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 on the 25th of October, the IKEA Croatia company said that in the 2016 financial year (the 1st of September 2015 – the 31st of August 2016) it generated revenue of over 72 million Euros, which was an increase of almost 6 percent in comparison to the 2015 financial year.
"In the second year of operating we have achieved excellent sales results and launched online sales in order to be even more accessible to Croatian buyers," said Stefan Vanoverbeke, the director of the IKEA Croatia company and the regional director of IKEA South East Europe (SEE). He also added that IKEA Croatia would continue to develop and adapt its offer and services to its customers as well as to open a ‘’pick-up point’’ in Split in the next twelve months.
Of the total revenue during the second financial year the Department store of IKEA Croatia achieved 68.3 million Euros, whilst IKEA Food (restaurant/bistro/cafe/Swedish food shop) generated 3.5 million Euros.
Last year more than 1.6 million people visited the IKEA Zagreb store, whilst the IKEA.hr website had more than 5 million visitors.
On the other hand, in accordance with the IKEA’s global sustainability strategy ‘People and Planet Positive’’, the IKEA Zagreb department store has recycled 92 percent (950 tons) of their collected waste, whilst from the sale of recycled waste the profit was 174,000 Kunas.
Sustainability is also very important to Croatian customers thus the IKEA department store from Zagreb placed as the 5th in the world in terms of the number of sold solutions for a more sustainable life at home.
During the 2016 financial year IKEA Croatia with its sister company IKEA Centres launched a project Designer Outlet Croatia. It is designed as a fashion outlet next to the IKEA Zagreb department store which construction will start during 2017, whilst the opening is expected in 2018.
After the completion of the first phase of the project additional 400 new jobs are expected to be opened.
One of the most well-known and iconic hotels in Dubrovnik, the Hotel Excelsior, is on the verge of a major refurbishment. According to a statement the Hotel Excelsior will close its doors to the public on Monday the 31st of October when the reconstruction of the interior will begin.
Hotel Excelsior, which is part of the Adriatic Luxury Hotel group, will remain closed over the winter months whilst the works are carried out.
The last time work was done on the hotel was back in 2008 and this time, as is clear from the photos, it will be a significant investment. The redesigned hotel will be up and running for the 2017 summer season.
Check out the photo gallery of how the new Hotel Excelsior will look.
There are still no signs of the summer ending in Dubrovnik this year. Even though we are on the verge of November, with only 58 days left until Christmas, the sunshine just won’t stop.
The historic Old City of Dubrovnik reassembled the middle of summer today with hundreds of tourists in shorts and T-shirts as temperatures pushed up to 24 degrees. There were even a few “brave” swimmers in the Adriatic.
The forecast until the beginning of next week is for more warm sunshine and temperatures stuck in the low twenties. Is there a better time of the year to visit Dubrovnik?
The Small Onofrio's fountain, one of the iconic symbols of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik was damaged five days ago when one of the heavy stone slabs from the outer rim crashed on the ground. Of course, it had to be repaired as soon (and as good) as possible and the Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities reacted really fast. Today, the fountain got its missing piece back!
Just a reminder, it seems that the accident was caused by a tourist that leaned on the edge of the fountain. Thankfully the weighty stone didn’t injure anyone as it smashed into pieces of the ground.
The Small Onofrio Fountain, located at the end of the Stradun, is a magnet for tourists and in the warmer summer months is a source of much needed refreshment, and quite often small children climb on this edge to reach one of the fountains. The fountain was designed by the Italian architect Onofrio Della Cava and was constructed between 1440 and 1442.
This is how the fountain looked like after the accident - Photo by: Ahmet Kalajdzic
Dubrovnik has been declared as the best "City Break" destination in Croatia in Bol, Brac where yesterday Croatia Tourism Days 2016 began. A total of seven hotels of the City of Dubrovnik were awarded, Villa Dubrovnik earned two first prizes and two employees of Dubrovnik was declared the best.
At last night's ceremony the awards were given by Croatian Tourist Board, the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Chamber of Economy in terms of destinations, the sustainable tourism, attractions, the awards for the business sector (Tourist flower - Quality for Croatia), and people in the tourism industry (Man - Key to success in tourism, an annual award "Anton Stifanic") and prizes for the top three for secondary vocational and art schools.
Dubrovnik was awarded as the best city break destination, along with other many, many awards and recognitions. On the other hand, Konavle were awarded as the most successful destination for rural tourism.
In Dubrovnik went several awards in the category 'Man – Key to success'. Katija Gretel-Krmek from hotel company ALH won an award for employee of the year as the best sales and marketing in tourism and Mateo Gverovic from the Valamar Riviera was awarded as the best chef .
