Sunday, 21 July 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 inaugural scheduled flight between Seoul and Zagreb landed yesterday morning at Zagreb Airport. The first Airbus A330-200 marked the beginning of a new scheduled service between Zagreb and the South Korean capital that will operate three times a week on a year round basis.

Tourists from South Korea have shown more and more interest in travelling to Croatia, with the destinations such as Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes and Zagreb popular with travellers. From the 28th of October the flights will operate between Seoul – Zagreb – Zurich in a triangular plan.

"Ticket sales and advanced booking numbers are in line with our expectations for this route and we are satisfied with its performance", commented a spokesperson for Korean Air. The airline has even released an advert for South Korean TV to help promote the line.

Visitors of Dubrovnik are invited to take part in free of charge courses of Croatian language, just one of the exciting activities of Europe House Dubrovnik association.

Europski dom Dubrovnik / Europe House Dubrovnik (EHD) is one of the most known associations in Dubrovnik. Founded in 1995, and since 2014 situated in an easy-to-find location of Nikole Tesle Street, the NGO organizes educational workshops, lectures, exhibitions, round tables, media campaigns, international seminars and conferences, mostly on European integration process, youth, and cultural heritage.


One of EHD's current programmes is the Regional Youth Info Centre, run in a partnership with the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and the University of Dubrovnik with the financial support of the Ministry for demographics, families, youth and social politics.

The info-centre offers information, and counsels and encourages young people of the southernmost Croatia's county to participate in social and political life of their local communities. Also, it facilitates networking and cooperation in the field of youth work. As Europe House Dubrovnik is part of the Eurodesk multipliers' network, its youth info-centre offers also information about the European Union's opportunities for the youth, like Erasmus+ programme. At the same time, the association is active in another partnership with the Dubrovnik-Neretva County – drafting of the regional youth programme, a document which is to be adopted by the County's Assembly after the public consultations.

learn croatian dubrovnik

Besides local citizens, the doors of Europe House Dubrovnik are open to the visitors from abroad, too, as it organizes every summer free-of-charge mini courses of Croatian language. More information about the courses, which, after four seasons, became the landmark of the association, can be find here. Tourists can also use the little free library boxes with the books in various languages, placed beside the entrance to the association's premises, where they can buy the second hand books or be part of the coworking community.

The working hours are from 9 am to 3 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, while on Wednesday you can visit the EHD from 3 pm to 8 pm. Welcome!



The super-luxury yacht 'Ulysses', one of world's top yachts and one of the most prestigious yachts in 2018 pulled into Dubrovnik yesterday.

'Ulysses' stayed in the Port of Dubrovnik for only a few hours to refuel before heading down to Kotor.

This 116-metre long super yacht was launched in June in Germany and is on her maiden voyage though the Mediterranean.


She is owned by the richest man in New Zealand Graeme Richard Hart, with an estimated wealth of $10 billion, spent an estimated $250 million on the mega yacht. Hart has residences in Auckland, Queenstown and Waiheke Island in New Zealand, an island in Fiji and two properties in Aspen, Colorado in the US.

Rumours also circulated that Hart's former yacht, 107 meters long, also named Ulysses, had been purchased by Facebook founder Mark Zuckenberg, but this news was denied by a Facebook spokesperson.


Dubrovnik brought in a law banning slavery in 1416 – the first decree on its type in the world

The oldest active salt factory in the world is in Ston around 60 kilometres west of Dubrovnik

One of the oldest working pharmacies in the world today is in the Franciscan Monastery in the Old City – it was founded in 1317

In the 16th century there were around 250 sea captains in Dubrovnik


There was a Dubrovnik colony in India - located near Goa it was controlled for almost 200 years by Dubrovnik citizens and was named after the city’s patron saint St. Blaise – in fact there is still a church with the same name there today

The first Dubrovnik migrants to relocate in the USA did so in 1526

The Republic of Ragusa received its own Statutes as early as 1272, which, among other things, codified Roman practice and local customs. The Statutes included prescriptions for town planning and the regulation of quarantine (for sanitary reasons)

dubrovnik balčcony ff

The official language until 1472 was Latin. Later, the Senate of the Republic decided that the official language of the Republic would be the Dubrovnik dialect of the Romance Dalmatian language, and forbade the use of the Croatian language in senatorial debate

The official change of name from Ragusa to Dubrovnik came into effect after World War I

The French general, General Marmont, abolished the Republic of Dubrovnik on the 31st of January 1808

Croatian law enforcement authorities will soon have an extra tool at their disposal, thanks to the FBI. The Croatian Minister of the Interior, Davor Bozinovic, signed an agreement with the director of the FBI's Terrorist Screening Centre, Charles Kable, on Friday meaning that Croatia will gain access to the US terrorist screening database.

This database contains numerous information on all and any persons who may be linked to terrorism all over the world. The Ministry of the Interior said that the memorandum, signed in the southern Croatian city of Dubrovnik, would step up cooperation between Croatian institutions and the US agency.

“The close cooperation between our two countries, in intelligence community as well as between institutions and law enforcement agencies, is encouraging, and I commend Croatia’s wishes to contribute to the global fight against terrorism,” Kable said.

Based on the document, Croatia's Interior Ministry and the Terrorist Screening Centre would share information with the aim of preventing terrorist attacks, including information on transnational organised crime and other serious types of crime.

