Sunday, 23 February 2020
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.


A delegation of the Advisory Assembly of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has paid a visit to the Republic of Croatia and expressed their interest in better economic and cultural relations between the two countries.

The Croatian-Saudi Arabian Friendship Group headed by Predrag Matic, the Croatian MP, organized the visit of the delegation from the Middle East.

During the program of their visit to Croatia, the delegation visited the Croatian capital of Zagreb, the Plitvice Lakes, as well as Rijeka and Vukovar.

While in the Slavonian city of Vukovar, the delegation visited the City Museum. The head of the delegation Dr Abdullah Humud Al Harbey commented that they want to build the world’s largest Islamic museum thus he found Croatian experiences of restoring the Vukovar Museum very useful considering the fact that this museum is the best in Europe.

‘’We are glad to be here in Vukovar, we think of Croatia as our second country, i.e. our homeland. We are a group of members of the Advisory Assembly who came to visit Croatia. One of the vision projects ‘’20-30’’ is the construction of the World Museum of Islam, thus we find Croatian experience of restoration of the Vukovar Museum very useful. As Croatia is rich in water resources, we are also interested in importing drinkable water from Croatia’’, said Abdullah Humud Al Harbey.

On this occasion, Predrag Matic commented, ‘’During these four days, we tried to show the delegation the very best of Croatia. We paid a visit to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the city of Rijeka and Opatija, and now we are in Vukovar. They know a little about us as we do about them, however, after this visit, we hope for a better cooperation. First, we refer to economic cooperation due to our huge potentials, however, we also know that they can offer a lot to us, too’’.

According to the words of Hani Abdullah Mominah, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Croatia, this visit will be a significant impetus in economic relations between the two countries.

According to the latest ‘’Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018’’ from the World Economic Forum (WEF), Croatia has remained in the same position from last year.

In the period from 2017 to 2018, Croatia was placed as the 74th among 137 world economies on the list of global competitiveness, as it did last year.

Rated 4,19 the country stagnates at the global level, according to a statement by the National Competitiveness Council (NVK) of Croatia, a partner of WEF in the Global Competitiveness Program.

As far as other countries in the region are concerned, Slovenia recorded the biggest progress; the country moved from the 56th to the 48th place. Slovakia changed its position from the 65th last year to the 59th this year, Bulgaria (50th to 49th), Serbia (90th to 78th), Hungary (69th to 60th), whilst Montenegro placed as the 77th on this year’s list unlike last year’s 82nd.

As stated, reasons for limited growth and competitiveness stagnation are slow implementation of reforms in key areas of education, infrastructure and innovation financing as well as inefficient administration, tax rates and regulations, political instability and corruption – crucial in improving business climate.

The Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 Rankings show that Switzerland remained its last year’s position as the most competitive world economy. It is followed by the United States, Singapore, the Netherlands and Germany.

The results of the report are based on a survey of businesspersons in 14,000 companies worldwide, out of which 84 of them were surveyed in Croatia earlier this year, statistical data from 2016 and 2017 and data from international organizations.

The methodology is based on an analysis of 12 competitiveness factors including institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and education, labour market and commodity efficiency, technological readiness, innovation, amongst others.

The famous Hollywood star Amanda Seyfried, who is currently working on the project ‘’Mamma Mia 2’’ on the island of Vis, is obviously thrilled with the beauty of the Croatian island.

Ten days ago the popular actress arrived in Croatia to play in the new sequel of ‘’Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’’ together with Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Andy Garcia.

Seyfried’s husband, an actor Thomas Sadoski and her six-month old daughter, whose name Seyfried has not revealed to her fans yet, accompany her.


During the filming, Seyfried seizes every spare moment to walk around the island and enjoy its beauty. After her daily engagement on the set, beautiful actress spends most of her time with her family; however, she was also spotted walking around the island exploring it.

Paparazzi ‘’caught’’ Seyfried on several occasions enjoying here time on the island, however, she looked like she did not mind at all and with a smile on her face, she waved to them and went on.

Seyfried will be staying for some time on Vis until all the planned scenes are filmed.

This imposing and spectacularly ornate Jesuit Church is located in the Ruđer Bošković Square at the top of the famous baroque staircase that was modelled on the Spanish Steps in Rome.

church jesuit church


Constructed between 1667 and 1725 by the Italian architect Andrea Pozzo is takes its appearance from the mother church of the Society of Jesuit in Rome, the Church of the Gesù.

