Friday, 22 January 2021
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.


Another great success of the Croatian shipbuilding industry - the world's most powerful dredger has been launched into the sea in the shipyard Uljanik Pulain Croatia.

Newbuilding 500 - „Willem van Rubroeck“, a self-propelled cutter suction dredger built by the Croatian shipyard for the Luxembourg company Dredging and Maritime Management S.A. within the Jan De Nul Group, was launched into the sea on the 26th of August 2017 from the slipway No.2 in Pula.

The most powerful dredger with the best operational performances is 151,3 metres in length, 36 metres in width and 10 metres in height with a capacity of 6,900 tonnes and a top speed of 11,80 knots. It has installed power of 40.975 kW, three dredging pumps with a total power of 25.500 kW, two of which are located in the pump room and one in the cutter engine room, and two retractable thrusters with a total power of 6,000 kW.

As the shipyard stated, this powerful sailing machine will be able to dredge compact sand, clay and rocks up to 45metres in depth with a cutter power of 8,500 kW. The operation will be controlled from a central station and is almost completely automated.

In addition, the ship can accommodate 67 crew members in the high standard comfort superstructure.

The construction of another extremely complex vessel for the Jan De Nul Group, one of the leading companies in the field of dredging, maritime and offshore works, by Uljanik Pula as a shipbuilder, is an exceptional honour, but also a great challenge.

The vessel was built under the supervision of the Bureau Veritas Croatia classification society. It is the second launching in the Uljanik shipyard this year, and the first open to the public.

One of the world's greatest pop rock bands is to perform in Zagreb tonight.

The popular British new wave and synthpop band will hold a concert at the Salata Stadium in Zagreb. Their first and only visit to Croatia so far was in January 2001 when they also performed in the Croatian capital.

The audience in Zagreb will surely enjoy Duran Duran greatest hits such as ‘’Rio’’, ‘’A View to a Kill’, ‘’Ordinary world’’, ‘’Come Undone’’, ‘’Hungry Like the Wolf’’, ‘’New Moon on Monday’’, as well as the songs from their latest album Paper Gods.
In 39 years of their rich career, the band has placed 14 singles in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100, and has sold over 100 million records worldwide.

Duran Duran have also won a number of awards such as two Brit Awards including the 2004 award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, two Grammy Awards, and an MTV Video Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. They were also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Dubrovnik is beautiful, we all know that, but sometimes ''regular beauty'' is not enough to the visitors of our city. Discovering hidden places and perfect locations to take photos is one of their favourite things to do, but sometimes it can get risky.

One of our readers sent us photos of tourists resting and taking photos at one of the Dubrovnik rooftops. They were on the City Walls and decided to climb on the roof. We don't want to imagine what could happen if they made just one wrong step...

Have fun in Dubrovnik, but be careful!


When you do something with love it can hardly go wrong. Alex Carin spent last three years filming a video across our beautiful country. And the result is enchanting – in only 159 seconds you can see amazing, breath-taking nature.

Locations seen in the video are: Island Silba, Red and Blue lake, Mrežnica river, Zrmanja river, Cetina river, Rastoke, Sabunike, Plitvice lakes. It could last for an hour and it would be hard to keep our eyes off it. Looks almost too good to be true!

As part of the International  Late Summer Music Festival Dubrovnik, pianist Ida Gamulin and cellist David Grigorian will perform in the atrium of the Rector's Palace. The beginning of the concert is at 9:30 pm, and the program will include works of Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms.

This night shows a traditional cooperation of Dubrovnik Late Summer Music Festival summer and the Laus Academy of Dubrovnik which brings excellent musicians and pedagogues. Ida Gamulin, a Croatian pianist who has been performing for domestic and international concerts for thirty years, will perform at the concert tonight. In addition to numerous public performances, pedagogical activities, guest performances around the world, this pianist is recording for BBC, France Musique, CBS, Bayerischer Rundfunk, EMI-Mava, HRT, Cantus-HDS discography and uninterruptedly for Croatia Records. Invitations to foreign performances as well as continuous attendance at Croatian concerts show the success of Ida Gamulin in all European countries, Russia and the USA, in the most prestigious concert halls.

The pianist will be joined by David Grigorian, cellist with international career and renowned music educator whose classes were attended by many successful young musicians, who have won the highest prizes at numerous international competitions. He taught at music institutions in Novosibirsk, Gorkom and Moscow. Today he lives in Germany and teaches at the Hochschule des Saarlandes für Musik in Saarbrucken.

The program of the concert is Schubert's Sonata for piano in B major and Sonata for the Cello and Piano No. 2 in F major by Johannes Brahms.

First Salt Festival opened last night in Ston salt works with a program entitled "Wine, salt and jazz". Visitors had the opportunity to enjoy local wines with the expert guidance of certified sommeliers. It was all accompanied by jazz interpretations by Maja Grgic and Igor Vlahusic.

