Wednesday, 26 September 2018

A few months ago a group of investors visited in secret the city of Vrgorac in the Dalmatian hinterland seeking for a location to build a new airport in Croatia.

The group of investors who came on a behalf of a group of foreign investors from Europe and beyond were looking for suitable micro-locations for the construction of a new international airport in the region between Dubrovnik and Split. They also checked spatial plans of towns and municipalities in order to learn whether the area was suitable for the realization of their planned investment which would be bigger than the airports in Split and Dubrovnik.

On this occasion Ante Pranic the mayor of the city of Vrgorac commented, “The investors were looking for land which has at least 3 kilometres of flat land for the runway. With the vicinity of the Makarska Riviera, the A1 highway, two exits to the motorway, an international border, the A1 junction and the 5C corridor as well as the Ravca – Drvenik connecting road, we presented Vrgorac as one of the most important hubs in this part of Dalmatia’’.

During the first visit of the investing group Ante Pranic accompanied them to the location, and after only ten days investors returned back to the site with a team of geodesists.

“To show that they are seriously interested in our location, the investors came back for a third time to Vrgorac with a bigger team of experts and a drone with which they took footage of all of the location”, Pranic concluded.

2Cellos did it again – their new video named Game of Thrones (GOT) brings beautiful music from this famous serial combined with the scenes from Dubrovnik or, for GOT fans, King's Landing. 

This track is from their newest album 'Score', made with the London Symphony Orchestra. The video was made by Darko Drinovac and it shows the famous duo – Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, playing in the Old City of Dubrovnik.

We're sure that this is really special for them, especially for Luka, since his father comes from Dubrovnik.

Fancy starring alongside Hollywood actors in a blockbuster movie, well here is your big chance. An announcement has appeared today for casting for a “foreign movie” in Dubrovnik, although it isn’t written we can only presume that the casting is for the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster – Robin Hood Origins.

The casting call is for extras in a foreign film that will be filmed in Dubrovnik at the end of February and beginning of March. It will be held in the Hilton Imperial hotel in Ballroom A from Monday the 16th of January till Friday the 20th of January, every day from 9.00am to 1.00pm and again from 3.00pm to 8.00pm.

This is your chance to be on the silver screen alongside Jamie Foxx and Jamie Dornan. The casting, according to the information, is open to all people however women are instructed to come with minimal make-up and with their hair down.

The second part of the Robin Hood set is currently being constructed in Dubrovnik, on the main street that runs through the historic Old City. The first set, in the old harbor, has already been completed and according to the Mayor of Dubrovnik a further “two to three sets” will be constructed in the city. After Star Wars VIII, Game of Thrones and the Bollywood blockbuster Fan, Robin Hood Origins is the next in the line of major international film productions to use Dubrovnik as a backdrop.

The Mayor of Dubrovnik announced yesterday that this production will be the biggest so far with an estimated $100 million to be spent on promotion.

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The freezing polar front that caused Dubrovnik to come to a standstill over the past few days has passed; winter is over in Dubrovnik at least for the meantime. Rain fell overnight as the south wind started to blow and quickly melted any remaining snow from the region. The roads are clear and weather experts predict a few dyas of heavy rain and storms, as the ice cold snow turns to rain.

The Dubrovnik bus company, Libertas, has announced that a full bus service is back in operation. During the height of the snow storms only two bus lines could operate.

The Dubrovnik Bridge is open for all traffic and the Dubrovnik Airport is operating as normal. The temperature this morning in Dubrovnik measured 7.6 degrees Celsius, a huge increase compared to the – 5 two days ago. In fact Dubrovnik looks like going from one weather problem to another. After the polar storms it now seems that heavy rain could flood the region.

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The sixth annual Allianz Risk Barometer has identified the Top 10 Global Business Risks for 2017. The research carried out by the leading global insurance company Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) was based on the insight of 1,237 risk experts from 55 countries worldwide.

Business companies from all over the world are preparing themselves for a year full of uncertainty due to the major political, legal and regulatory developments around the globe. There are many corporate perils that concern them as well but what troubles world companies most are actual or anticipated losses from business interruption.

