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.
The Russian oligarch billionaire Sergey Galitsky has dropped anchor on his massive private yacht 'Quantum Blue' in the Bay of Zupa.
Galitsky, who is the owner of the largest retail chain in Russia Magnit, is believed to be worth a staggering $3.5 billion and he spent a chunk of his fortune on this Quantum Blue, a reported $250 million.
And at 104 metres in length the mega yacht is certainly dominating the Bay of Zupa. With a crew of 40 and room to spaciously accommodate 14 guests the yacht was built in 2014 and features an on-board cinema, spa, helipad, swimming pool and gym.
The 70th Dubrovnik Summer Festival is underway and after the grand opening ceremony last night we are getting straight down to business tonight with a rather special concert in the heart of the historic Old City. Just getting all the members of tonight’s concert into one photo was a challenge.
Tonight at 9.30 in front of the St. Blaise Church the festival starts with a bang with a gala concert, including Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, from the Lower Saxony State Orchestra from Hannover and the renowned Ivan Goran Kovačić Academic Choir from Zagreb. In what should prove to be a spectacular night there will be highlights by the choir’s distinguished soloists – soprano Evelin Novak, mezzo-soprano Janja Vuletić, tenor Tomislav Mužek and bass-baritone Krešimir Stražanac – and all under the baton and the watchful eye of maestro Ivan Repušić.
As you can see from the photo taken today outside the Rector’s palace in Dubrovnik that’s a lot of musicians and singers collected in one place.
Tickets are available for purchase at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival website www.dubrovnik-festival.hr or via www.ulaznice.hr ticketing service and at the box office of the Festival Palace (Od Sigurate 1) every day from 9am to 9.30pm.
Get your thinking caps on and your pencils at the ready, its Pub Quiz time. Tonight, the 11th of July, a Pub Quiz in English will be held at the Dubrovnik Beer Company in Gruz.
Test your knowledge and have some fun and learn something new at the hottest night out in the city. The fun kicks off at 8:00pm in the Dubrovnik Beer Company and the categories include history, media, science, film & TV, music and much more.
To enter all you need to do is register your team.
The maximum number of people in one team is 5 and the minimum is 3. So think up a funky name for your team, phone your friends and get yourselves down to the Beer Company this Thursday.
See you all in the taproom for the Dubrovnik Pub Quiz tonight!
What an incredible start to 2019 for Croatia’s airports. Every major airport in Croatia has recorded a growth in passenger numbers in the first half of this year, from a whopping 38 percent in Zadar to 4 percent in Zagreb. If the season and the year continues in the same vein, and all indicators are showing it will, then 2019 will certainly be a record breaking year in more than one category.
From the beginning of the year until the end of June the six main Croatian airports handled 4.3 million passengers with every single airport showing a growth in figures compared to the same period from last year. And according to a report in the website EX-YU Aviation during the summer months there are 81 new scheduled and charter routes introduced from 24 different countries. This further addition of new flights, new airlines and new destinations will continue to increase the footfall through Croatian airports.
Dubrovnik Airport saw an increase in passenger number in the six half of 2019 by a healthy 17.4 percent, which is certainly well ahead of expectations and handled 1.059 million passengers.
The predicted rains and storms didn’t arrive and the 70th Dubrovnik Summer Festival opened with all the pomp and ceremony one would expect from a special birthday celebration.
The festival is officially open. In a gala opening ceremony last night , attended by the president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, and a whole host of dignitaries, including the Minister of Culture and the Mayor of Dubrovnik who said “Thank you to all those who have been involved in and around the festival for all these decades.”
The first day of 47 days of drama, music, dance, song and much more has opened.
Until the 25th of August the streets, squares and just about any space in the city is transformed into a stage for artists. And as the Libertas flag was raised on the bell tower the beginning of more than 80 cultural events in Dubrovnik started for the 70th time.
The British just love Zupa. In the month of June over a quarter of the overnight stays achieved in the region of Zupa, just south of Dubrovnik, were made by guests from the UK. 23,362 tourists arrived in Zupa in June and, 13 percent more than the same month from last year, and 88,425 overnight stays were achieved, which is a 10 percent increase.
After tourists from Great Britain the most numerous were from Germany and then the United States. In fact, the number of guests from America has risen drastically not only in Zupa but all over the Dubrovnik region. With direct flights from Philadelphia to Dubrovnik with American Airlines tourists now have a connection and it would seem that this is proving popular.
However, Zupa’s tourism industry is still facing the same problems it has for the past 30 years. Today, almost three decades after the end of the Homeland War, Zupa still has less accommodation in hotels than it had before the war. The Kupari resort, Plat Hotels and Hotel Zupa are just three hotel objects that are still out of function since the Homeland War. Because of this Zupa very much relies on private accommodation in apartments, villas and houses to cover the shortfall of hotel beds. And this can be seen in the figures from June this year. 36,445 overnight stays were achieved in private objects, whilst in hotel accommodation there were 35,182 overnight stays.
Dubrovnik became the first ever city in Croatia to set special restrictions on ATM machines inside the historic city core after a huge growth in their numbers and now another city has followed suit.
Rovnij has now put special conditions on ATMs on the facades of ancient buildings, with the goal of preserving the façades in the historical city.
Basically the City of Rovinj have copied the regulations introduced by the City of Dubrovnik last week and stated that ATMs must have prior approval from the Conservation Department, and all the necessary documents and approvals, otherwise they will be removed.
All ATMs placed without the appropriate approvals of the relevant departments must be removed as soon as possible and within 15 days from the date of conclusion. ATMs that will not be removed within the prescribed deadline will be removed by the city authorities.
The chief economists of Croatia's five largest banks have upgraded Croatia's economic growth forecasts for this year to 3 percent and expect it to decrease to 2.5 percent in 2020, according to a Croatian Banking Association (HUB) outlook report published on Monday, reports HINA.
The economists revised upwards their forecasts for this year after GDP grew 3.9% in Q1, which ranked Croatia sixth in the EU after Hungary, whose GDP in Q1 went up 5.2%, Romania (+5.1%), Malta (+4.8%), Poland (+4.7%) and Estonia (+4.6%).
The mean forecast for this year was revised to 3% after the 2.6% growth forecast last December. The latest forecasts ranged from 2.8% to 3.2%.
The mean forecast for 2020, of 2.5%, is tied to lower contributions from all components of aggregate demand in comparison with forecasts for 2019.
The growth should still suffice for unemployment to continue to decrease below 7%, with real salary growth to 1.4%, mildly slower due to inflation. The public debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to stay below 70%.
The biggest hurdles to growth are the unreformed institutional framework, tax and similar burdens, and the lack of foreign direct investment.
The five economists said it was very likely the global economy would slow down at the end of this year and early the next.
Asked when they expected Croatia to introduce the euro, two said in 2023, two in 2024 or 2025, and one in mid-2024.