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.
One of the most important tourism exhibitions in France open in Lyon. The Mahana tourism trade fair in the French city of Lyon today and will last until the 6th of March. The tourist board of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County is present at the fair and have jointly taken a stand with the tourist boards of Split, Zadar and Sibenik.
This is the seventh year in a row that the Dubrovnik-Neretva County has been present at this travel fair at which an estimated 300 exhibitors will be present and 35,000 people will visit.
French tourists have, for many years, been among the top three most numerous tourists in the county, and as the city is well connected with flights from French cities for this season that number could well grow.
In 2015 the Dubrovnik-Neretva County was visited by almost 110,000 tourists from France, who generated 440,000 overnight stays.
The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera is playing host this weekend to the third regional summit of the “300 Best” entrepreneurs in South East Europe. The congress of the “best of the best” starts today, the 4th of March, and continues until the 6th of March and will see business people from 13 European countries.
For this festival of entrepreneurship there will be various meetings, workshops, and networking opportunities at which leading businessmen and women will be able to exchange ideas and professional experiences. The overall goal is to promote the importance of entrepreneurship.
Various leading lights from the world of business in South East Europe will attend the three-day meeting including Branko Roglić, the owner of “ORBICO" group from Zagreb which has a annual turnover of one billion Euros, Dragoljub Vukadinovic, the president and creator of the Serbian company " METALAC" Gornji Milanovac, and Tanja Skaza, the owner and CEO of a very successful company from Slovenia " PLASTIKA SKAZA." The “300 Best” event will also be attended by Prof. dr. Reinhard Priebe from Germany, a former high ranking official of the European Commission.
The largest Dalmatian shopping centre, the Mall of Split, officially opened its doors today to the public. The official opening program at 11 am and thousands of people rushed through the doors to see the new shopping centre which is full of new brand name stores.
The Mall of Split is an investment worth 1.3 billion Kuna and will employ around 1,500 people. The mega shopping centre has over 200 stores, restaurants, nine cinemas, and casino and much more, it also has garaged parking for over 2,300 vehicles. Many of the stores today has special opening offers and discounts and this only helped to attract even more customers.
The Austrian capital of Vienna again won the title as the highest ranked city in the Quality of Living Survey conducted by Mercer, the New York-headquartered human resources consulting firm, while the Croatian capital of Zagreb ranks 98th on a list of 230 cities.
“The survey of 230 cities helps companies and organisations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff. It uses dozens of criteria such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport. Global centres London, Paris, Tokyo and New York City did not even make the top 30, lagging behind most big German, Scandinavian and Australian cities,” Reuters said.
Vienna has been at the top of the ranking for seven consecutive years.
“Vienna’s 1.7 million inhabitants benefit from the city’s cafe culture and museums, theatres and operas. Rents and public transport costs in the city whose architecture is marked by its past as the centre of the Habsburg empire are cheap compared with other western capitals,” according to Reuters.
Zurich in Switzerland, Auckland in New Zealand, Munich in Germany and Vancouver in Canada followed Vienna in the top five most pleasant cities to live in.
Zagreb fares better than, for example, Tel Aviv, Wroclaw or Shanghai.
Some of the cities in Croatia’s neighbourhood score better than Croatia’s capital – Ljubljana ranking 76th and Budapest 77th.
On the other hand, Belgrade is behind Zagreb, ranking 141st, and Sarajevo 158th.
Baghdad was again ranked lowest in the world. Damascus, five year’s into Syria’s bloody war, ranked six places above Baghdad, with Bangui in the Central African Republic, war-torn Yemen’s capital Sanaa, Haiti’s Port-au-Prince, Sudan’s Khartoum and Chad’s N’Djamena in between.
Source - Hina
Dubrovnik has been blessed with a very mild winter this year, but March looks like being a completely different story. Gale force southerly winds have brought with them torrential rain, heavy seas and grey skies. The long-range forecast for the rest of the month is for rain, rain and yet more rain, not good news for the cast and crew of Star Wars unless they are filming underwater scenes.
Today the south winds blew again and brought with them “dirty rain.” Sands picked up in the Sahara desert by the strong winds have been dumped with rain in Dubrovnik meaning that everything, from cars to windows, has a brown filter of sand. Perhaps the best business to open is a Dubrovnik car wash one.
Check out our video of the rolling seas around the Old City of Dubrovnik.
As one of the most beautiful cities in the world becomes a stage for the recording of the mega popular Star Wars, another international event with some “force” will be coming to Dubrovnik in early April.
From the 2nd to the 3rd of April Dubrovnik will play host to European Judo in the European Judo Cup. After the European Cup arrived in Dubrovnik in October 2015, this year's dates much more favourable to the European Judo community. The beauty of Dubrovnik, mild climate and good organization are the trumps which could attract some of the biggest names in European judo to the city this spring. Last year’s Cup attracted more than 200 judo athletes from 18 countries, and the hosts of the event in March, the Dubrovnik Judo Club 1966, believe that this year will be even more attractive.
The European Judo Cup will be held in the Dubrovnik Sports Centre from the 2nd to the 3rd of April and according to information from the organiser’s entry will be free of charge. And with Dubrovnik currently all over the international media, thanks to the filming of the Star Wars VIII and the Game of Thrones serial, the organisers believe that the chance to visit Dubrovnik will bring more athletes and teams this year.
The main street through the historic old city of Dubrovnik was closed from 8pm tonight as the Star Wars filming crew tested the set before the filming starts for real on the 9th of March.
This was the first time that the main street, the Stradun, has been closed for all pedestrians and there were high levels of security in place. The street was blocked with white panels and on every side street that leads into the Stradun there were security guards. From 8pm until midnight the Stradun will be closed today and again on Friday the 4th of March, again from 8pm till midnight.
On the 9th of March filming for the Star Wars VIII begins in Dubrovnik and lasts until the 16th of March. Security will be extremely high when the real filming starts, with a reported 600 security guards employed. Every angle is being locked down and a special team will be in Dubrovnik to deal with the problem of drones filming aerial shots.
The Dubrovnik Times has unofficially learnt that a team of “drone guards” will be using frequency blockers and long-distance jammers to knock out drones above the set. Some of these drone defenders available on the market can knock out drones with a range of up to 400 metres.
Photos - Niksa Duper
Get to know the quirks and customs of Dubrovnik with our top five "Inside Knowledge" guide
High noon feeding time – at exactly midday the pigeons are feed on Gundulić Square in the heart of the Old City
Not as easy as it looks - On a section of the wall of the Mala Braća church a stone protrudes out, in fact it is a gargoyle. The challenge is to climb onto the protrusion
Why run when you can walk - It’s like taking a social stroll; you never know who you’ll bump into and who you’ll end up sitting and having a coffee with, the locals can it a “đir”
Kiss thy neighbour – a firm handshake just doesn’t work in Dubrovnik, no they want a nice kiss on both cheeks
Messing around in the water – its called Picigin the idea is to keep the ball in the air as long as you can, great fun