Friday, 22 February 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

When it comes to average wages in the region, Croatia is in the top, just after Slovenia. According to the latest data, average wage in Croatia is 749,70 Euros (5642 Kunas), while Slovenia holds the first place with 1020,40 Euros – reports N1

The lowest average wage is in Macedonia, 363,80 Euros (22 460 Denars). Other average wages in the region are – 503 Euros in Montenegro, 428 Euros in Bosnia and Herzegovina (837 KM) and 369,70 Euros in Serbia (45 767 Dinars).

The average salary in Croatia decreased compared to 2015 – in Ocobter 2015 it amounted 749,70 Euros, while in the same month in 2015 it was 762.

Emirates have announced that they will operate flights between Dubai and Zagreb from the 1st of June this year. According to a report on the specialized website EX-YU Aviation the world’s largest international airline will operate these flights on a year round basis. This will be the only direct connection between Dubai and the Croatian capital, and the airline will offer the flights on a daily basis.

And not only will passengers be able to visit Dubai but also the 150 destinations that Emirates flies to from its Dubai hub. Emirates' Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Thierry Antinori, commented that, “Emirates has had a commercial presence in Croatia since 2003, so to launch full operations is a natural progression. Emirates is pleased to have this opportunity to add such a picturesque destination to our global route network. We look forward to working with our partners and stakeholders in Croatia to provide our world renowned service to our customers on our young, modern fleet of aircraft. We are also committed to our contribution to growing the trade and tourism flows between Croatia and Dubai, as well as encouraging incoming tourism from the Middle East and Asia Pacific, where Emirates operates 45 destinations”.

Snow is falling on the island of Korčula! Several centimetres of snow have fallen in the central part of the island. Snow on this normally warm Adriatic island is extremely rare; the last time snow fell was 2009.

Snowploughs are out clearing the roads and there are no reports of the snow causing roads to be blocked as yet. Temperatures on Korčula are around zero degrees Celsius at the moment.

snow korcula 2017

Photo by Dora Mikelic 

After the cold front that brought with it traffic chaos and buckets loads of snow, and then the south wind that carried rain and flooded the roads, Dubrovnik finally had a day of peaceful weather today.

Tourists and locals took the opportunity to soak up the warm winter sunshine and drink coffee al fresco.

Check out our photo gallery of the Old City of Dubrovnik today by Ivana Smilovic

dubrovnik tourists

dubrovnik children

The winter has returned to parts of Dubrovnik! This morning the snow returned to higher regions of the Konavle hills, south of Dubrovnik, with up to 5 centimetres measured.

- On the higher grounds of Konavle the winter returned in full force overnight – commented the chief of the Konavle fire brigade Mario Magud. Adding that two snow plough were in action early this morning clearing the roads again. Drivers in Konavle need to have all winter equipment, including chains, and are advised to keep their speeds down.

A few months ago a group of investors visited in secret the city of Vrgorac in the Dalmatian hinterland seeking for a location to build a new airport in Croatia.

The group of investors who came on a behalf of a group of foreign investors from Europe and beyond were looking for suitable micro-locations for the construction of a new international airport in the region between Dubrovnik and Split. They also checked spatial plans of towns and municipalities in order to learn whether the area was suitable for the realization of their planned investment which would be bigger than the airports in Split and Dubrovnik.

On this occasion Ante Pranic the mayor of the city of Vrgorac commented, “The investors were looking for land which has at least 3 kilometres of flat land for the runway. With the vicinity of the Makarska Riviera, the A1 highway, two exits to the motorway, an international border, the A1 junction and the 5C corridor as well as the Ravca – Drvenik connecting road, we presented Vrgorac as one of the most important hubs in this part of Dalmatia’’.

During the first visit of the investing group Ante Pranic accompanied them to the location, and after only ten days investors returned back to the site with a team of geodesists.

“To show that they are seriously interested in our location, the investors came back for a third time to Vrgorac with a bigger team of experts and a drone with which they took footage of all of the location”, Pranic concluded.

The sixth annual Allianz Risk Barometer has identified the Top 10 Global Business Risks for 2017. The research carried out by the leading global insurance company Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) was based on the insight of 1,237 risk experts from 55 countries worldwide.