According to the Allianz Risk Barometer for 2017, business interruption is the top risk for the fifth year in a row. It is followed by market developments, cyber incidents, natural catastrophes, changes in legislation and regulation, macroeconomic developments, fire and explosion, political risks and violence, loss of reputation or brand value, and new technologies.

''The biggest risks that the corporate sector in Croatia recognizes are related to business conditions and maintenance of experience from previous years. Our companies emphasize frequent changes in legislation and regulation as one of the major problems in doing business on the Croatian market'', stated Kristijan Buk, a member of the Directorate of Finance at Allianz Zagreb.

It's interesting to note that German and British entrepreneurs are most afraid of cyber attacks, the Japanese worry about natural catastrophes, companies from Greece and China fear from macroeconomic developments, the Slovaks are afraid of fire, whilst Russians and Hungarians fear from changes in legislation and regulation.

- The second part of the set design for the filming of Robin Hood Origins has already begun. The first part of the scenery, in the harbour, is complete and will be the scene for the most attractive part of the film – commented the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, at a press conference today on the Stradun where the second part of the set of Robin Hood is currently being built. He added that the scene on the Stradun, the main street that runs through the centre of the historic Old City, will be built on around half of the street.

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The production cost of the new Robin Hood Origins, which will be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, will, according to the mayor, be around $90 million. But the mayor pointed out that he is particularly happy because a further $100 million will be spent on the movie’s promotion. Dubrovnik has already played host to some huge Hollywood blockbusters, such as Star Wars VIII, Game of Thrones and the Bollywood smash hit Fan, however the budget for the promotion of the latest Robin Hood spectacle far outweighs these productions. Apart from the sets on the Stradun and in the city harbour there will also be another two or three locations inside the Old City Walls.

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Filming in Dubrovnik will last for three weeks from the 10th of February until the 28th of February. Robin Hood: Origins follows the return of Robin Hood fighting in the Crusades and finding that Sherwood Forest is rife with corruption. Robin Hood then forms a band of outlaws and sets about riding the forest of evil, a classic Robin Hood tale but with a twist. This latest Robin Hood, which DiCaprio is the executive producer, will star Jamie Foxx as Little John, Welsh actor Taron Egerton as Robin Hood, Irish actress Eve Hewson as Maid Marion, Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlet and Ben Mendelsohn, who starred in Rogue One, as the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Around 800 extras are expected to appear in the Dubrovnik version of Robin Hood. – This Robin Hood will be the first of a trilogy, and over the next six years the other parts will be filmed – added Vlahusic.

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The snow storm that hit the Dubrovnik region yesterday was particularly fierce in the Zupa region, to the south of Dubrovnik.

Snow fell throughout the day in Zupa and caused most of the roads to be closed and the bus service didn’t run all day, Zupa was cut-off from Dubrovnik for a day. Later in the afternoon snowploughs cleared the main roads and traffic was able to move, although cars still had to have chains.

Check out our photo gallery from Zupa yesterday

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One thing on everybody's mind in Dubrovnik this week is the weather. We are experiencing below freezing temperatures and snow fall which is quite unusual. Still, listening to some of our people going on about the weather you might think there is an end-of-days ice age upon us. Realistically, it's not that bad, but then again, I might be biased seeing how most of my work in January takes place in the confines of a warm office. It’s fair to say, I am enjoying winter. There is one thing on my mind that's putting a dent in my mood, though. It's too cold to ride my motorcycle. I kept postponing a short motorcycle trip to test my new travel gear during December and now it's too cold to even try. The rush of 7-day work week and insane pressure to make money will be upon me in no time and I might end up not finding the time to do so much as a weekend ride across the border before the summer season starts.

Taking a few days off to ride around for my own piece of mind is impossible for much of the year because of work. My best bet for travelling is a period of late autumn and beginning of winter. Unfortunately, in 2016 life got in the way and I ended the year on a very sour note having done no trips outside of Dubrovnik. Maybe I come off sounding like a seasoned motorcycle veteran, but I'm far from it. By the time I was 30 I have never ridden a proper motorcycle (maxi scooters don't count). Then I finally got one and planned on doing some travelling with it just to see if it's as fun as it looks. After a few years and couple of shorter trips I finally ventured out on a 5-day ride through several countries in late 2015. It was raining most of the time, there were mechanical problems along the way, even some minor health issues, but by the time it was done, I knew I was hooked.