In cooperation with Event Lab Dubrovnik, 4 typical county wines - rukatac (marastina), posip, malvasia and plavac mali were presented. The Certified Dubrovnik Sommeliers Sinisa Lasan, Ksenija Matic, Ana Bitanga Jukic and Frane Kovac explained the specialties of each wine, their origin, taste and all the characteristics of a particular variety. When combining food and wine, salt plays a very important role. It is well known that the perception of wine in the mouth changes depending on the food that comes with it, the sommeliers explained.

A jazz evening in a relaxed atmosphere, along with a drop of good wine, oysters, Ston cake and other local specialties was a great start of this new festival. There was a large number of visitors - both domestic and foreign.
The Festival continues tonight with the Day of Marin Drzic and it will last until September 1st. You can see the program here.

Over the past three summer seasons, seaplanes became common sight in Croatia. At first, it was a real attraction for locals, but later it proved a significant and an integral part of summer maritime and air scene.

European Coastal Airlines operated services to fifteen destinations along the Croatian coast and between islands with four De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. An hour-long pleasant flight took passengers from the city of Split to the islands of Mali Losinj, Korcula, Hvar, Rab, Pag, Lastovo, and Vis as well as to Dubrovnik, Zadar, Rijeka, Zagreb, Ancona and Pescara in Italy. The flight prices were favourable thus, it is not surprising that during only three summer seasons seaplanes in Croatia carried around 40,000 passengers.

According to data from European Coastal Airlines (ECA), in 2014, 2015 and partly in 2016, ECA aircraft carried around 500 passengers per day.

Regardless of the good business results, the airline was grounded in August 2016 when its air operator’s certificate (AOC) was temporarily withdrawn by the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency, apparently due to safety concerns. Because of ongoing legal discussions, the airline suspended all operations and cancelled 130 jobs. In December 2016, the CEO announced that operations would resume in 2017. However, as of February 2017, company's website and Facebook page were not updated with any new information and no flights were resumed by the end of July.

Nevertheless, every cloud has a silver lining. According to the latest information, some serious investors are interested in the project of taking over ECA and seaplane flights on the Adriatic. The rumour says it is the Airways company, which is officially registered in Montenegro.

In case of taking over the seaplane traffic on the Adriatic, the Airways company backed by Australian and Arab capital, should obtain the operating license from the European Union because they want to enter small aircraft traffic in Croatia, which is an EU member country.

Apart from the operating license, potential investors in seaplanes on the Adriatic will also need landing and take-off concessions, which European Costal Airlines had obtained, but cannot be automatically conveyed to a new company-buyer.

Last summer the popular American actor Brad Pitt visited the Croatian coastal city of Sibenik, in order to make arrangements about his future investment in the area, according to the media. However, it seems that the actor did not express any kind of interest in investing in Croatia; he only enjoyed his visit to Sibenik as any other tourist.

It is highly likely that Brad Pitt is not interested in investing in a more than 800 million Euros worth tourist-residential complex that TFI Holding from Switzerland plans to build in the Zablace suburb of Sibenik.

According to unofficial information from one of the local representatives of the investors, they did not lead any serious negotiations with the Hollywood actor but his visit was of a friendly and private matter.

Even though the famous actor is out of the game that he was never part of, his visit proved more than helpful to the local community. The public found out about the planned project as well as potential new investors, whilst the Swiss investors imposed themselves as serious players with relationships and acquaintances all the way to Hollywood.

It is difficult to claim that Brad Pitt was responsible for the change of the General Urban Plan (GUP) of the city of Sibenik, but the fact remains that only a few weeks after his visit, the GUP was changed. Therefore, pine forests, macchia, and olive groves around the Mala Solina Lake became the zone of mixed construction of accommodation facilities and supporting infrastructure.

The investors have already purchased the land mostly from small private owners and now they are waiting for the urban planning of the area to be made, which, according to the local authorities, is to start this autumn.

Furthermore, the next step for the investors is to collect all the necessary construction documentation. They estimate that the construction should start in a year.

The project that is estimated at more than half a billion Euros envisages the construction area of 450,000 square metres with villas, hotels and a marina as well as a school, a surgery and a church. The architect Nikola Basic designed the whole project; he is also responsible for designing the famous Croatian tourist attractions such as the Sea Organ and the Greetings to the Sun in Zadar as well as the walking path through the Sibenik Channel.

The TFI Holding company is a development company, which gathers all interested investors. It is registered in a small town of Wollerau in Switzerland, and is owned by Jean Paul Uldry, who is also a director of the CHR Eko Projekt company headquartered in Sibenik. Founded in 2007, the company was registered for construction of power plants, whilst today it is a tourism and real estate company.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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