Business companies from all over the world are preparing themselves for a year full of uncertainty due to the major political, legal and regulatory developments around the globe. There are many corporate perils that concern them as well but what troubles world companies most are actual or anticipated losses from business interruption.

According to the Allianz Risk Barometer for 2017, business interruption is the top risk for the fifth year in a row. It is followed by market developments, cyber incidents, natural catastrophes, changes in legislation and regulation, macroeconomic developments, fire and explosion, political risks and violence, loss of reputation or brand value, and new technologies.

''The biggest risks that the corporate sector in Croatia recognizes are related to business conditions and maintenance of experience from previous years. Our companies emphasize frequent changes in legislation and regulation as one of the major problems in doing business on the Croatian market'', stated Kristijan Buk, a member of the Directorate of Finance at Allianz Zagreb.

It's interesting to note that German and British entrepreneurs are most afraid of cyber attacks, the Japanese worry about natural catastrophes, companies from Greece and China fear from macroeconomic developments, the Slovaks are afraid of fire, whilst Russians and Hungarians fear from changes in legislation and regulation.

One thing on everybody's mind in Dubrovnik this week is the weather. We are experiencing below freezing temperatures and snow fall which is quite unusual. Still, listening to some of our people going on about the weather you might think there is an end-of-days ice age upon us. Realistically, it's not that bad, but then again, I might be biased seeing how most of my work in January takes place in the confines of a warm office. It’s fair to say, I am enjoying winter. There is one thing on my mind that's putting a dent in my mood, though. It's too cold to ride my motorcycle. I kept postponing a short motorcycle trip to test my new travel gear during December and now it's too cold to even try. The rush of 7-day work week and insane pressure to make money will be upon me in no time and I might end up not finding the time to do so much as a weekend ride across the border before the summer season starts.

Taking a few days off to ride around for my own piece of mind is impossible for much of the year because of work. My best bet for travelling is a period of late autumn and beginning of winter. Unfortunately, in 2016 life got in the way and I ended the year on a very sour note having done no trips outside of Dubrovnik. Maybe I come off sounding like a seasoned motorcycle veteran, but I'm far from it. By the time I was 30 I have never ridden a proper motorcycle (maxi scooters don't count). Then I finally got one and planned on doing some travelling with it just to see if it's as fun as it looks. After a few years and couple of shorter trips I finally ventured out on a 5-day ride through several countries in late 2015. It was raining most of the time, there were mechanical problems along the way, even some minor health issues, but by the time it was done, I knew I was hooked.

There is something about simply hitting the road and driving away from my everyday life that always gets my heart racing. Venturing into the unknown, preferably alone, is just about the best feeling you can experience. When you find yourself in a place foreign to you, it’s easy to put things in perspective and reflect on your life with a clear mind. It’s therapeutic.

There was a moment of epiphany during my 2015 ride that I will probably never forget. It was Day 2 of the trip and I was crossing from Macedonia into Greece during a very rainy day. I was navigating using a map (trying to be old-school) and managed to take a wrong turn which lead me to a small town of Florina, outside of the planned route. Within Florina the rain started pouring down like crazy and it made navigation even more difficult. Soon, I was simply picking out where to go on a hunch, hoping to get back out to the main road. Being of particularly calm disposition, it didn’t take long for me to start shouting at myself and calling myself an idiot. You can do that when you have a helmet on, people around you usually don’t realise you are shouting. Strangely, that didn’t help my navigation skills and I ended up on an unknown road, riding through a small settlement somewhere outside of town feeling lost and stupid.

I calmed down enough to start thinking about it more clearly and it dawned on me the main reason for my frustration was simply moving slower than originally planned. The fact I was lost had nothing to do with it. In fact, after a while, I didn’t even feel lost. I knew where I was: on a road in Greece passing by some old guy’s garage. It was then I realised that “being lost” is a very strange concept. In the majority of situations, it’s simply not being able to describe where you are using terms someone else wrote down on a map. That, in itself is not a good or a bad thing. If you simply follow the road it will lead you somewhere. It’s up to you to figure out if that’s where you want to be or continue travelling.

When you are discovering new places, broadening your horizons, you can’t really get lost. You can only discover things different from those you originally planned. There’s nothing to be afraid of, because every road leads somewhere.

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Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.
www.insiderholidays.eu
www.facebook.com/insiderholidays

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