Friday, 23 February 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.


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.

mall of split 1

mall of split 2

mall of split 4

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.

star wars closes dubrovnik

star wars dubrovnik croatia

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

pigeons in dubrovnik

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

kiss dubrovnik

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

picigin dubrovnik

News has leaked about the possible Star Wars actors who will come to Dubrovnik to film in the eighth episode of the Star Wars franchise. According to reports on the Croatian Star Wars website MOS Croatia two big name stars are on their way to the city.

Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, and Daisy Ridley, who stars as Rey, are rumoured to be coming to Dubrovnik. Filming of Star Wars in Dubrovnik begins on the 9th of March and will last seven days until the 16th of March. Mark Hamill plays the father of Ridley in the popular movie franchise.

“We have already speculated that Dubrovnik will be the planet of Luke Skywalker, and now this has been unofficially confirmed by sources close to the production,” commented MOS Croatia on their website.

MOS Croatia has also announced that the eighth episode of Star Wars will be called "The Order of the Dark Side."

The iconic British band Simply Red will be performing a concert in Croatia this year. The popular group have announced that they will be performing in the capital, Zagreb, on the 22nd of June as part of the Zagreb Calling Festival. 

Mick Hucknall and his group, have already played twice in Croatia before, will perform some of their most popular hits at the festival including, Holding Back the Years, Stars, A New Flame and Its Only Love. Simply Red have sold more than 50 million albums since the mid eighties when they burst onto the scene. In 2010 the group split up, however in 2015 Simply Red was reactivated in 2015, and continues to record and tour.

This will be the second year that the Zagreb Calling Festival has been held and the first year featured British rocker Billy Idol. This year’s festival will be held from the 22nd to the 23rd of June in the Šalata stadium in Zagreb.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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