Wednesday, 29 November 2023
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.


Thanks to the growth in consumption and investments, the Croatian economy has grown in the third quarter of this year for the 11th consecutive quarter, by 2.8 percent on an annual basis, faster than in the previous quarter.

The State Bureau of Statistics (DZS) released on Tuesday the first estimate according to which the gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter has actually increased by 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

This is faster growth than in the second quarter of this year when the GDP increased by 2.6 percent. It is already the 11th consecutive quarter of economic growth.

Faster growth than the EU average

According to seasonally adjusted DZS data, the economy grew by 3 percent on an annual basis in the third quarter, and 0.3 percent on a quarterly basis.

Thus, the growth of the domestic economy is faster compared to the EU average.

Eurostat recently announced that in the past quarter, the economy of the EU, according to seasonally adjusted data, stagnated compared to the previous quarter, while it increased by 0.1 percent on an annual basis.

The economy of the Eurozone, on the other hand, fell by 0.1 percent on a quarterly basis in the third quarter and increased by 0.1 percent on an annual basis.


Mayor Mato Franković, on behalf of the City of Dubrovnik, signed a contract for the construction of a children's playground in the village of Suđurađ on the island of Šipan with the contractor Platanus d.o.o. and director Dario Trojanović.

The project involves the implementation of Phase I of the Suđurađ playground on a property with a total area of 1705 square meters, which was previously transferred to the City for the purpose of arranging a sports and children's playground by the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on the donation of the property.

The playground, designed for children aged 2 to 12, will be equipped with a climbing structure with a climbing wall, a swing with a basketball hoop, and a large slide. A basketball hoop and benches will be installed, two streetlight poles with LED floodlights will be erected, and the area will be fenced. The plot will be landscaped, and an irrigation system will be installed for plant watering. The deadline for completion is 90 days from the start of the project.

For this first phase, the City of Dubrovnik was previously granted non-refundable funds of €76,000.00 through the Island Development Program in 2023. The value of the contract signed today is €146,348.45, including VAT. The subject of Phase II of the project relates to the arrangement of the park and the construction of a sports field next to the children's playground on the same plot.


Dubrovnik's Ambassador Elf ELLA is on a mission to extend the reach of Best Buddies' impactful initiatives, aiming to provide crucial support to individuals with intellectual disabilities in Croatia.
In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, your contributions can make a substantial difference. Click here to donate and be a part of this meaningful cause.

Best Buddies is committed to fostering meaningful connections for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), allowing them to shine and thrive within their communities. Your support will play a vital role in making this vision a reality. Join us on this journey of compassion and empowerment.


In a session marked by a contentious debate, the Pula City Council, with 11 in favour, seven against, and two abstentions, approved the Maritime Domain Order on Monday evening. The focal point of discussion was the controversial bans on nudism and the consumption of strong alcoholic beverages on Pula's beaches, introduced to align with the new Law on Maritime Property and Ports.

The decision triggered diverse opinions, with Councilwoman Dušica Radojčić expressing concerns about the ban on nudism, emphasizing its lack of prohibition in the law. She questioned the practical necessity of such a measure, pointing out Pula's longstanding tradition of nude or partially nude bathing on natural beaches.

Radojčić argued that the decision stigmatizes nudism as morally unacceptable, asserting that people do not come naked to organized beaches or the city. The ban's selective nature, allowing beer and wine but restricting drinks like gin and tonic, raised additional questions about its rationale.

SDP councillor Igor Belas countered, viewing the decision as a means of establishing order and distinguishing between topless and nudist behaviour. Independent councillor Vito Paoletić commended the decision as a civilizational achievement for beach regulation.

On the other hand, Councillor Davor Vuković questioned the practicality and applicability of the decision in Pula, considering the multitude of beaches. He argued that it represents a step backward without a foundation in common sense.

Ultimately, Elena Puh Belci (IDS) raised concerns about the enforceability of the decision and the practicalities of monitoring people's activities on the beaches.

Iberia, the Spanish national carrier, is set to significantly expand its seasonal flights between Madrid and Zagreb in the upcoming year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Unlike in 2023, the airline plans to resume operations to the Croatian capital just ahead of the 2024 summer season, commencing on March 27. In a notable enhancement, Iberia will increase the frequency of flights on this route. Starting from early July, the airline will offer daily flights between Madrid and Zagreb, subsequently escalating to eight weekly flights from July 28. This frequency will include two daily flights on Sundays, and further rise to nine weekly flights from August 2, featuring double daily rotations on both Fridays and Sundays.

Iberia has outlined ambitious plans for a total of 171 flights connecting Madrid and Zagreb in the upcoming year, a substantial increase from the 68 flights operated in 2023 and the 123 flights in 2019. The airline has made available 30,320 seats for sale between the two capitals in 2024, marking a remarkable 158% surge compared to the previous year. As of now, the Airbus A320 is scheduled for 129 flights, while the A321 is allocated for 43 flights in the coming year. It's worth noting that these details are subject to change at this early planning stage.

Croatians made a substantial impact on Black Friday spending, shelling out a total of 76,702,725.62 euros, as revealed by data from the Tax Administration, where 4,000,887 invoices were issued or fiscalized. Throughout the week from November 20 to 27, 2023, a combined total of 22,930,414 invoices were processed, capturing citizens' expenditures amounting to 393,527,711.48 euros. On Black Friday alone, citizens significantly contributed to this spending spree, adding 76,702,725.62 euros to the total.

Comparatively, Black Friday in 2022 recorded a spending total of 65,436,468.14 euros. However, this year witnessed an uptick, with citizens spending an additional 11,266,257.48 euros on Black Friday. These figures underscore the evident and growing trend of Croatians actively participating in intensified shopping activities during the Black Friday period.


It was a wet weekend in Dubrovnik but in spite of the unsettled weather the historic Old City was shining with less than a month to go before the Christmas holidays.

Check out our gallery of this Saturday inside the city core.

Dubrovnik Shimmers with Festive Splendor as Winter Festival Beckons 2

Dubrovnik Shimmers with Festive Splendor as Winter Festival Beckons 3

Dubrovnik Shimmers with Festive Splendor as Winter Festival Beckons 4

Dubrovnik Shimmers with Festive Splendor as Winter Festival Beckons 5

Dubrovnik Shimmers with Festive Splendor as Winter Festival Beckons 6

The Christmas decorations in the Old City of Dubrovnik are nearing completion, parts of the Christmas festive stands are being assembled, and a stage is being set up on Stradun. Only a few days are left until the beginning of the tenth annual Dubrovnik Winter Festival.

There will be a total of nineteen festive stands this holiday season and the Dubrovnik Winter Festival promises a whole host of entertainment options.

Dubrovnik Shimmers with Festive Splendor as Winter Festival Beckons

Photo - Bozo Radić/CROPIX 

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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