Friday, 07 August 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

This could quite easily be a section “strange but true.” For a four metre squared souvenir stand in the heart of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik a company will pay 319,990 Kuna or around 43,000 Euros or $47,000 a year in annual rent!

The outdoor space, which is directly opposite the Rector’s Palace in the centre of the city, achieved this monumental price at public tender and is the highest rent being paid to the City of Dubrovnik for a stand this year. The starting price at public tender was 180,000 Kuna, or around 24,000 Euros, but quite clearly the position is considered worth a lot more. Imagine the amount of magnets, cups and other souvenirs you have to see just to pay the rent, let alone the salaries, costs and goods.

In total twelve different stand positions were available for rent in the public tender held by the City of Dubrovnik and prices ranged from 22,000 Kuna to 180,000 Kuna. The final result means that the City of Dubrovnik will collect over a million Kuna from the annual rent of these small stands.

And if you thought that was expensive there was another public tender that was even more shocking. For those tiny stands on the Pile entrance into the Old City of Dubrovnik that offer walking tours, kayaking and Game of Thrones tours the starting price was 80,000 Kuna or 10,700 Euros. These small desks are only 1 metre squared making them the most expensive real estate rental in Dubrovnik.

The BBC premiered a documentary about a remarkable love story of two storks from Croatia on prime time on the 24th of April.

The documentary ‘’A Long Distance Love Affair for Storks’’ was filmed within the BBC’s series Nature’s Weirdest Events and is a result of a three-month cooperation between the BBC and the Croatian Radio and Television (HRT).

Thanks to the footage from the HRT the story about the two long-legged birds from Brodski Varos in eastern Croatia, whose love story has lasted almost two decades, will become popular all around the world due to the large BBC audience.

‘’A Long Distance Love Affair for Storks’’ brings the history of the relationship between the two storks from the day when Stjepan Vokic found a stork with an injured wing and named her Malena, and her encounter with Klepetan, who returns to her every year despite many challenges in their relationship.

The two storks made their nest on a chimney in Brodski Varos in eastern Croatia more than two decades ago and used to fly together until poachers injured Malena’s wing which left her flying capabilities restricted. As storks are migrating birds, this caused a problem because Malena could not fly anymore. Every winter for the last 15 years Klepetan would leave Croatia and fly more than 13,000 kilometres to warmer regions of Africa. And every spring he would come to her Malena in Croatia.

However, this year hope had been given up for Klepetan failed to arrive two weeks after his expected arrival. Luckily, he appeared on the Croatian horizonand the two lovebirds have been reunited again. So their love story goes on.

The Croatian Radio and Television is very pleased that its footage enabled making this documentary film of the most prestigious world public television BBC. ‘’This is also a great acknowledgement to the HRT and our employees’’, said the HRT.

The Spanish low cost airline Volotea has been negotiating new seasonal routes to Croatia for the summer season 2018.

Volotea is in talks with the Croatian capital of Zagreb, as well as with Rijeka and Pula airports. On the other hand, the Dalmatian city of Zadar has also expressed interest in being included in the negotiations for the next summer season.

The Spanish air carrier from Barcelona with bases in Spain, Italy and France currently maintains seasonal flights from Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseille and Venice to Dubrovnik and Split. The air carrier has also announced its new service from Strasbourg to Dubrovnik from the end of May.

Volotea flies to a number of scheduled European destinations on a summer seasonal, winter seasonal and year-round basis. It also operates a small number of charter flights on behalf of tour operators.

On the other hand, a French low cost airline Transavia France has also expressed their interest in seasonal flights to Croatia, thus they are currently in talks with Zagreb and Pula over potential services from next year.

‘’Croatia is a hit in France this year, thus we are currently in talks with French air carriers over expanding their network to Croatia’’, recently said the Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli.

The sixth edition of Aklapela Festival will take place in Dubrovnik, from 28th to 30th of April 2017. This year’s festival gathered 13 vocal groups from different parts of Croatia - Cakulone, Armorin, Basca, Bosket, FA Lindo, Kase, Mriza, Pinguentum, Skontradura, Subrenum, Teranke, Tragos and Vincace.

The first night of the festival will be held on Friday, 8 pm, at Lazareti, will continue on Saturday and will have a big finish on Sunday in the beautiful Franciscan Church. You can see the detailed program here. Ticket price per concert is 50 kuna.

