Monday, 20 January 2020
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.


Creating a business in the UAE is not an entirely new story. A lot of people already know that the UAE is the union, consisting of seven emirates; the most popular ones are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, and Dubai.

Creating a business in the UAE is not an entirely new story. A lot of people already know that the UAE is the union, consisting of seven emirates; the most popular ones are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, and Dubai. Every emirate has its own policy, laws, and regulations. There are also free economic and free trade zones. You’ve definitely heard about forming new companies in Dubai as it has around 20 free trade zones, divided by types of activities, e.g. IT companies, trading companies, law companies, etc.

Why a Free Zone?

Setting up a company in the UAE has a lot of advantages, but establishing a business in a free trade zone is believed to be the most beneficial option. For example, an Ajman free zone license will give you:

- a residence visa for you to live legally in the country (usually up to 3 years and then you need to renew it);

- a tax certificate, which also offers a tax exemption opportunity for countries of residence with double taxation systems;

- access to amazing infrastructure to use in operations of the company and to operate within the country;
no annual audits whatsoever, etc.

dubai river business

A Much-Needed Piece of Advice

However, to make the most of the situation, you still need to learn and handle some important details. For instance, there are three types of licenses you can get, depending on the main activity of your company – industrial, commercial and service licenses. Also, there are different conditions for foreign investors in some of the emirates, especially on the mainland, you need to study for creating a successful business.

That’s why it’s usually advised to search help in local consulting companies that can assist you in setting up a trading or a professional company in just one day. They supervise all steps of the process, starting from choosing the right location and getting a license.

Desa Vlahutin, a Dubrovnik citizen with a London address, opened an exhibition on Monday night at one of London's most prestigious collection houses - Bonhams.

In the exhibition for a select audience, featuring Bonhams' permanent clientele, Desa Vlahutin presented seven white sculptures in wood inspired by the Fibonacci series. Her idea was to combine visual art, mathematics and music in a series based on a minimalist, geometric abstraction entitled “Fibonacci Fragments”, and was called “Interactive world of Science and Art.”

Dr. Sc. Jan Rosenzweig gave a short presentation on the life of the famous Italian mathematician Leonard of Pisa called Fibonacci, and the duo "Fibonacci Chamber Ensemble" played Bach and Poulenc's compositions.


- It is interesting to me to think that the Fibonacci sequence can be found almost everywhere: in nature, music, mathematics, art, our body. And it attracts us precisely with its harmony and harmonious relationships. In London, I met enthusiasts who share my fascination with Fibonacci so the desire has easily become a reality. The series consists of seven sculptures in wood, each based on the Fibonacci sequence that is apparent in the relationships of the surfaces on the sculpture. When the form is "cleared" of details, that relationship is more pronounced,” commented the artist, who announced another London exhibition for spring.

bonhams london desa vlahutin

It is safe to say that it isn’t a day to be without your umbrella in Dubrovnik today. Dark, imposing clouds have lined up over the ancient Old City and although it might look impressive it is also rather foreboding.

The weather forecast for the next few days, indeed up until the weekend, shows showers and grey skies all the way with temperatures to reach highs of around 17 degrees.

The weekend should prove sunnier and more settled with blue skies and highs around 16 degrees, but the next few days look like being changeable.

winter dubrovnik black skies croatia


Croatia isn’t only a sun, sand and sea destination and the Croatian Tourist Board are currently plugging the festive offers and events that the country offers.

The Croatian National Tourist Board has started a major promotional campaign of advent as one of the key motives for coming to Croatia in the winter. The campaign is being implemented in the markets of Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Austria, France, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary and Slovenia by the end of December this year. The communication channels through which the campaign is advertised are YouTube and the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

"In the last few years, our country has become an increasingly sought-after and attractive tourist destination in the winter when diverse Advent programs come to the fore. I believe that the rich Advent facilities in many Croatian destinations such as Zagreb, Split, Osijek, Zadar, Rijeka, Porec, Dubrovnik, but also on the islands will attract numerous domestic and foreign guests and contribute to the conclusion of a very successful tourist year," commented the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) Kristjan Staničić.

The Advent campaign is implemented through the new promotional video "Croatia, full of Magic" and communicates the Advent offer of Croatian destinations. The content of the end-user campaign leads to the page "", where, in addition to Advent in Zagreb, which won the title of the best Christmas fair in Europe for three years in a row, Advent events around the whole country also feature.


Also, over 50 foreign established journalists, bloggers and influencers from 11 European countries will visit Croatia in the organization of the CNTB in December and will have the opportunity to get to know and experience the Croatian Advent offer first hand.




A team from Swedish RES TV and RES Magazine will record three special episodes dedicated to Zagreb's Advent, which are estimated to be watched by a total of 1.5 million viewers in Sweden. Croatian traditional holiday customs will be transmitted to its viewers by TVN Discovery, the oldest and largest private TV station in Poland, which watches over 8.38 percent of the entire Polish market.

According to eVisitor, more than 410,000 tourists visited Croatia during last year's Advent period, generating over one million overnight stays.