Dubrovnik hotels have earned the highest number of awards in the category "Tourist Flower - Quality for Croatia", which is another confirmation of the high quality hotel accommodation in our city. Valamar is the best conference hotel in Croatia, the best resort hotel is a 5-star Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, while the best resort hotel category 4 * is Hotel Neptune, and in the same category the third place went to the Valamar Argosy.
The best wellness hotel in Croatia is again one hotel located in Dubrovnik - the Valamar Dubrovnik President, the best boutique hotel is Hotel Dubrovnik Palace and two awards went to the hotel Villa Dubrovnik, which is the best single luxury hotel and the best luxury hotel in Croatia.
ACI marina Komolac got an award in the category of Best medium-sized marina again this year and it won third place.
When visiting Dubrovnik, you can't miss Minceta, one of the four fortesses of Dubrovnik City Walls. As the highest point of the Walls, this fort has a magnificent view on Dubrovnik and it's considered as one of the symbols of the City.
However, Minceta is not there just for beauty purposes, even though it's really beautiful, but also for the defence – it represents one of the key points of the Dubrovnik defense system to the mainland due to its location on te north side.
Minceta Tower is named after the Dubrovnik aristocratic family Mencetic, which offered land for its construction. It is a large circular tower, based on a broad and solid bulwark. Its height and impressive volume dominates the northwestern part of the City. In the time of Dubrovnik Republic, Minceta with its fortification function seemed almost indestructible defense stronghold.
The fort was originally built in 1319 as a high reaching quadrilateral fort according the designs of local architect Nicifor Ranjina and has been like that for over 100 years. Then, in 1461 the famous architect Michelozzo di Bartolomeo of Florence built a new round tower around the earlier quadrilateral fort, adapted to the new technique of warfare and joined it to the new system of low scarp walls. Juraj of Dalmatia continued his work, he built the bottom of the fortress and gave it the recognizable overhead part, the crown.
Minceta Tower also had a part in the Game of Thrones filming – its base was used as the exteriror of House of Undying in the town of Qarth. All the GOT lovers must know the scene from season two - the place where Daenerys Targaryen walks around trying to find the entrance into the House of Undying looking for her dragons. Oh yes, we remember her screaming: ''Where are my dragons?''
According to data from the European Union Statistical office (Eurostat), the organic cultivation of agricultural products in the European Union included more than 11 million hectares of land in 2015 which was 21 percent more in comparison to 2014.
The data also showed that the greatest increase of the organic agricultural land was achieved in Croatia. In 2010 the organic cultivation of food included 16,000 hectares of land, whilst in 2015 the organic land area increased almost to 76,000 hectares or 377 percent.
Apart from Croatia, over the five-year period a significant increase of the organic food cultivation land was also recorded in Bulgaria (362%), France (61%), Ireland (53%), Lituania (49%) and Cyprus (48%), whilst the downward trend was observed in the United Kingdom (-29%) and the Netherlands (-4%).
The organic agriculture in the EU in 2015 included 6.2 percent of the total used agricultural land. The largest share of the agricultural land with organic food cultivation had Austria with 552,000 hectares or 20 percent of the total agricultural land. Austria was followed by Sweden with 17 percent share or 519,000 hectares and Estonia with 16 percent share or 156,000 hectares, whilst Croatia had a share of 4,9 percent at the end of 2015.
The globally popular conference forum TEDx is coming to Dubrovnik. On Friday the 28th of October the first ever TEDx event to be held in Dubrovnik will take place in the Marin Držić Theatre in the heart of the Old City. The theme for this conference will be “Living Tomorrow,” and over the six hours of the event an international panel of fifteen speakers will bring forward ideas and influences.
“The atmosphere of the exchange of differing ideas from a wide range of speakers will be interesting to experience in Dubrovnik,” commented the organisers of the event.
TED, or Technology, Entertainment, Design, events have proved extremely popular over the past years and this first ever TEDx is a spin-off from the initial idea, where X stands for independent. These are non-profit conferences, or melting pots of ideas, in which guest speakers are also unpaid. The TEDx in Dubrovnik starts at 1pm in the theatre and is scheduled to finish at 7pm, with tickets available at the door. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.
The international guest speakers in Dubrovnik will include Davor Ljubimir , Branimir Brkljač, Božidar Jukić, Mihovil Španja, Rebecca Charry Roje, Aleksandra Kolarić, Srećko Koralija, Tomica Šćavina, Ljoba Jenče, Cody McClain, Rambo Amadeus, Mihaela Lekić, Gaella Gotwald, Siniša Car, Elizabeta Planinić. And there will also be a music program with two local artists, Maja Grgić and Lovro Barišić.
Dubrovnik will look forward to an afternoon of exchanging ideas and along the way finding solutions to the challenges of Living Tomorrow.
For further information on the speakers and the themes please download the attachment.