In case that you didn’t know, Aklapela Festival got its name by combining words a capella and klapa, which means ‘vocal group’ in Croatian. For a six year in a row this festival brings a taste of tradition by combining enchanting a capella singing with beautiful venues of Dubrovnik. In the last six years audience recognized the importance of this type of festival and we’re sure that 2017 will be a successful year for Aklapela too.

The interesting fact is that the klapa singing has been inscribed to UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012., which emphasized the importance of this traditional form of harmonious singing.

So, if you are lucky enough to be in Dubrovnik this weekend, make sure that you visit Aklapela Festival and enjoy the performances of 13 vocal groups from different parts of Croatia.

The Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic visited Qatar in order to open the door of the rich emirate market for Croatian companies.

During her visit to Doha, Grabar-Kitarovic met with the Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, as well as with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Representatives of Croatian companies Crosco, Djuro Djakovic, Koncar, Jadranka Hotels, and Podravka also accompanied the President.

Qatari hosts expressed their interest in cooperation between the two countries in various fields, from tourism to military, IT and food industries. Besides, Qatar, which is the third world country for gas supplies, has long wanted to cooperate with Croatia on the project of the LNG terminal.

''Qatar is one of the countries in which decisions are made at high levels, therefore the exchange of visits is an opportunity for our economy. I hope that the talks with the Qatari leadership and businessmen will lay foundations for the participation of Croatian companies in Qatari projects as well as increase the potential for the Qatari investments in Croatia'', commented Grabar-Kitarovic.

It is interesting to note that Sheikh Abdulah Al-Thani interrupted his holiday in Rome due to the arrival of the Croatian delegation, whilst the President was privately received by the former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who spent his summer vacations several times sailing along the Croatian coast.

For the second year in a row, this summer MTV Summerblast will host the biggest stars in the world of music. One of them is surely Will Smith!

Planetary popular ''The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'' and DJ Jazzy Jeff, known as his cousin from the popular TV show, will perform at one of the most beautiful summer stages in Porec, Istria on the 25th to the 26th of August and celebrate 30 years of their successful music adventure.

Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff, together or separately, are icons of hip-hop music from the very beginning. Their popular hits ''Summertime'', ''Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble'' and ''Parents Just Don't Understand'' brought them Grammy award for Best Rap Performance and have become the classics on dance floors around the world.

Smith has been ranked as the most bankable star worldwide by Forbes. As of 2014, 17 of the 21 films in which he has had leading roles have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over $100 million each. As of 2016, his films have grossed $7,5 billion at the global box office. For his performances as boxer Muhammad Ali in ‘’Ali’’ (2001) and stockbroker Chris Gardner in ‘’The Pursuit of Happyness’’ (2006), Smith received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Smith has also been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.

Arabian Travel Market (ATM),  business – tourism fair is held from today to April 27th. Dubrovnik Tourist Board, as well as the Tourist Board of Dubrovnik-Neretva County are the part of this fair and are located at the stand of Croatian Tourist Board.

Arabian Travel Market is one of the leading tourism events on the Middle East and is held for the 24th time. More than 40 thousand professionals from the tourism field are expected during these four days in Dubai Trade Centre (DWTC).

Along with our tourist boards, Croatia is also presented by Losinj hotels & Villas, Amathus Travel Croatia, Abacus Tours, Penta Ltd, Zagreb Tourist Board, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Uniline doo and Jadran dd.

Dmitry Sinkovsky, a prestigious Russian violinist and one of the best baroque performers in Europe will perform on Tuesday, April 25, with the String Chamber Orchestra of Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. The concert will take place in the Revelin Fortress at 8.30 pm, as a part of the Dubrovnik Musical Spring.

The String Chamber Orchestra of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by their concertmaster, Dana Kahriman. The program is Mozart's Divertimento in F major and Britten's Simple Symphony, while Dmitry Sinkovsky will perform the Haydn Concert for the violin and orchestra in G major.

Although the concert on Tuesday will be violinist one, Sinkovsky is a successful conductor and countertenor too. At last year's peformances in Dubrovnik, he repeatedly surprised the audience with his voice abilities.

Sinkovsky was educated at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory of Tchaikovsky and won numerous awards at important competitions - from Premio Bonaparti in Italy to Bach competition in Leipzig, Musica Antiqua in Bruges, Telemann competition in Magdeburg and many others. In 2007, when he has already made a significant career as a violinist, Sinkovsky also improved his talent as a countertenor, so today he plays parts of famous operas during his performances. Taking into account all his talents, it is clear why Dmitry regularly performs all over the world.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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