Wednesday, 24 April 2019
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.


According to a press release from Croatia Airlines, the national air carrier has included new flights to Bucharest and Helsinki in its summer schedule for 2017.

Croatia Airlines has never operated scheduled flights to these two European capitals. However, it will have no direct competition on the routes to Bucharest and Helsinki.

In 2007, over 8,000 people travelled between Zagreb and the Romanian capital, however, after several attempts of launching scheduled flights between the two cities in the last decade, there were no results. Croatia Airlines has recognized the great potential of this route, thus will introduce new flights this summer season.

Furthermore, within its expansion plans for coverage of Northern Europe, Finland will become a new market for Croatia Airlines in order to respond to the growing tourism demand there. Finnair itself has been considering introduction of services to Zagreb for some time, ''“The Croatian market serves as a great destination for Finnair customers from Northern Europe and Asia. We have also seen increasing numbers of passengers from Croatia using Finnair on their trips. Our tourist demand for Croatian destinations has been growing year by year and we have increased our flights to the area consequently”.
The Finish air carrier currently operates seasonal flights from Helsinki to Dubrovnik, Pula and Split during summer months.

On the other hand, the Croatian national air carrier has also planned to start operating flights to Stockholm this summer as part of its expansion plan.

The Croatian brand Juicy has attended Gulfood, the world's largest food event which is being held at Dubai World Trade Centre from the 26th of February to the 2nd of March.

With its line of Juicy 100 % juices (orange, apple, pineapple) and Juicy Nectar cranberry, the Croatian company Stanic Beverages has been present on the market of the United Arab Emirates since 2015, primarily in the HoReCa channel which makes 70 percent of exports to that country. The Juicy juices have been included in the offer of some of the most popular local and international chains of restaurants and clubs in Dubai, such as Cipriani, Blue Marlin Ibiza, The Act, Roberto's and Dubai Creek Golf&Yacht Club.

''Our products are currently available on the UEA market and we are in the stage of registration of our products for the markets of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. However, our goal is to cover the whole MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) of 380 million people and to achieve the medium term plan for exports of 10 million litres per year. It is a lucrative market with very high consumption of juice per capita mainly because alcoholic beverages are almost unavailable in retail'', explained Svjetlan Stanic, the CEO of Stanic Beverages Croatia.

This year Juicy has planned a more powerful entry in retail channels (that currently make up 30 percent of exports to the MENA region) thanks to cooperation with retail chains Geant and Panda which are present on almost 20 percent of the Saudi Arabia market. The Juicy's plan is to launch Juicy 100% orange, apple and pineapple, as well as Juicy Nectar cranberry, orange, apple and pineapple, with a long term goal of expanding the offer depending on consumers' preferences.

''Juicy premium juices are juices of superior quality which have been recognized by consumers on new markets. The quality control is extremely strict and products must be tested in order to comply with high standards and legislation. We are proud to say that Juicy juices have complied with all necessary regulations and requirements'', emphasized Alen Hrkovic, the director of exports.

First of March brings good news – after being closed during February, Dubrovnik Cable Car is back on track from today.

Just a quick reminder – Excelsa Real Estate Ltd, the company that operates the cable car, made an announcement at the end of January, reporting that the cable car will be out of service due to investments projects on the upper station.

- The purpose of these works is to improve the quality of services – it was said from the company back then.

It's been five years since the last performance of legendary Sir Tom Jones in Croatia. He's coming again to the ''scene of the crime'' this summer. Concert will take place in the beautiful Pula Arena on 2nd of August as the part of his European tour. 

Audience will have a chance to enjoy many great hits like "It’s Not Unusual", "Kiss", "Delilah", "What’s New Pussycat", "I’ll Never Fall In Love Again", "If I Only Knew" from his over 50 years long rich career.

- Croatia, I am thrilled to be playing one of the world's largest and oldest Roman amphitheatres, the Pula Arena, this August, it looks beautiful! – it's written on Tom Jones official Facebook page.

In his long career Jones has sold over 100 million records with thirty-six Top 40 hits in the United Kingdom and nineteen in the United States, including "It's Not Unusual", "What's New Pussycat", "Delilah", "Green, Green Grass of Home", "She's a Lady", "Kiss", and "Sex Bomb".

Sir Thomas John Woodward or simply Tom Jones received a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1966, an MTV Video Music Award in 1989, and two Brit Awards: Best British Male in 2000 and the Outstanding Contribution to Music award in 2003. Jones was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1999, whilst in 2006 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music.