Dominating the skyline the St. Ignatius Church was completed in 1725 and was partially funded by Jesuits from a noble Dubrovnik family. Significant pieces of art that decorate this sacral building were created by Gaetano Garcia, an Italian Baroque painter originally from Spain.

st ign dubrovnik


The actual church is a single-nave construction with side chapels and a soaring ceiling. The walls are decorated with Baroque frescoes and show the life of St. Ignatius de Loyola. Interestingly the church bell towers holds the oldest bell in the whole city, it was cast in 1355.

Irish national airline Aer Lingus released its summer flight schedule for 2018, in which it will reinforce all three of its lines to destinations in Croatia – reports Avioradar.

The line Dubrovnik - Dublin, begins two days earlier before the start of the summer schedule that is dated March 23rd  next year, with four flights a week, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. From May 31st 2018, the line will be upgraded to the daily frequency, which, compared with last year, is one flight per week more in the heart of the season.

The line Pula - Dublin will have an addition to the existing three flights a week, which fly every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The line will also operate on Fridays from July 6th 2018. Line Split - Dublin will start two weeks earlier, or more precisely from May 15th 2018 will have one flight a week more in addition to Tuesdays and Saturdays – line will operate every Thursday too.

The latest data from Eurostat show that Croatia has recorded the biggest decline in the unemployment rate in the European Union at the annual level.

Among all EU member countries, only Spain ‘’scored’’ better than Croatia; it achieved the biggest drop in the unemployment rate on an annual basis with 17,1 percent in comparison to almost 20 percent in June last year.

The unemployment rate in Croatia decreased to 10,9 percent in August 2017 from 13,1 percent a year earlier. The number of unemployed persons fell to 171.351,00 from 213.340,00. In July, the unemployment rate was recorded at 10,8 percent.

In the period from 1996 to 2017, the unemployment rate in Croatia averaged 17,86 percent, reaching an all time high of 23,60 percent in January 2002 and a record low of 10,80 percent in June 2017.

According to the Eurostat’s report, the decline in unemployment rates is recorded by all EU member states, except for Estonia, where it increased to 6,9 percent in May 2017 from 6,5 percent in May last year.

The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Czech Republic (2,9 %), Germany (3,8%) and Malta (4,1%).

The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (DSO) invites citizens and their guests to the humanitarian concert of the DSO String Trio and pianist Naira Asatrian. The concert will be held on Thursday, October 5th, at the atrium of the Rector's Palace at 9 pm, and collected money is intended for the purchase of an ultrasound apparatus for the Intensive Treatment Unit of the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

Tickets at prices of 50, 70 and 100 kuna can be purchased at the cash register Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (St. Dominic 9), in the Perla Adriatica agency at Ploče, at Luza, in the Gift Shop Dubravka at Pile, and one hour before the concert in front of the Rector's Palace. Tickets can also be booked at phone number 417 110.

The string trio of DSO will be: Azusa Yamauchi, a violin; Alena Shapachka, viola and Martina Peric, cello. The concerts program is as follows: W. Mozart Sonata in C major, op. 330 L. van Beethoven Sonata in F minor, op. 57 "Passionate" W. Mozart Piano Quartet in g minor, op. 478.

Over the last few years, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and pianist Naira Asatrian have organized several humanitarian concerts. Thus, two years ago, a Naira concert was held for the distrofiers, and the proceeds from the last year's concert were intended to purchase a fibroscan apparatus for the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

One of the greatest names in the world of music is coming to Zagreb next year.

The British rock singer and songwriter Sir Rod Stewart will hold a concert in the Croatian capital on the 2nd of February 2018. His Croatian fans will have a unique opportunity to hear many of his greatest hits such as ''Sailing'', ‘’Forever Young’’, ''The First Cut Is The Deepest'', ''Rhythm Of My Heart'', ''Maggie May'' and many more.

Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. During his more than 50-year long career, he has sold over 100 million records worldwide. Also known as ‘’Rod the Mod’’, Stewart has had six consecutive number one albums in the UK, whilst out of his 62 UK hit singles 31 of them reached the top ten, six of which gained the #1 position. Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

At the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2016 Stewart was knighted for his services to music and charity. On that occasion he said, "I've led a wonderful life and have had a tremendous career thanks to the generous support of the great British public. This monumental honour has topped it off and I couldn't ask for anything more. I thank Her Majesty and promise to 'wear it well'."

As a solo artist, Stewart was included in the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and was included a second time in the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Faces.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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