Friday, 22 November 2019
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.


Talk of a spin-off of Game of Thrones has been buzzing ever since the final episode of the most popular TV series ever came to a fiery conclusion. Would it be a prequel, a sequel or something completely different?

The franchise looked to be on rocky ground after a planned show The Long Night starring Naomi Watts was cancelled before it was even off the ground. But a prequel series, entitled House of the Dragon, has been given the green light by HBO and a 10-episode series will be produced.

House of the Dragon is based on George R.R Martin’s novel Fire and Blood.

house of dragons coming to croatia

Cast of Game of Thrones on location in Dubrovnik - Photo Tonci Plazibat

And now that the show has been commissioned the rumours as to the locations are spreading like wildfire through social media. Dubrovnik was without doubt one of the most iconic locations for Game of Thrones. The ancient city was the centre of the whole series as King’s Landing and a variety of other locations around the city were used. From season two until the finale and season eight Dubrovnik was seen by millions and millions of fans worldwide and this has led to a whole industry of travel tours and souvenir shops in Dubrovnik.




HBO have yet to reveal a release date for the new show but it is expected at the end of 2020 or in 2021. And similarly no cast names have been released, understandingly the production details are being kept top secret. The HBO President of Programming, Casey Bloys, stated on Twitter that “"The Game of Thrones universe is so rich with stories. We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros.”


Game of Thrones filming in Dubrovnik - Photo Niksa Duper 

It has however been confirmed that Ryan Condal will oversee the whole House of the Dragon’s project and that director Miguel Sapochnik will work with Condal. Sapochnik will also direct the pilot. And it is also believed that House of Dragon will be based some three hundred years before the Game of Thrones storyline.

And as Dubrovnik, and indeed the whole of Croatia, were so popular with the whole Game of Thrones cast and crew it would seem that there is a good chance that we will once again see a major production. Speaking to Jutarnji List Mia Pećina Draskovic from the Zagreb Film Office stated that “We have no information on where and when the series will be shot. We believe that they are very likely to be able to come to Croatia again because they have been here for many years and are very happy with their cooperation and locations. However, we do not have any additional information at this time.”

Property prices across Croatia are continuing to grow with latest figures showing that this year they have risen by 6.5 percent. The popular website, Njuskalo, have carried out a survey on the 163,000 properties on offer on their website and the results show that prices aren’t slowing down, with the most expensive real estate in Croatia in Dubrovnik. According to the survey apartment prices across Croatia have risen by 8 percent his year, and house prices by just over four percent.

And even though prices are on the increase it would seem that interest is still extremely high, as the website have reported that just last month nearly 12.5 million visitors clicked on the site.



Zagreb is one of the hottest locations in Croatia at the moment with the average price per metre squared over 2,000 Euros for the first time ever. In October the average asking price for apartments was 2,080 Euros per metre squared, which represents a rise of almost 8 percent over the year.

All major cities in Croatia have seen property prices increase, especially along the coastline, with Dubrovnik once again having the highest prices in the whole country. In October the average asking price for an apartment was a huge 3,926 Euros per metre squared, or almost double the price of the capital, whilst the asking price for a house in Dubrovnik was 4,711 Euros.

Dubrovnik Airport had an incredible end to the summer season with a massive 22 percent increase in passenger numbers through October. Croatia’s southernmost airport had by far the biggest increase in passenger numbers of any of the airport’s in the country.

A grand total of 299,532 passengers passed through the airport last month meaning a 22.7 percent increase over the same month from last year. In comparison Zagreb Airport handled 330,000 passengers, which was a 4 percent increase over last year, and Split Airport saw a 9.7 percent increase with 247,000 passengers.

From the beginning of this year until the end of October Dubrovnik Airport handled 2.8 million passengers, which represents a 12.6 percent increase over 2018, and is on course to handle 3 million passengers for the first time ever. Already this year an extra 315,000 passengers have used the airport compared to 2018.

Ryanair could once again open flights to Osijek after terminating them in 2017. The low-cost airline closed flights to this Slavonian airport in 2017 due to the inability of the airport to pay the subsidies, but it would appear from an article in Vecernji List that these important flights could reopen in 2020.

According to the newspaper the Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, has held talks with representatives of the Ryanair at the World Tourism Market in London and has expressed his belief that a solution could be found.


According to the daily Vecernji List, the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board are in talks with Ryanair to establish a direct line with Osijek from several European cities next year, namely from June to September.

The Minister of Tourism, Gary Cappelli, said that the agreements with the Osijek Airport and the counties of the five Slavonian counties were following, which should also financially assist in the realization of the return of Ryanair to Osijek, which would certainly assist tourism in the whole region. So far Ryanair have yet to issue a statement.

At the leading travel exhibition in the world, the World Travel Market in London, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, as one of the co-exhibitors at the booth of the Croatian National Tourist Board, presents the tourist offer of the city in which the British market has been at the forefront of tourism for years.

In addition to this presentation, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board held a series of meetings with WTM with British tour operators, airlines and representatives of significant media. One of the highlights of the meeting with the popular British airline, Jet2com, was that the airline announced a 6 percent increase in the number of direct flights to Dubrovnik for next season from nine UK airports. Jet2com will start flying to the southernmost airport in early April, and have significantly increased flights in the pre-season with a 17 percent increase in April. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board has agreed with Jet2com a joint online campaign for February and March to place particular emphasis on pre-season events.