At the opening of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on the 27th of February the leading Croatian telecommunications company Hrvatski Telekom (HT) has introduced a new service called Call-Lifting.

In cooperation with Deutsche Telekom, the Croatian company has premiered new network technology Narrow Band IoT and a pilot project for using Smart City solutions through this network technology.

After launching CloudVPN in 2015 and Cloud CPU in 2016, at this year's Mobile World Congress the HT company has represented a new service that combines a smart phone and an autonomous drone. This innovative combination of existing technologies offers users a new experience of communication that was developed in order to become part of the global offer of Deutsche Telecom.

It is about an upgrade of the classic video call with the help of an autonomous drone that connects with a user's mobile device. A caller operates a drone that is focused on the area where the caller is located. Thanks to the built-in camera and a drone view function, this service enables live streaming i.e. sharing the aerial footage in real time with a person the caller called.

Call-Lifting enables transmission of experience, emotions and fun with a single call; the experience is so real that the person who receives the call has a feeling of participation in the experience of the caller. This service is ideal for sharing experiences in moments of relaxation and recreation, during various sports competitions, but it also has a great potential for usage in the economy, mainly in construction and agriculture.

Deutsche Telekom represented the new service in Barcelona with live video call from Croatia, thus many visitors at the Mobile World Congress had a chance to watch live attractive scenes captured by a drone flying over Dubrovnik.

''This service only indicates that Hrvatski Telekom is a technology leader who is focused on creatingservices of the future recognized by the international community'', said Ana Pauzar, the head of the HT Department for product development and new business offer.

In addition, the project manager Slavica Zoricic commented that this was the initial version of the service which would be developed for the commercial usage. ''I'm pretty sure that this service will have great success in Croatia in terms of tourism potential, as well as in other aspects of usage in the increasingly active lifestyle of a new era'', concluded Zoricic.



Famous Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, known by the name 2Cellos have been guests on The Today Show, American news and talk morning show that airs on NBC. 

They delighted everybody with amazing live perfomance of Game of Thrones theme. This track is from their newest album 'Score', made with the London Symphony Orchestra, that will be released on March 17.

In the talk before the performance, host stated that they don't have classical fans.
- Everybody! From children to grandmas and grandpas – said Luka Sulic.

After stating that they played the cellos almost they whole life, famous duo played them once again. 2Cellos never seem to disappoint, so this live performance was really enchanting.

According to some estimates around 250,000 to 300,000 Croatians suffer from rare diseases due to genetic, chronic and degenerative conditions that lead to disability and greatly affect the quality of their daily lives.

Apart from problems related to diagnosis and adequate medical care, the biggest problem is availability of drugs for rare diseases; drugs for some of those diseases are either unavailable on the market or are so expensive and difficult to obtain due to the small number of patients.

After several years of efforts by the Croatian Alliance for Rare Diseases, the country adopted a national programme for rare diseases for the period 2015-2020, which defines goals and gives recommendations for better care, including better diagnostics and treatment, the establishment of registers of patients and reference treatment centres, greater drug availability, the promotion of rare disease research and education as well as providing a multidisciplinary approach to patients suffering from rare disorders.

Rare diseases bring great suffering to 36 million Europeans and their families. They affect 5 in10,000 people or fewer, and expertise in diagnosing and treating them is even more rare than the diseases themselves. However, there are plans within the pharmaceutical industry at the EU level for joint prices for drugs for rare diseases in order to make those prices lower and drugs more available.

On the occasion of marking the World Rare Disease Day on the 28th of February, the Croatian Alliance for Rare Diseases will organize a fundraising dinner called ''Rarely Good Dinner'' at the Hotel Panorama in Zagreb.

According to a statement from the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR), the bank continues with the implementation of programs for offering favourable loans to the tourism sector with continued reduction of interest rate and lower fees for loan applications.

''For loans taken for investment purposes repayment periods are adjusted to the tourism sector and prolonged up to 17 years. Over the past few years, interest rates were reduced on several occasions and investors in the tourism industry could take loans with interest between 2 and 4 percent, depending on business performance and areas of investment.

The Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development enables financing up to 75 percent of a preliminary investment estimate, without VAT," stated from HBOR.

Last year HBOR supported 274 tourism projects with the amount of 1,8 billion Kunas of loans or 17 percent more in comparison to 2015. On the other hand, almost 90 percent of HBOR loans were approved for investments in the Adriatic region, whilst the rest was approved for projects in the continent region.

At the level of all sectors in Croatia, in 2016 the bank approved 7,6 billion Kunas of loans; around 21 percent of the amount went to companies in the tourism sector.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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