There is something about simply hitting the road and driving away from my everyday life that always gets my heart racing. Venturing into the unknown, preferably alone, is just about the best feeling you can experience. When you find yourself in a place foreign to you, it’s easy to put things in perspective and reflect on your life with a clear mind. It’s therapeutic.

There was a moment of epiphany during my 2015 ride that I will probably never forget. It was Day 2 of the trip and I was crossing from Macedonia into Greece during a very rainy day. I was navigating using a map (trying to be old-school) and managed to take a wrong turn which lead me to a small town of Florina, outside of the planned route. Within Florina the rain started pouring down like crazy and it made navigation even more difficult. Soon, I was simply picking out where to go on a hunch, hoping to get back out to the main road. Being of particularly calm disposition, it didn’t take long for me to start shouting at myself and calling myself an idiot. You can do that when you have a helmet on, people around you usually don’t realise you are shouting. Strangely, that didn’t help my navigation skills and I ended up on an unknown road, riding through a small settlement somewhere outside of town feeling lost and stupid.

I calmed down enough to start thinking about it more clearly and it dawned on me the main reason for my frustration was simply moving slower than originally planned. The fact I was lost had nothing to do with it. In fact, after a while, I didn’t even feel lost. I knew where I was: on a road in Greece passing by some old guy’s garage. It was then I realised that “being lost” is a very strange concept. In the majority of situations, it’s simply not being able to describe where you are using terms someone else wrote down on a map. That, in itself is not a good or a bad thing. If you simply follow the road it will lead you somewhere. It’s up to you to figure out if that’s where you want to be or continue travelling.

When you are discovering new places, broadening your horizons, you can’t really get lost. You can only discover things different from those you originally planned. There’s nothing to be afraid of, because every road leads somewhere.


Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

The tourism industry in Croatia has always had the biggest impact on the recovery of the country's economy; however, this segment of the economy greatly depends on the economic health of Croatia's major trading partners. Therefore, it is interesting to note two opposing trends from Italy and Germany, the two biggest Croatian partners.

Germany has recorded highs in industrial production as well as a significant growth in manufacturing and construction. That could be a great opportunity for Croatia to boost export of raw materials and the production of spare parts to Germany, whilst the construction industry traditionally has positioned well on the German market thus domestic companies can expect new contracts.

In the first ten months of 2016 Croatia exported goods worth almost 9 billion Kunas to Germany and recorded an increase in export growth by 9 percent which is an indication of Germany's openness for Croatian products. The pace of export growth suggests that in 2017 Germany will be an even more important partner for the export business, much bigger than Slovenia which is the second largest export market for Croatia. However, the country imports from Germany twice as much as it exports to the German market.

As far as the other trading partners are concerned, Italy is still deeply affected by the crisis. The most recent data on unemployment in the European Union show that 11.4 percent of Italians are out of work, whilst 38.8 percent of young people are looking for a job.

However, the pessimism of Italian consumers hasn't affected Croatia so far. Data shows that the country's import on the Italian market in the first ten months of 2016 increased by 4 percent, i.e. Croatia exported goods worth 10 billion Kunas to Italy. However, if this crisis continues until the next summer season, the question is whether Croatia will still be able to count on 5.2 million overnight stays which Italian tourists achieved in Croatia in 2016.

The impact of the economy on the exports of Croatia is also shown by the rapid jump in exports to the market of the United States which increased by an incredible 60 percent in only a year. The base was low so the export value was only 2.6 billion Kunas, however, the United States is one of the few major countries to which Croatia exports more than it imports from. Due to the rapid growth of the US economy, it is time for Croatia to strengthen cooperation with one of the largest global players for international trade.

From Mlini to Kupari, Zupa brought some breathtaking snow views. This Dubrovnik muncipality is beautiful every day but with snow it really got a look of the 'winter wonderland'. Since snow is so rare in Dubrovnik it brought a great joy to people and inspiration to photographers.

























Humidity: 18%
Wind: ENE at 46.67 km/h
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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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