Tuesday, 07 July 2020
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

At the official ceremony held in Petrinja in the Sisak-Moslavina County on the 27th of March, the United States donated top class army training simulation system SAAT to the Croatian Armed Forces. Julieta Valls Noyes, the US Ambassador to Croatia and Damir Krsticevic, the Croatian Minister of Defence, attended the ceremony

Small Arm Tactical Training System or simply SAAT is an indoor virtual shooting range with ten lanes for training, practicing and shooting with a usage of training ammunition.
"The value of this donation exceeds many times over its price. It is yet another confirmation of the friendly relations between the US and Croatia. The United States is our key ally and we take part in joint exercises, in training and peace-building operations abroad, in the fight against ISIS and the growing radicalism. Therefore, I believe that this is the right path and that there will be more such examples," said the Defence Minister Krsticevic expressing his gratitude for the donation.

On this occasion, the US Ambassador Valls Noyes emphasized that Croatia was an important factor of stability in the region of Southeast Europe, adding that the US and Croatia had cooperated successfully so far in Afghanistan and Kosovo. She also expressed her hope that the successful cooperation would continue in the future.

The total value of the SAAT training system together with spare parts and training is worth around one million US dollars.

‘’We are very pleased that we have signed a commercial agreement at a very high level with Air India, which extends the existing cooperation in the transport of passengers. Therefore, Croatia Airlines, as a European regional air carrier, will get an opportunity for stronger positioning on the large and fast-growing Indian market. I believe that passengers from Croatia and India will recognize the value of our joint product and use even better choice of travel,” said Kresimir Kucko, the CEO of Croatia Airlines commenting a code share agreement with Air India.

Croatia Airlines and Air India recently signed a code share agreement on the usage of flights with shared codes of both carriers, which will come into force on the 1st of April 2017. Therefore, passengers will be able to fly a combination of Air India and Croatia Airlines services using the ticket and code of either of the two airlines.

In accordance with the agreement, the Croatia Airlines code (OU) will be on Air India flights from Frankfurt, London, Vienna, Rome and Paris to New Delhi, and from London to Mumbai. On the other hand, the Air India international code (AI) will be on Croatia Airlines flights from Frankfurt to Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split, from London to Zagreb and Split, from Vienna to Zagreb and Split, from Rome to Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split, and from Paris to Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split.

‘’Air India is honoured that Croatia Airlines, as the Star Alliance member, is our partner in the code share agreement. This partnership will enable Air India to reach destinations in Croatia thus, we are looking forward to the expansion of our relationship with Croatia Airlines in the future. Our partnership will also contribute to the further development of trade, tourism and cultural relations between India and Croatia’’, explained Seema Srivastava, Air India’s Executive Director (Strategy and Planning).

It is interesting to note that these two national air carriers, Croatia Airlines and Air India are the first and only airlines to offer services between Croatia and India.

Shakespeare is coming to Dubrovnik again this summer as the Midsummer Scene Festival will present Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is the fourth year that the Midsummer Scene Festival has been held in Dubrovnik, and from the 24th of June until the 5th of July one of the most humorous comedies will light up the Dubrovnik night sky.

As ever the Lovrijenac Fortress, overlooking the historic Old City, will be the venue for the festival. “The festival is expanding from year to year. International guest performances in Vienna and Bermuda confirm the quality of the programs and the productions. This summer ahead of us is a new challenge. Midsummer Night's Dream will be played in a new light, with a new cast and a new set in Lovrijenac Fortress,Ć commented the producer Darija Mikulandra Žanetić.

Midsummer Festival Scene is a project of the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, and produced by Brilliant Events Dubrovnik and Honey-tongued Theatre Productions from London.

poster midsummer festival

Dubrovnik has appeared as the backdrop for countless movies and serials so why not as the location for a photo shoot.

This risqué photo appeared on the website Instagram Russia, which seemingly has no connection to the actual photo social media site Instagram.

It was taken in the Adriatic just in front of Dubrovnik and shows the St. Jacob area in the background. Well it certainly caught our attention.

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The Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic ended her five-day visit to Sweden last week.

During her visit, Grabar-Kitarovic met with the Croatian Diaspora in Sweden, the Swedish King Gustaf XVI and Queen Silvia, the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lovfen, the Parliament Speaker Urban Ahlin, and the Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist. She also visited the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, the owner of the ICT company Ericsson Nikola Tesla in Croatia.

The Croatian president concluded her official visit to Sweden at Lund University, one of the largest Scandinavian research universities. During a lecture to professors and students at the university on the topic "Southeast Europe - Testing Ground to Prove Europe's and Euro-Atlantic Resoluteness and Solidarity’’, she referred to the current situation in the region of Southeast Europe.

