PLAY has grown to become a regional and global luxury dining phenomenon. With numerous awards and accolades, PLAY has now extended its presence to Jeddah, Bahrain and Cannes with plans in the works to develop branches in Los Angeles and London in the near future.
In 2019, PLAY took the experience to another level by adding in a show element. This addition allowed them to complete 3 pillars of the PLAY experience which combined dining, entertainment and the high energy aspect into a whole experience that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Stylish, opulent, and inviting, PLAY is a myriad collage of LED lighted walls, two story ceilings, warm tones and brass elements all encased within one of the largest dining spaces in Dubai.
Guests embark on a personal discovery as they immerse themselves in flavours from around the world. PLAY’s unique style of cooking is defined as “The Global Avantgarde Effect” with a menu that is both decadent and theatrical to behold.
Following the immense success of PLAY, the team behind the award-winning concept has now launched PLAY Dining Group, offering beach clubs, nightclubs, and immersive dining venues. PLAY’s Director, Sam Chercoles has helped transform the nightlife industry in Dubai by giving diners unique and carefully cultivated culinary concepts, now he is using his magic formula to bring the best of the best to PLAY Dining Group.
“In line with Dubai’s vision, we can proudly say that PLAY Restaurant and Lounge has revolutionised the fine dining concept of Dubai’s luxury lifestyle and hospitality industry. Launching PLAY back in 2016, we are reaching a landmark marketing of six years in the UAE Market this year. With a great response and rapid brand growth, we experienced a steady rise of loyal following each year, the current peak point being 2016-2018. Over the past year, clients have become more familiar with the product name and specific marketing strategies.
Our founder’s favourite quote is, “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business” by Henry Ford. That quote has been his guiding light with whatever he does. For him, it was not just about creating another F&B concept but more about showing the world a glimpse of what the future of F&B should look like. You’ve seen us use “Dining Redefined” many times – the first time we heard that was when our founder sat with all of us and specifically said, “The goal is not just to create a destination; but to create an emotional journey starting with the original purpose of what restaurants have been for diners everywhere and end it with our magic, by providing an unforgettable experience where dining is forever redefined.” Today we follow his inspirations, remember his words, and use them as our mission statement.”
The PLAY concept has been carefully curated to redefine the world of fine dining and entertainment. Allowing guests to relax, socialise, and celebrate in the most elegant environment that stimulates the senses by re-writing the rules of dining and embodies a new approach to feeding the soul and the body, creating unforgettable emotional experiences around the world. “Our founder always believed in giving our culinary and cocktail artists the freedom to try new things and never hold them back. In the end, it is that belief that makes it a win-win situation where our chefs and mixologists are happy to have the opportunity to create new things constantly, and we at the front of the house always have the satisfaction of surprising our customers with new and unique flavours and table-side experiences every time they visit. Good food, drinks, and service are the main pillars of PLAY’s culinary emotional pleasures.”
“As Managing Director of PDG Hospitality (PLAY Dining Group), my role is to provide world-class guest experiences while setting an exemplary standard for the behind-the-scenes ‘Tribe’ at PLAY. I joined the PDG Hospitality family in 2019 and am now the Group Managing Director due to my commitment to ensuring outstanding guest experiences that showcase PLAY’s unique vibe. With a keen understanding of operational and management skills, I feel loved by my team by rolling up my sleeves and working alongside them. As a customer-centric leader with a holistic, long-term perspective, I strive to combine agile strategic thinking with a solid working understanding of revenue generation and creativity.”
Being a cocktail expert, Sam says he believes it’s essential to learn the story of every drink and dish to appreciate the thought process that goes into combining the unique flavours. “In my early career, I was inspired by the story of the Guinness World Record for the most expensive cocktail served at the Merchant Hotel. As a result, I found that by combining history, food, and beverage with art, I have been able to create drinks that cost as much as 30 thousand dollars. I love this inspiration, and I seek to bring this story-telling element of emotional dining experience to PLAY.
“Born into an entrepreneurial lineage, our founder of AW Galadari established the PDG Group, leveraging his association with the Galadari Group, which has been established for decades and has evolved to become one of the most prominent commercial groups in the region. The company’s activities range from high-profile consumer brands, hospitality, and Real Estate to F&B Concepts. As chairman, our founder has been driving and expanding business across the Middle East region for many years. Continuing the Galadari tradition, our founder created the first homegrown luxury F&B concept, PLAY Restaurant & Lounge, which today has reached the same international reputation as the Zuma’s and Nobu’s of the world. Our founder’s vision is to expand the business across the region, ensuring that the family name reaches new and more significant frontiers. PDG stands at the forefront of quality and excellence with a clear path. With the launch and monumental success of PLAY Restaurant and Lounge, PDG’s mission is to forever continue the tree of launching unforgettable luxury experiences under our guiding principle of dining redefined. Whether an international brand or one of our concepts, we provide elite services that foster an unmatchable value for our shareholders in every avenue of operation.”
According to PLAY, they are redefining the balance between elite dining and nightlife. When they introduced their dinner show element in 2019, they were among the first. “Today almost every F&B venue is trying to do the same, but the difference will always be clear between us and the others. PLAY’s “seamless morphing” starts with our staff members since they are the ones who bring the concept alive. I believe that the Food & Beverage industry is all about innovation and that every server is an actor, an entertainer, and a performer where the scenario is the manual. This is how we start the process of unveiling the beauty of our dining metamorphosis.”
Sam also adds that, the next brand on their list is MALAKITE. A Beach Club concept that will offer an innovative customer experience that integrates the finest elements of PLAY Restaurant & Lounge into an awe-inspiring Beach Club concept. By combining avant-garde cuisine with poolside and beachfront luxury, MALAKITE will stand as a benchmark in the luxury beachside entertainment and dining segment. MALAKITE will house VIP and VVIP cabana level designs amidst the backdrop of palm trees, lush gardens, and a long rectangular emerald pool situated in between the cabanas and beds.