“You can have the best idea in the world but without realisation you have absolutely nothing,” commented the Australian businessman in front of me in the busy Dubrovnik café bar. Of course he was right. And it the realisation part that stops most people from achieving their dream or turning that great idea into a profitable business. For realisation requires hard work, determination, focus and sacrifice. It also requires time; it’s not going to happen overnight.

Unfortunately, many of these qualities have somehow been lost. We now live in a world of “instants.” From instant success to instant fame and instant wealth. I personally don’t believe in any of these “instant” fixes.

“So I have a man come to me asking to borrow half a million dollars,” continued the Australian, oh yes, by the way he is a banker. “I asked him what he need the money for and he said to start a new online retail business. Then I asked to see his business plan and he pulled from his pocket a screwed up piece of paper,” laughed the banker. “When I told him that a) he wasn’t really well prepared and b) had already thought of his idea he quickly gave up on the idea,” he smiled at me over his coffee.

There is no substitute for hard work. You can have the best education, be the most talented in your profession, have the most experience, but all of these are useless if you aren’t prepared to work hard. Hard work will bring success even if you have no talent, no experience and no education. “What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work,” once said the great Stephen King.

“And then two weeks later the same man came into my office and asked to borrow $200,000 for a different online business, this time he had a full and complete business plan and wasn’t going into competition with,” continued the Australian. “I decided to lend him $100,000. If he worked hard then the other $100,000 would come by itself,” he finished with a sip of coffee.

Imagine if you have goals you want to achieve you will work harder towards them. You devise a strategy. Lack of one you will be lost in your journey. Hard work brings success to those who put their efforts in the right direction. Direction of putting efforts plays a pivotal role in bringing success. And that direction is decided by what success means to you. For example:- Crossing a river A) You want to cross a river and reach the other side of it, if you keep floating in the river waving hands and legs up and down hoping that you would cross the river, it will bring nothing but hopelessness and failure. In short, you won’t succeed despite of your hard physical work. B) You want to cross the river and get to the other side of it. You look towards the side, analyse the speed and direction of waves and swim right towards the decided direction with all your efforts, you will 100 percent get a success in result.

In short hard work alone doesn’t bring success, but without it you are dead in the water.

Somewhere along the way we seem to have lost the importance, and the respect, for hard work. In years gone by our great-great grandfathers would wake up before the sun rose and work in the fields, or down the mine or in the factory. I’m not saying we should go back to these “dark” days but at least to take on some of that hard work mind set. Germany is not one of the most successful and prosperous countries in Europe by chance. The Chinese are not the world’s largest economy because they got lucky. They have values and they respect those values.

I have no doubt that Dubrovnik especially had those values in the not too distant past. When you see the work that was put in to build those stone facades and walls, this took lots of work. The ancient vineyards and olive groves, the stone walls between fields that stretch uphill for miles, again hard work. If we today had only half of their determination and work ethic just think were we would be. Yes, the system is bad, the government is disorganised and the general level of state control poor, but that isn’t an excuse to give up.

I’ll leave the last word to the British businessman Sir Richard Branson “Overcoming fear is the first step to success for entrepreneurs. The winners all exemplify that, and the hard work and commitment they have shown underlines what is needed to set up a business.”

For the past couple of days the drinking water had been contaminated and is not for consumption. And whilst citizens fill up water from cisterns or buy bottled water tourists are seemingly still unaware of the problem and are still drinking the contaminated water from the public fountains.

With temperatures soaring cooling off with some cool water is always a good idea, but not when the water supply is contaminated. Since Wednesday the water supply in the city has been undrinkable due to pollution caused by heavy rains, however the public fountains are still working and tourists are still drinking.

Surely from a city that lives from tourism someone from authority should have thought about this situation and closed off the water to the public fountains? Whoever is in charge is hardly seems fair that tourists are drinking water and yet citizens have been warned not to.


The nautical industry in Croatia is certainly big business and contributes greatly to the tourism industry income, it is also however an industry full of missed opportunities. One small step has been made this week with a new proposal from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

The government has put forward the proposal that amendments to the Maritime Code need to be introduced to make it easier for foreign owners to register their yachts in Croatia.

The plan is to boost the competitiveness of the Croatian shipping sector and empower the status of sailors on the domestic and foreign markets as well as reduce administrative barriers and pave the way for the full digitisation of the maritime sector.

These moves would “make the Croatian flag more attractive for foreign owners, who will register their vessels, notably large yachts, in the (Croatian) register,” commented the Minister of Maritime Affairs Oleg Butkovic while outlining the proposed amendments.

This will also adjust the national maritime legislation to the new solutions in the European Union and to international treaties signed by Croatia, Butkovic said.

He explained that the models of registering vessels would be modernised, and that the register would be fully digitised with the centralised data pool in that e-register.

A tonnage tax regime for yachts will be also introduced, and all this will make the Croatian register more attractive for foreign vessels.

This will also facilitate longer stays of vessels in Croatia, and enable higher consumption, Butkovic said.

Consequently, a positive financial effect is certain and will have an impact on ship construction and repair activities, having in mind that yachts spend up to 10 percent of their value on regular annual maintenance, the minister said.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


Find us on Facebook