Monday, 14 October 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.


Last year a 21-year old Croatian innovator presented his green invention that was recognized on a global scale almost overnight. However, his success was not a short-lived one but has been growing since then.

Ivan Mrvos from Solin near Split and his team are responsible for designing the Steora smart bench; an innovative product ideal for cities, parks, airports, marinas, business and shopping centres. Their main goal is to raise human awareness about renewable energy and environmental protection.

The smart bench includes batteries, which are powered by solar panels; they provide internet access and the possibility to charge mobile phones and laptops by USB charger. It also gathers data about air quality, humidity, city noise, displays advertising, and provides light at night. Interestingly Mrvos and his team developed their own battery system based on the model of Tesla Motors, which is famous for production of electric cars.

So far, smart benches have been introduced and placed all over Croatia, Montenegro, in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in Hong Kong and in front of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.

Last year Mrvos signed an agreement worth 5,33 million Euros with MTK Renewable Energy Investment to deliver 2,700 smart benches to Australia. Mrvos and his team also sent smart benches to USA, Qatar and Switzerland for testing.

After recent setting up the first smart bench in Dubai, bought by the local police, the same night Ivan Mrvos and his company Include received an order for five more benches for the largest city of the UAE.

''Around 11 pm in the evening, or 1 am Dubai time, we got an emergency order to deliver five new pieces as soon as possible. In 48 hours of logistics madness, we produced five benches with the required configuration, and organized delivery by DHL and Emirates. At the end, the benches have been successfully installed in Dubai'', commented Mrvos on his social media profile.

The German retail chain TEDI is entering the Croatian market by opening two stores in Zagreb at the end of this August, confirmed Ines Bakic Zubak, the manager of the Supernova Centre Zagreb.

Two TEDI stores are to be opened in two Supernova shopping centres in the Croatian capital – Supernova Buzin and Supernova Garden Mall. So far, there is no information on potential further expansion to other locations in Croatia.

However, on TEDI's official website there is information that the company plans to reach the number of 2,000 outlets and that they are in search of adequate real estate on attractive and visited locations.

Since the company was founded in Dortmund in 2004, the expansion of its trading network has been marked with an average rate of two new outlets per week. The company closed its first fiscal year with 120 newly opened stores, and by 2006, this figure rose to 400. In 2011, it exceeded the number of 1,200 stores across Europe.

Today TEDI is considered one of the most propulsive companies in non-food industry whose market position is ensured with the network of 1,500 stores with at least 5,000 products on offer at ‘’fair prices’. The company employs 11,500 people in six countries around Europe.

Besides daily household, party, DIY and electrical goods, TEDI’s range also includes stationery, toys as well as drugstore and cosmetic products. Additional highlights are seasonal offers and sales campaigns in their stores.

It is interesting to note that the company is very proud of the fact that a third of TEDI's assortments are purchased from business partners from Germany and other EU member states.

The weekend isn’t the craziest part of the week in Dubrovnik anymore. This hectic Monday brought crowds in the Old City. At moments, for example just couple minutes ago, there were over 9,000 people inside the City Walls. That was counted on the website Dubrovnik Visitors, which counts the number of people that enter the City in order to limit the number under 8,000.

Because the limit was broken, and huge number of people entered the City, the counter turned red. Currently there are two cruise ships in the Port Gruz that brought around 1,900 passengers. There are some traffic jams. A crazy Monday!


This has been a great year so far for Croatian airports with figures up over 17 percent compared to last year. A total of over nine million passengers is expected to pass Croatian airports – EX-YU Aviation News reports.

The president of the Air Transport Association at the Croatian Chamber of Economy Tonci Peovic commented for EX-YU Aviation News why he thinks the growth is happening, saying that the significant rise has been influenced by GDP growth in countries that visitors are coming from, as well as other numerous factors such as safety.

First half of the year was a bomb for Croatian airports, as they made record breaking numbers with 3.444.310 passengers, according to the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency. That is an increase of 17.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Some of the airports estimated how many passengers will pass their airports by the end of the year, but it’s expected that those numbers will be surpassed – Zagreb Airport expects to have three million passengers, Split 2.7 million, Dubrovnik two million, Pula 600 thousand, Zadar 580 thousand and Brac 30 thousand passengers. We’ll see what the next couple of months will bring.

Since seventh season of Game of Thrones is currently on fire, many websites rediscover Dubrovnik as King’s Landing. Vogue recently published a travel guide to our City, especially meant for the lovers of the serial.

- Despite its dragons, direwolves, and white walkers, the Game of Thrones world isn’t quite as make-believe as it may seem. In fact, its capital, King’s Landing, is almost entirely filmed in the very real—and very beautiful—city of Dubrovnik, Croatia – it’s explained in the article that brings tips for all the GOT lovers in order to skip ‘’overpriced and crowded guided tours’’.

Places that they recommend are: City Walls, Trsteno Arboretum, Fort Lovrjenac, The Jesuit Stairs and the island of Lokrum. These were ocations where the serial was filmed and in the original article you can see all the details about the scenes.

This is not the first and certainly not the last time that one of the most famous magazines in the world feature Dubrovnik as King’s Landing. Being a part of the world famous series – Game of Thrones – gave Pearl of Adriatic a priceless promotion. Many tourists visit Dubrovnik just because they are huge fans of the series.

The disappearing Dubrovnik pigeons have returned home. At the beginning of August the pigeons seemed to have disappeared. Every day at exactly midday the pigeons of the city are fed in the Gundelic Square, it is a tradition that has been going on for centuries and is funded by the City of Dubrovnik.

And then one early August day they didn’t arrive, their corn feed was left uneaten. But this weekend they returned to eat their food and perch on the ancient buildings. Where they have been and what they have been doing will remain a mystery.

dubrovnik pigeons come home

Our resident "Style Guru" has been scanning the streets of Dubrovnik this week for the latest and greatest in fashion.










The height of the summer, and tourist season, is upon us in Dubrovnik and the historic city centre was as busy as you would expect it to be.

New tourists arrived, cruise ship passengers toured the cobbled streets and marvelled at the stone landmarks and locals enjoyed a coffee on a pavement cafe, just another summer’s weekend in Dubrovnik. Temperatures soared to 34 degrees in the city and in the shade was the place to be.

Check out our photo gallery from Saturday morning in Dubrovnik

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