted space within the five-star hotel: achieve a turnover of $40 million. Just three years later, the restaurant nearly doubled that figure, reaching $71 million in turnover. 

[See also: Branded ‘hypertowers’: the next frontier in Dubai prime property]

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Nammos Dubai Restaurant
Nammos Dubai offers opulence in a casually refined setting

Nammos, a brand spearheaded by entrepreneur and CEO Petros Stathis, began in Mykonos where it was a favourite of Hollywood A-Listers and Victoria’s Secret models. Building on this success, it opened branches in Cannes, Doha and Dubai, while a rumoured outpost will potentially be opening soon in London’s Knightsbridge. 

[See also: Petros Stathis speaks about his philanthropic journey]

When Spear’s sat down with Stathis — who sits at the helm of a $700 million empire — last year, he said Nammos’s ‘secret sauce’ was simple: ‘It’s all about branding’. When he extended us an invitation to dine at Nammos Dubai to find out for ourselves what makes the restaurant so special, who were we to say no?

The Experience

Joining culinary heavyweights such as Nusr-et, COYA and Scalini, Nammos Dubai finds itself in excellent company at the Four Seasons hotel on Dubai’s coastline. Within a few minutes of arrival, I find that guests of Nammos are treated to a different experience altogether. 

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Nammos Dubai golf buggies
Golf buggies are used to transport guests from the gates of the Four Seasons to the restaurant

Pulling up into the grounds of the Four Seasons, we are ushered into an entrance separate from the hotel’s guests and diners of the other restaurants. It’s little wonder why when we encounter a bevy of cars lined up on a private road exclusive to Nammos guests. Once the valet — yes, the restaurant has its own valet service — takes care of our car, a pair of golf buggies decked out in printed Dior linen and pillows take us to the front doors. At the time of Spear’s visit, the restaurant brand had partnered with the French fashion house for a ‘full Dioriviera makeover’. 

The entrance to the restaurant sits within a courtyard of Grecian stone buildings. Canopied by sloping palm trees and fountains, Nammos Dubai has undoubtedly taken cues from its Mykonos roots. 

Nammos Dubai
The restaurant’s design takes its cue from its Mykonos roots

The interiors, designed by London-based Elastic Architects, are simple yet elegant, borrowing shades of blue and white to create a beach aesthetic. Dior cushions decorate each chair and the fashion brand’s signature oblique print adorn the sun umbrellas and loungers. 

Guests can opt for either outdoor or indoor dining — the latter being the preferred option during Dubai’s blistering summer. However, avoid interpreting the weather and beachside location as an invitation to arrive in flip-flops (unless they’re designer). The establishment maintains a smart elegant dress code, particularly at night when the vibrant casual beach club transforms into a sophisticated restaurant. 

Dining

Combining traditional Mediterranean ingredients with innovative ‘globally-minded’ flavours, the menu is an enjoyable combination of much-loved classics and Greek delicacies. We start our meal with the waiter’s recommendations of spicy crab sushi and prawn tempura served alongside a smoky chilli sesame dressing. Paired alongside Nammos’s signature salad (a medley of carrots, cabbage and greens softened in a orange balsamic vinaigrette), the meal begins on a high note. 

Sushi at Nammos Dubai

Dubai wouldn’t be the city it is without some sort of spectacle and Nammos does not disappoint when it comes to the star of the show: the main course. The Wagyu ribeye might take the prize for being one of the best steaks I’ve sampled on my travels and is served on a heaped platter of roasted potatoes, lightly-salted asparagus and fiery barbecued chillies (not for the faint-hearted). 

[See also: Best travel and holiday advisers 2024]

There are several pescatarian and vegan options, including a creamy lobster risotto, truffle ravioli and a roasted chestnut mushroom pappardelle. The restaurant also offers a selection of freshly-caught seafood, changing daily depending on the catches of the day. On Spear’s visit, a fellow diner requested an entire sea bream brought to the table for his inspection before it was taken to the kitchen for preparation. 

Truffle pasta at Nammos Dubai

Dessert is unsurprisingly accompanied by its own fanfare. From decadent chocolate mousse to traditional Portokalopita (a Greek cake soaked in orange-syrup), the menu could satisfy even the sweetest tooth. The fig cheesecake, a particular favourite, was a flawless balance between the sugary honeycomb and delicate fig.  

Ambience 

As Nammos owner Stathis told Spear’s, the success of the business comes down to its branding and, more importantly, catering to a market that aligns itself with the brand’s philosophy.

With its emphasis on luxury experiences in a casual beach-side setting, the Dubai outpost has attracted two sorts of crowds: younger people in their 20s flashing their Rolexes alongside older, refined diners wearing Pateks. It’s quintessentially Dubai: an intermingling of generations, all hoping to experience something they haven’t before — and prepared to spend anything to get it. 

At the time of Spear’s visit, the restaurant brand had partnered with the French fashion house for a ‘full Dioriviera makeover’. 

[See also: Aragawa: in defence of the £700 steak]

A side effect of this is a long waiting list. Guests have to make reservations up to two months in advance to bag a table during peak season. But as Spear’s can attest, Nammos Dubai is worth the wait. It might be the world’s highest-earning restaurant but it’s not resting on its laurels — the waitstaff are unfailingly attentive, the atmosphere is buzzing and the food is second to none. 

We leave Nammos at 1 am, when the party is just beginning. Driving off in our Dior golf buggies, we hear the dulcet tones of Celine Dion’s All By Myself, ironically playing in what must be the world’s busiest restaurant. 

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