Sunday, 19 May 2024
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.


IKEA is set to open its second store in Croatia. The Swedish retail chain opened their first store in Croatia near Zagreb in 2014 and now they have confirmed that the second store will be opened in Split.

According to a statement from the company the store in Split should be opened in 2017, however this will not be a classic IKEA store but more of a showroom where customers will be able to order and pick up goods. It is suggested in the press that IKEA will open this showroom in the City Centre One shopping centre in Split.

Whilst shoppers in southern Croatia will be disappointed that they won’t have a classic IKEA store at least they won’t have to drive to the Croatian capital to shop.

Speaking to the Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija the PR manager of IKEA, Igor Stefanac, commented that “We are opening a delivery centre or ‘pick-up point’, a place where shoppers can order, pay for and pick up their goods. Just under half of the 2,500 m2 space will be used a showroom for the products to inspire customers and visitors.”

If you were planning on visiting Dubrovnik over the winter to experience the Dubrovnik Winter Festival 2016 you might want to change your travel arrangements, the festival has been cancelled.

“The Dubrovnik Winter Festival 2016 will be cancelled, not because I want to, but because of a decision by the Ministry of Culture,” explained the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, today at a press conference. Adding that the Ministry of Culture had forbidden the placement of the large tent in front of the St. Blaise Church and the catering stands that lined the Stradun last year. The 2016 Dubrovnik Winter Festival has already been heavily publicized and marketed and had promised to be just as successful as previous years, but all of this work seems like it has been for nothing.

winter festival off

“The festival had brought a smile back to the faces of the citizens and tourists to Dubrovnik in the winter months and returned life to the Old City of Dubrovnik,” commented the mayor, clearly upset with the decision from the ministry. “This year we started preparing as early as March on the festival. We had planned a religious and artistic element to the festival and respected all the ideas from others,” added the mayor.

The Ministry of Culture have banned the festive catering stands along the Stradun in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik as they believe that cooking oil will damage and even block the drains. They did however allow the stands that didn’t prepare food to be installed on the Stradun and had suggested that the food stands be moved out of the Old City.

“In Gruz and Lapad we will do what we can, but the winter festival has been cancelled because no scheduled content on the Stradun and around St. Blaise could be included so there is just no point,” concluded the mayor.

Croatia’s leading marina company ACI Marina has just posted their financial figures for the first nine months of this year and they show a huge profit of 33.2 million Kuna. Even though this total might seem impressive it is in fact a seven percent decrease in net profit when compared to the same period from 2015.

From January to until the end of September ACI Marinas recorded revenue of 165.3 million Kuna, which is around the same amount as in 2015. However spending has increased, possibly due to the opening of the new marina near Dubrovnik in Slano, and the total expenditure was 132.1 million Kuna.

The second highest earning marina in Croatia was ACI Marina Dubrovnik, which raised 18.3 million Kuna in the first nine months of this year. At the top of the earnings list was ACI Marina Split with 18.7 million Kuna.

It would appear that the preparations for the filming of the next blockbuster in Dubrovnik are underway. This afternoon in the Old City of Dubrovnik what appeared to be staff from the production company were spotted measuring all the buildings along the main street in the city, the Stradun. Is this the first signs that the next movie to be shot in Dubrovnik, “Robin Hood: Origins,” produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, will be filmed on the Stradun.

The last Hollywood blockbuster to be filmed in the city was the eighth episode of Star Wars and that proved a headache for the production team and security on such a public street. Filming of Robin Hood in Dubrovnik is planned for early 2017 and a handful of Oscar winners will star, including Jamie Foxx.

Robin Hood: Origins follows the return of Robin Hood fighting in the Crusades and finding that Sherwood Forest is rife with corruption. Robin Hood then forms a band of outlaws and sets about riding the forest of evil, a classic Robin Hood tale but with a twist.

Today it would appeared that the “early” planners for the film were measuring the buildings with a laser and comparing them to notes they had already.

robin hood planners

robin hood planners 2

For the first time in the tourism history of Dubrovnik the city has recorded the arrival of the millionth guest! Today in the Hotel Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Mirica and Zlatko Matoic from Sesvete, near Zagreb, became the millionth tourists in Dubrovnik this year.

In a gala ceremony to mark this landmark the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, commented that “In 2008, just eight years ago, Dubrovnik recorded 512,000 tourist arrivals, now this year we are celebrating one million.” He added that the city has twice been awarded his year as the champion of tourism and thanked the tourist board and everyone who works in the tourism industry for their hard work.

The couple were presented with gifts from the city, the tourist board as well as a four-night stay in the Hotel Valamar Lacroma for next year. “We decided to come to Dubrovnik for a couple of days as a break and to say that we are surprised to be the millionth tourists is an understatement,” said Mirica Matoic.

The Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic, added that “We have never recorded a million tourists in the city before and are overjoyed that this has occurred in the same year that we have won two important tourism awards. As the Valamar group has achieved an impressive number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays it seems logical that this landmark was reached in their hotel.”

million tourist dubrovnik

Czech Airlines will continue to operate flights to Zagreb during the winter season, thus making it easy for Czech tourists to visit the Advent in Zagreb events, which many Czech bus operators are also interested in.

After resuming direct flights between Zagreb and Prague in late April, Czech Airlines have continued flights during the winter period. Zagreb and Prague will be directly connected on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with departure times in the early hours of the morning, while return flights from Prague to Zagreb will be available on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with the departure time at 10 p.m.

Instead of using turboprop ATR 72 or 42 aircraft, the Czech airline will now fly the route with Airbus A319 aircraft, which will shorten the flight time to just an hour and make it easy and simple for Czech tourists to visit Advent in Zagreb, which many Czech bus operators are also interested in.

The connection between Zagreb and Prague is the oldest Czech Airlines route, with the first flight dating back to 1930. The route was cancelled in 2012 due to the restructuring of Czech Airlines, and it was reinstated in late April this year.

Is there a more romantic destination for a wedding? The number of international weddings held every year is on the increase and is it any wonder when the historic Old City offers such romantic surroundings.

Today these “newly-weds” took advantage of the mild weather and the Stradun to record their big day. They even had the good fortune of the fact that the fire brigade was using a lift to install the Christmas decorations and one of the photographers used this to get some unique photos for their album.

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The Republic of Finland is the latest country to have diplomatic representation in Dubrovnik. On the 4th of November the Ambassador of Finland, H.E. Mr. Timo Rajakangas, officially opened the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Finland and announced that Tilda Bogdanovic will serve as the Honorary Consul.

The day marked the 25th anniversary of diplomatic connections between Croatia and Finland. At the opening ceremony, which was attended by the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, Maria Lohela, the Ambassador commented on the strong ties between the two countries and wished Bogdanovic a bright future in her new role.

The Prefect of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Nikola Dobroslavic, and the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, also spoke at the opening.

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finland opne 1

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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