Romana Vlasic, Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, meeting with UK travel agents

There was also a meeting with British Airways regarding the winter flight schedule and a joint marketing campaign to promote Dubrovnik in the winter. For the next summer season Britain’s flagship airline will increase the number of weekly flights to Dubrovnik by two, from the current ten flights a week to twelve flights a week. During this winter British Airways will fly three times a week from Dubrovnik to London, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. British Airways representatives expressed their satisfaction with the cooperation with the Dubrovnik Tourist Board over the past few years and emphasized that this cooperation was a key basis for the development of the program and the further planning of the flight from London to Dubrovnik.


During the first ten months of 2019, there were 196,331 visitors from the United Kingdom, 6 percent more than last year, with 911,413 overnight stays or 3 percent more.

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board added that according to the information from British partners, Brexit is not expected to influence bookings for Dubrovnik and Croatia, and as for Dubrovnik itself, they expect a moderate increase in tourist traffic in 2020.


Even though the tides in the Adriatic are relatively small during these autumn days they can be higher than normal, and that was the case yesterday in Dubrovnik.

The sea almost spilled over onto the roads along the Bay of Lapad yesterday as the strong south winds brought not only wet and grey weather bit also high tides. These same tides are traditionally a problem for Venice where they have introduced a number of measures to stop flooding.

So far the water level isn’t over the roads, but with more wet and rainy weather to come this week it might be time to break out the wellies if you live on the seafront.



The first step to live in the UK rightfully is to pass the Life in the UK test. While that seems pretty easy in the first go, it can be a tough nut to crack. You may have all the resources at your disposal, and still, the results won't show. There can be as many reasons as the number of test-takers, but a common issue it failing to memorize the concepts.

To help you with the same, here are ten learning habits that can help you to pass the British Citizenship Test

1. Get to Know What the Test is Like

Smart planning begins with knowing the demons you need to deal with. Browse through the official website of Life in the UK test and get yourself updated on the test pattern, the type of questions, the timing, etc. Last but not least, get yourself all the resources that you will need to prepare for Life in the UK Test.

2. Begin With a Great Plan in Hand

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."
Once you have a clear idea of the test and its pattern, you are all set to understand which topics take the longest to prepare and which one can be sorted out in the least time. Know your strengths and break the entire curriculum into bits and parts. Know the time you have in hand and then cut the preparation time into small chunks. Identify the time of the day when your mind is most active and can efficiently grab the information. Prepare a schedule for yourself. And make sure you implement targets for yourself.

3. Break Big Tasks into Chunks

Preparing for Life in the UK test is intimidating. Plenty of questions on this test will be based on the country's political and royal history. Since their history stretches as far back as the Middle Ages (even beyond), you have a lot to study. It will help you greatly if you divide your lessons into segments and focus on exploring one portion of history at a time. The names of kings and queens can get very confusing as well, so colour code for periods and families while studying as visual prompts help a lot in memorizing.

4. Keep Moving Around Once In A While

Changing surroundings every once in a while helps your brain get active and remember the information you are trying to memorize. Consider the arrangement where you feel most productive and can effectively retain the information.
For example, most of the students preparing for exams prefer libraries to do so. In most cases, the reason is the quiet and studious atmosphere where they can easily absorb the information.

aerial view of london 2019

5. Don't Stick to One Topic

Your brain will turn itself off if you keep on looking at the same topic, same names, and facts for a long time. So, switch over to something else when you feel like your brain is shutting down. If you can't look at another ruler's name in the 1700s, move on to learn about the last British Prime Ministers who made some significant changes in the country.

6. Say No to Any Distractions

Whatever keeps you away from achieving your goals is always something you should avoid, no matter how alluring it appears. There is no specific list of things that you should be avoiding. Count in everything that you define as a distraction to yourself. If you can't stop from checking your notifications or are tempted to play some online games, it's time you need to figure out how you can stay away from these as you prepare for Life in the UK test.



7. Group Studies

Group studies are a fantastic way to learn and explore the things you wish to nail. Among the most useful ways to study efficiently is to collaborate with your friends. Identify the people in your community who are taking Life in the UK test. Figure out the best time to work and learn. Try to maintain a target. Maybe you need to memorize a few particular concepts and then take chapter and simulation tests based on the same.

8. Put Yourself to the Test For Each Chapter

Once you are done preparing one of the chapters, make sure you put yourself to the test. Try identifying the strong as well as the weak areas. Recognize the topics within these chapters that need your attention and plan their preparation accordingly. A chapter test is the best way to do so.

9. Take Simulation Tests

Just knowing how the test scene will look like is not enough. You may be underestimating certain significant things. And to know that, taking simulation tests is the best way. The test is tailored to meet the latest guidelines set by the authorities organizing Life in the UK test. It will enable you to experience the exact test format and timing and get accustomed to them.

10. Reviews

Don't miss the reports provided at the end of the Chapter and Simulation tests. These are going to guide you on how to prepare for the Life in the UK test, helping you to identify the weak and strong topics. Watch where you went wrong while answering some questions, and how you concluded and reached the right answer.

UKCitizenshipSupport- Your Ultimate Online Preparation Program

UKCitizenshipSupport is one of the renowned names that provides you with a Complete Online Training Program, focusing on each vital aspect. With online guidance on each and everything, leverage the power of E-learning and boost your performance.

According to the Financial Agency (FINA), at the end of September this year, there were 242,827 citizens with blocked bank accounts. The total debt of these nearly quarter of a million citizen’s amounts to 16.76 billion Kuna.

These new figures show that at the end of September this year almost 10 percent of the working-age population in Zagreb had their bank accounts blocked. Indeed, the Croatian capital has the highest amount of citizens in debt, in total 50,724 citizens are in the red and are unable to work with their bank accounts.

In the Split-Dalmatia County, 21,419 citizens were blocked with a total debt of more than 1.45 billion Kuna.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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