Tuesday, 17 September 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

The acrid smell of a forest fire could be sensed overnight and early this morning in Dubrovnik. A forest fire broke out late last night over the border in Bosnia and Herzegovina, near the city of Trebinje, and the high overnight winds brought the smoke down over Dubrovnik.

It is reported that the fire spread overnight and as it was burning in a very inaccessible area it proved difficult to contain. According to reports in the local media 20 firefighters and four vehicles fought the forest fire and it is now believed to be under control.

The globally popular Swedish furniture and home store IKEA marked five years of operation in Croatia this week, and have announced that during that time more than 8.5 million people have visited their Zagreb superstore. Somewhat surprisingly the biggest selling items over that time have been LED light bulbs, followed by towels, plates and bowls.

In addition to the millions of visitors to the department store, IKEA Zagreb have recorded 28 million visitors to their website in five years, more than one hundred thousand people have participated in their various workshops, while more than 290 thousand members participated in the loyalty program.

In the five years since opening IKEA Zagreb have sold an incredible 1.3 million LED light bulbs.

And apart from the main IKEA centre just outside of Zagreb the store also has four delivery centres in Croatia, in Rijeka, Split, Osijek and Dubrovnik.

341 kilos of marijuana were seized at the border crossing between Montenegro and Croatia yesterday.

This was the second biggest ever seizure of marijuana at the Karasovici border crossing, after 705 kilos were uncovered in 2005. With a believed street value of over 2 million Euro the capture of this amount of drugs yesterday was certainly an impressive haul for the police. In fact, this is the tenth time the border police and the Dubrovnik police have uncovered and seizure narcotics weighing more than 50 kilograms.

“The total seizure of 341.8 kilograms of marijuana is the result of the continuity of hard work and the cooperation of all police and customs officers. Again, the human factor was crucial. So far, we can state that we have seized more than 2.5 tons of marijuana, 14.5 kilograms of cocaine and 70 kilograms of heroin, which are not the results of many major police departments,” said the head of the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department, Ivan Pavlicevic.

According to the police report the border police and customs officials noticed the driver's nervousness at the entrance to the border check which aroused their attention. The vehicle in question was a tourist coach from a Dubrovnik agency. An inspection of the luggage compartment revealed 17 large travel bags that the driver said contained sporting equipment. After a search warrant was obtained the bags were searched and the haul of marijuana was uncovered.

The ferries, catamarans and ships of the state ferry company Jadrolinija are having an extremely busy year, carrying until now 8.5 million passengers.

From the beginning of the year until the 18th of August Jadrolinija have transported a total of 8.5 million passengers and 2.2 million vehicles. Despite the fear of a worst tourist season than last year the company have carried 1.5 percent more passengers than last year.

July was a bumper month when the company handled 2.3 million passengers and 560,000 cars and trucks. The company is on target to beat last year’s figures when they recorded 12.3 million passengers and three million vehicles.

Geri Halliwell, better known as Ginger Spice, is enjoying an active break in Croatia and is certainly making the most of the crystal, clear Adriatic Sea. Halliwell, or rather Geri Horner after her recent marriage to the supremo of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, Christian Horner, was spotted a few days ago in Dubrovnik with Bernie Ecclestone and his wife.

Geri has obviously caught the speed bug from her husband and posted a photo and video on her social media profiles of her skills on a jet-ski.

Halliwell came to international prominence in the 1990s as Ginger Spice, a member of the successful girl group the Spice Girls, the best-selling girl group of all time with over 85 million records sold, of which more than 75 million copies sold with the quintet lineup with Halliwell. In 1998, Halliwell left the Spice Girls to pursue a solo career but later returned to the group when they reunited in 2007. Halliwell reportedly amassed a $40 million fortune during her last two years in the group.

It’s a big end to the week in the leading Dubrovnik nightclub Culture Club Revelin.

Tomorrow night there will be a gig from the popular Italian DJ duo The Cube Guys. The Cube Guys are known for performing a special 4 hands DJ set.

Nightclub Revelin is continuing to prepare the best summer parties in Croatia. Nightlife in Dubrovnik is finally at the very top of clubbing destinations in Croatia, owing it to the spectacular summer season line up of the most unique and special club in the world – Culture Club Revelin.

The Cube Guys is a club project born in 2005 from the collaboration between two of the most important Italian producers: Roberto Intrallazzi and Luca Provera. Their particular house sound, combined with tech-tribal elements and vocal contributions, evolved during the years, becoming more and more international and original.


This summer has certainly been a “who’s who” of the rich and famous in Dubrovnik and none more so than the latest mega yacht to drop anchor in front of the Old City. It is a beauty. Odessa II at 74 metres in length and accommodating a dozen passengers in the height of luxury, she set her owner back a cool $100 million when he purchased her back in 2013. Sir Len Blavatnik, a Russian born businessman, is, according to the Sunday Times Rich List of 2019, the fourth wealthiest man in Britain with an estimated fortune of £14.4 billion.

odessa 2 in croatia

Blavatnik (62), who is a close personal friend of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, received a knighthood for services to philanthropy. He was born in Odessa, hence the name of the mega yacht, and now lives in He owns a grade II listed building in Kensington Palace Gardens which is valued at £200 million.

close up russian yacht dubrovnik

His mega yacht certainly caught the attention of tourists and locals in Dubrovnik and as he is a close personal friend of the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who has several properties and businesses in Dubrovnik, he could be in the city on a business deal. In fact he was at anchor in sight of one of Vekselberg’s Dubrovnik properties, the hotel Belvedere.

Len Blavatnik yacht dubrovnik

The third multimedia event of the Salt Festival will open in Ston on the 28th of August. This interesting festival, which runs until the 2nd of September, covers various events in the historic ambience of Solana: gastronomic events, a fair of traditional products, music evenings, concerts, performances, workshops for children and much more.

The Salt Festival will be held from the 28th of August to the 2nd of September at multiple venues in Ston, and entry to all events will be free of charge.


The Salt festival in Ston is held in the oldest salt works in Europe. In the time of Dubrovnik Republic, salt was very important and was called a "white gold." Salt was the main reason why the city walls were built so this valuable treasure needs to be in the centre of an attention as it was in 14th century.

For more information the Salt Festival visit the website

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