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.
After an understandable break last year, the Dubrovnik Winter Festival is back again this festive season. The Dubrovnik Heritage and the Commission have released a public tender to businesses for the rent of festive stands in the Old City of Dubrovnik, plus other suburbs of the city from the 27th of November to the 6th of January 2022.
According to the public tender there will be a total of 21 festive stands, 10 of which will be located directly on the Stradun, with the remaining house around the Old City and in Lapad, Gruž and Mokošica. It remains to be seen if there is interest from catering faculties to actually bid for these festive houses.
The program for this year’s Dubrovnik Winter Festival has yet to be released, however it will probably be less ambitious as previous years due to the Covid-19 situation.
Looking for a change of scenery in one of the most vibrant cities in the world? Turkish Airlines is offering a special discount for flights between Dubrovnik and Istanbul for only 129 Euros return! You’ll have to get your skates on as the offer ends on the 21st of October 2021. This discounted price is only on flights booked between the 1st of November 2021 and the 27th of April 2022.
Turkish Airlines will continue to operate flights between Dubrovnik and Istanbul in their winter flights schedule and will fly twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturdays.
We have checked out the Turkish Airlines website and these special discounted flights are only for departing Dubrovnik at 8:50am on Wednesdays and at 8:20 on Saturdays. Whilst return flights from Istanbul to Dubrovnik leave at 8:05am on Wednesdays and at 7:40pm on Saturdays.
The ticket prices for other times start from around 150 Euros for a single ticket. So if you are flexible with your timing then these discounted prices are under half the normal return price of around 300 Euros. The flight time from Dubrovnik to Istanbul is two hours and this special offer refers to tickets in the economy range. Which means that a refund for cancellation isn’t allowed, however you are allowed both an 8kg cabin bag and a 30kg hold luggage.
And if you looking for accommodation Turkish Airlines have teamed up with booking.com to offer a whole range of rooms, you’ll find more details on the website of Turkish Airlines. And the airline also has a dedicated page explaining the Covid-19 regulations for flying and entering Turkey - turkishairlines.com/en-int/announcements/coronavirus-outbreak/turkey-travel-rules
And as the special offer with Turkish Airlines continues up until the end of April next year, more precisely the 27th of April, if you book by the 21st of this month you have more time to organise a Spring trip to the city where East meets West.
All further information of this special offer, including conditions, can be found at the website of Turkish Airlines - turkishairlines.com
One of the American airlines that connected Dubrovnik with New York this summer season has taken a hard line on the vaccination of their staff and has cancelled contracts of 232 employees who didn’t want to get vaccinated for Covid-19.
United Airlines announced on Wednesday that they had laid off 232 employees who had refused the Covid-19 vaccination.
United Airlines was the first airline to introduce a vaccination obligation for employees. And the head of the company, Steve Kirby, announced that 232 of the 67,000 employees refused to be vaccinated.
United Airlines is currently the only major U.S. airline to have resorted to a release process for employees who refuse the vaccine.
Delta Airlines has introduced a monthly commitment of $200 for unvaccinated employees, while American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are taking various measures to motivate employees to vaccinate.
By Wednesday, 90 percent of Delta Airlines employees had been vaccinated.
Work on the new Pelješac Bridge is going full steam ahead, and today the first layer of asphalt was applied to the concrete road of the Pelješac Bridge.
The company Croatia Roads confirmed that the asphalting was underway. This first layer is 4 cm thick which is specific in that it is the so-called cast asphalt. Namely, this asphalt is more resistant to water and salt penetration and as such will protect the bridge structure for a longer period of time. It is manufactured in Croatia and installed by the Chinese contractor, China Roads and Bridge Corporation.
The completion of the tarmacking is expected by the end of November.
All images - Croatia Roads
After a week filled with concerts and indeed rain, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (DSO) enters the second week of the Autumn Music Variety festival with performances by great musicians.
On Friday, October 15 at 8:30pm in the Rector's Palace, a concert by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will be held under the direction of the famous Slovenian conductor Uroš Lajovic and with a solo performance by Dubrovnik horn player, Toni Kursar.
The Autumn Music Variety highlights Dubrovnik musicians through solo performances in collaboration with prominent conductors. An interesting program with compositions by A. Ivančić, R. Strauss and L. van Beethoven was carefully selected for this concert.
Maestro Uroš Lajovic was born in Ljubljana, where he studied composition and conducting at the Academy of Music, graduating in 1967.