One of the most famous Croatian cheeses is now a protected trademarked product, Pag cheese from the island of the same name has been recognised by the European Union.

The European Commission announced on Monday that "Pag cheese" has been registered in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications. The process of protecting the name "Pag cheese" began in July 2017, when the Association of Pag cheese producers from the island of Pag submitted a request to the Ministry of Agriculture for the protection of the designation of origin called "Pag cheese".

The Republic of Croatia now has 24 agricultural and food products registered in the European Union as a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication. These include Krk prosciutto, Neretva mandarin, Istrian prosciutto, Dalmatian prosciutto, Zagorje turkey, Krk olive oil, Korcula olive oil, Pag lamb, Slavonian honey, and Pag salt.

The EU trademark or geographical indication appearing on the packaging guarantees the consumer the purchase of an authentic product.




The geographical area of production of "Pag cheese" includes the area of the island of Pag and two islands. "Pag cheese" is a sheep cheese made from whole sheep's milk of the original breed of Pag sheep. The specificity of Pag sheep breeding is based on their full-day pasture in the pastures and the consumption of aromatic and medicinal plants, which is reflected not only in the amount of milk produced, but also in its chemical composition and processing properties.

Another recognition for indigenous Croatian agricultural products after the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, and Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic at the last meeting in China this November confirmed the agreement on the first six protected Croatian products to be found on the Chinese market, Neretva Mandarin, Baranja kulen, Dalmatian prosciutto, Drniški prosciutto, Lika potato and the red wine from Peljesac Dingac.

After the morning of earthquakes in Dubrovnik, two in Albania felt in the city and one much closer in Bosnia and Herzegovina here is some useful advice on what to do if an earthquake strikes.

If you are indoors during an earthquake

  • Lay on the ground; take cover by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and hold on until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • Do not use the elevators.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.



If you are outdoors during an earthquake

  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls.

If you are in a moving vehicle during an earthquake

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

Croatia Emergency Numbers

For emergencies, call 112

192 – Police

193 – Fire Brigade

194 – Ambulance

195 – Search and Rescue if at sea

1987 – Road Assistance

Once again Dubrovnik has felt the force of an earthquake as at exactly 10:19am an earthquake in Bosnia and Herzegovina rolled over Dubrovnik. At a depth of 10 kilometres and measuring 5.2 magnitude the whole city shook for at least ten seconds. The epicentre was only 62 kilometres from Dubrovnik, in Nevesinje, near Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After this morning’s quakes in Tirana that awoke the whole city, and measuring 6.4 magnitude, this latest quake was considerably closer to Dubrovnik and therefore the effects were felt much stronger.

Windows rattled, books fell from shelves and tables rocked as the day of earthquakes around Dubrovnik continued.



Latest reports from Albania state that six people lost their lives in the quake at 3:54am, with over 160 people reported injured.

“After this morning’s earthquakes I just had a feeling that we hadn’t seen the last of them. It was too quiet. The birds weren’t singing. The earth was silent. And then the last one hit and the whole house shook, that was a big one, like a bus driving through my house,” commented a reader of The Dubrovnik Times.

So far there are no reports of any injuries of damage to buildings in Dubrovnik.

This quake was much closer to Dubrovnik, as Tirana is around 270 kilometres away and Nevesinje only 62 kilometres from the city centre.


It took the earthquake a full two minutes to hit Dubrovnik. At exactly 3:54 am a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck 19 miles west of the Albanian capital, Tirana, and at exactly 3:56 am that same earthquake rumbled through Dubrovnik awaking residents, shaking buildings and causing pictures to crash to the ground.

It has been announced as one of the worst earthquakes to hit Albania in decades, killing six people and injuring over 150. This latest quake comes just a few months after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the country.

And it was one of the strongest earthquakes to be felt in Dubrovnik for years, even though the epicentre was over 270 kilometres (167 miles) away. And it wasn’t only Dubrovnik that felt the quake. All along the Dalmatian coast, from Split to Zadar and Sibenik, reports are coming in of people having an early morning wake-up call as the Albanian earthquake rolled through.

albanian earthquake 2019 2

Epicentre near Albania capital 




Two minutes was all it took to travel the 270 kilometres, that 135 kilometres a minute, from Tirana to Dubrovnik.

“That’s the worst tremor I have felt in years and years, I even jumped out of bed and stood in the doorway as we were taught to do at school,” commented a Dubrovnik resident. She also admitted to not going back to bed after the quake as, “my heart was beating so fast and adrenaline pumping.”

She remembered the terrible earthquake in Dubrovnik in 1979 when over 1,000 buildings were destroyed in the 7.2-magnitude quake. It was reported at the time as the strongest earthquake ever to hit the city, stronger than the earthquake of 1667 which flattened two-thirds of the Old City of Dubrovnik.

And then came the aftershock. According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre the aftershock earthquake recorded 5.3 of the Richter Scale. This same shock again vibrated Dubrovnik and the whole region. And Dubrovnik wasn’t alone, it is estimated that over 12 million people felt the Albanian earthquake. Greece, Montenegro, Kosovo and North Macedonia and even Italy have all reported feeling this morning’s quake.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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