‘’In the past decade the European Union and NATO stopped focusing on Southeast Europe because large conflicts in that part of Europe seemed to have been solved and there was less reason for concern, however, that part of Europe need more commitment from the international community’’, explained Grabar-Kitarovic.

The Croatian president also added that Southeast Europe was experiencing the heavy burden of serious security concerns that were troubling the EU and NATO.

‘’The combination of this problem with the specific political instability of this area and partially weak institutions and economies, makes it obvious that these young democracies need stronger commitment from the European Union and NATO’’, emphasized Grabar-Kitarovic.
After the lecture at the university, Grabar-Kitarovic visited the MAX IV Laboratory for synchrotron radiation, the largest of its kind in Europe. On this occasion, she said that science, research and innovation were the foundation of all development and in particular of the economy.

"Even though Croatia will not be in a position in the near future to have a laboratory like this, for a start it would be extremely good to establish cooperation in science and exchange and to start investing more in research and development’’, concluded Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

The British multinational corporation headquartered in New York and the world famous auction house Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC has signed a 25-year franchise agreement with the Croatian company Porta Stella-Luxury Real Estate Ltd and opened its office in Split.

The global network for trading in luxury properties selected the city of Split as its headquarters due to the focus of potential clients on properties located in coastal areas of Croatia.

The head of the Croatian Sotheby's branch will be Marko Pazanin, the owner of the Porta Stella Luxury Estate company.

"The fact that Sotheby's has chosen Croatia to expand its network of real estate offices is just a confirmation of our country's international reputation. Our goal is to bring to Croatia as many potential buyers as possible as well as to encourage potential investors to make investments here," explained Pazanin.

Furthermore, Philip White, the president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC commented, ’Due to the development of the luxury properties market in Croatia, we have recognized the right moment to open our first office. This beautiful Croatia’s coast and its islands offer a life by the sea in large coastal cities that fits perfectly into our vision of the development of the brand. It is my great honour and pleasure to welcome Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty in our network of agencies for luxury real estate business’’, concluded White.

It is highly likely that many luxury properties will soon find their place on the pages of Sotheby’s partner publications such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post and Bloomberg as well as in the Art & Home magazine or on Apple TV.

Sotheby’s International Realty operates worldwide with around 20,000 associates through 850 offices in 65 countries and territories.


The prefect of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County, Nikola Dobroslavić, received the Senior Director for social, urban, rural and resilience global practice for the World Bank, Ede Jorge Ijjasz - Vasquez and his associates today.

They discussed projects financed by the World Bank and about their future plans, and the plans and development, and which are concerned with the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Mayor Dobroslavić thanked Vasquez for the implemented projects in the county, and pointed out that certain important projects could not be realized without their financial support.

A diesel engine train that was manufactured by the Gredelj company in Croatia a few years ago will be soon be presented in Sweden as the first such product from Croatia in this Scandinavian country.

The Croatian company Tvornica željezničkih vozila Gredelj (Rolling Stock Factory Gredelj) is one of the leading companies in the region in the field of designing and manufacturing new types of railway vehicles.

A few years ago, the company manufactured a diesel engine train for the needs of the Croatian Railways Passenger Transport. The train is leaving Croatia on the 24th of March heading to Sweden for a promotional ride on a limited route and for a series of promotional activities in cooperation with the Inlandsbanan private company from Östersund. This will be the first time that a railway vehicle from Croatia rides Swedish railways.

The first contacts and talks with representatives of the Inlandsbanan company began in September 2016 during the InnoTrans fair in Berlin, after which the representatives visited the Gredelj company's facilities in Croatia. A detailed insight into the technical capacity and a special organized ride by Gredelj's train resulted in concrete interest of the Swedish company; it was concluded that the train, with its technical and other characteristics, would fully meet the needs of the Swedish partner.

Furthermore, the promotional activities in Sweden will last a few days; they will include a promotional train ride on a limited route for a small number of invited guests as well as a presentation of the train at stations on the Inlandsbanan's route, with the possibility of sightseeing the vehicle.

The promotional ride itself will be an excellent opportunity for the Gredelj company to present the train to the representatives of Inlandsbanan as well as to other private operators in Sweden who need to purchase a vehicle of this type. An interest from companies in the neighbouring countries of Denmark and Norway is not excluded.

These activities on the demanding Swedish market are yet another confirmation of Gredelj's quality and capacity to implement the most complex projects.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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