In the period from 1972 to 1991 he worked in the Slovenian Philharmonic, first as an assistant, and from 1978 as a permanent conductor. At the same time he was the leader of the Chamber Orchestra of RTV Slovenia from 1974 to 1976, chief conductor of the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra from 1979 to 1981. He founded the Chamber Orchestra Slovenicum in 1988 with which he organized concert series in Ljubljana and performed throughout Slovenia.
The festival is supported by the City of Dubrovnik, the Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik and Rixos Premium Dubrovnik.
The Croatian National Tourist Board has launched a new mini-autumn promotional campaign #FALLinLoveWithCroatia on the social networks Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tik tok. The campaign will be conducted in October and November with the aim of maintaining the visibility and promotion of Croatia as a tourist destination with an interesting offer in the autumn part of the tourist year, with the aim of highlighting the rich autumn beauties and attractions of Croatian destinations.
The campaign is carried out in cooperation with the system of tourist boards in the country in order to highlight through social networks all the best that their destinations offer visitors in the off-season, from interesting places, attractive locations of local parks, promenades to traditional activities such as grapes, olives, mandarins, pumpkin production and olive oil to picking mushrooms, collecting chestnuts and preparing indigenous gastronomic delicacies from autumn fruits.
The desire is to paint social networks with all the colours of autumn and emphasize the beauties of Croatian national parks and nature parks at this time of year, but also to encourage everyone to rest and explore Croatia in autumn. The campaign is open to all domestic and foreign followers of the Croatian National Tourist Board social media networks “Croatia Full Of Life.” Just share your photos with the hashtag #FALLinLoveWithCroatia.
"The aim of this campaign is to highlight the beauties of Croatia in autumn colours, to bring the followers of activities such as sailing or traditional harvests, autumn events, but also rich autumn eno-gastronomic delicacies that are specific to each Croatian region. In our promotional activities, we want to highlight those parts of the tourist offer that are the main motive for coming to the destination in this part of the year," said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić.
The city of Dubrovnik is the best city in digital readiness, in the category of small towns, according to the analysis of digital readiness of Croatian cities in 2021, which was conducted for the third year in a row by the consulting company Apsolon. In the competition of 20 Croatian cities and according to the overall digital readiness index, it took a high third place, just behind Rijeka and Zagreb.
Dubrovnik took the absolute victory in three of the five categories - in the area of availability and quality of e-Services, availability of city data and citizen participation in decision-making. In the field of service information and unified payment systems, it took second place.
This recognizes the step that Dubrovnik has made compared to the previous year through the central city portal e-Dubrovnik, for access to public information, open data and digital services. An example of good practice is the provision of insight to citizens into all city accounts through websites, as well as a large set of open data or implemented geographic information systems (GIS) for cartographic presentation of spatial data.
"Since it encourages citizens to co-decide on the proposed budget solutions, Dubrovnik is a prime example of participatory democracy in Croatia," the analysis said.
The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, expressed his satisfaction with the results of the analysis, emphasizing the importance of transparency in public administration and citizen participation in decision-making processes.
"The City of Dubrovnik systematically uses and develops new digital and Smart City concepts, using modern solutions to improve the overall quality of life and to open its business to citizens as much as possible. By implementing the Open City system, we have achieved that citizens are involved to the lowest level in the financial operations of the City, but also management and participation in decision-making,” stated Mayor Franković.
The overall winner according to the overall composite index of digital readiness of Croatian Cities this year is Rijeka, which is in first place in the category of large cities. In the group of medium-sized cities, Pula won.
Property prices across Croatia rose by 26 percent from 2010 to the second quarter of 2021, according to new data from Eurostat, whilst the price of renting rose by half as much at 13 percent.
Croatia has one of the largest home ownership percentages in Europe, in fact the Home Ownership Rate in Croatia averaged 89.67 percent from 2010 until 2019. This percentage generally means that the real estate market in Croatia is largely buoyed by foreign buyers and people purchasing second homes or apartments to rent.
According to the Eurostat survey in the just over ten-year period from 2010 to the second quarter of 2021 property prices across the European Union rose on average by 34 percent, whilst rent prices rose by 16 percent. Meaning that property prices in Croatia rose slightly slower than the EU average. Although it must be taken into account that some EU countries saw an absolute boom in house prices, in Estonia prices climbed by an incredible 133 percent and in Luxembourg by 111 percent. Whilst on the other hand some EU countries saw housing prices tumble, in Greece by -28 percent, in Italy by -13 percent and in Cyprus by -8 percent.
House prices in Croatia increased by the most in recent years, residential real estate prices rose by 6.5 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, the strongest since the fall of last year.