Tuesday, 16 April 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

In 2023, the average hourly labor costs in the European Union were €31.8, while in the eurozone, they were estimated at €35.6. For comparison, in 2022, they were €30.5 and €34.3, respectively. This represents a growth of 5.3% compared to the previous year. The latest Eurostat data shows that there are still significant differences between EU member states, but labor costs within the eurozone have increased the most in Croatia.

The lowest labor costs were, as in 2022, in Bulgaria (€9.3) and Romania (€11), while the highest were again in Luxembourg (€53.9), Denmark (€48.1), and Belgium (€47.1).

Although Croatia recorded the highest increase in labor costs in the eurozone (by 14.2%), it still ranks near the bottom of Europe with an hourly labor cost of €14.4. Below Croatia are Bulgaria and Romania, and Hungary with costs of €12.8 and Latvia with €13.5 per hour of work. Polish employers pay only ten cents more per hour than ours.

Among the countries outside the eurozone, labor costs have increased the most in Hungary (17%), Romania (16.5%), and Poland (12.4%). They have increased the least in Denmark (2.7%).

In Austria, Germany, and Ireland, countries where Croats often go abroad for work, labor costs are incomparably higher. For example, in Germany, an employer pays €41.3 per hour of work, slightly less in Austria - €40.9, while Ireland follows with €40.2 per hour. In neighboring Slovenia, an hour of work costs €25.5.

Sometimes it seems that there are no such tourist wishes that cannot be realized in Dubai. Modern architecture, striking in its scale and high–tech solutions, snow-white beaches, warm sea water and endless deserts - all of them will give a lot of unforgettable impressions. In order not to regret the missed opportunities, it is worth paying attention to the recommendations that will help you get the most out of the trip.

How to Rent a Car in Dubai

When choosing a car renter, the main thing is not to encounter unscrupulous entrepreneurs whose services will not meet the wishes of the tourist. The situation is aggravated by the fact that when renting a car in Dubai, they are asked to provide a bank card to freeze the deposit. Therefore, the company must be as reliable as possible. In order not to make a mistake with the choice, learn more at Octane.Rent.

Your Travel Needs

When choosing a model, you need to take into account the purpose of the trip. There is a cult of premium class cars in Dubai. By renting a luxury car with an open top, travelers will feel the maximum level of comfort. They can enjoy every minute of the trip and get a lot of positive emotions. It is best to rent a convertible in Dubai at the height of the tourist season. In warm weather, you can drive with the roof open at any time of the day and enjoy the beautiful views that will open everywhere.

Sedan and hatchback will provide the optimal level of comfort for a minimum price. Crossovers and SUVs should be chosen when planning independent desert visits and long-distance trips. A comfortable minivan is ideal for large companies.

Explore Car Rental Options

You can find a lot of models of different classes on the service website for every taste and purse. It is convenient that the fares are shown for each car. Using filters, you can select a vehicle according to your budget. The cost depends not only on the car brand, but also on the rental period. For the longer period the more favorable price is provided per day. The most profitable option is to use a long–term lease for a month.

Easter Celebration Brightens Saturday in Dubrovnik 4

Choosing the Best Car Rental Service

What requirements the best car rental company meets:

providing a wide range of models – each client will be able to choose the best option according to their needs;

convenience of booking – the intuitive interface of the site will allow you to quickly make the right choice;

reliability of the service – users can get acquainted with the terms of the lease, which will avoid unpleasant surprises;

high level of information security – the best tenant uses proven data protection standards.

Representatives of the rental company provide instant customer support 24/7.

Understanding Typical Rental Costs

Car rental prices in Dubai vary depending on various factors: vehicle model, duration of use, the height of the tourist season. The average rental price starts at $50 per day. You need to take into account additional costs, which include insurance, making a deposit. Sometimes insurance is included in the price, but in some cases extra charge will be required.

How to Book a Hotel

You can use local booking systems to rent accommodation in Dubai online. The user will be redirected to the hotel that suits his request. He will need a foreign bank card to pay for the services. Most hotels accept full payment at the time of booking. The hotel management informs about the possibility of making an advance payment on the website.

Despite the technical departure of the Booking service from Russia, if desired, you can use it to book a hotel in the UAE. It should be borne in mind that you will need a foreign bank card for it.

Options According to Your Budget

The choice of hotel depends on the budget and the purpose of the trip. For a romantic trip couples choose premium class hotels. They will impress guests with a high level of comfort and spectacular views. Families with small children prefer beach hotels. The hotel usually has huge aquariums, water parks, and some of them have dolphinariums. Comfortable recreation areas allow you to have fun without leaving it.

Companies of young people prefer small city hotels located near the metro. The cost of living in them is budget compared to beach hotels. If you want a glamorous pastime, you can choose a hotel built on the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah. Fans of vibrant nightlife, discos and nightclubs will appreciate it.


What to Avoid

Choosing a hotel in the UAE can be a daunting task, because of the huge number of accommodation options on the market. Unplanned expenses can spoil the impression of a vacation. In order not to encounter unpleasant surprises, you need to read the reviews of tourists in advance and find out how food and leisure will be organized.

When booking, you should contact trusted services or cooperate directly with the hotel representatives. This will help you avoid dealing with fraudulent organizations.

Must See places

Some of the most famous attractions are listed below. The full list of beautiful places to see in Dubai you can find in the article.

Burj Khalifa

The landmark is the tallest skyscraper in the world. The Burj Khalifa is not a separate building. It is called a city within a city that has its own boulevards, parks, shopping malls. Inside the skyscraper there are business centers, hotels, swimming pools, sports complexes, luxury restaurants, observation decks with stunning views.

Burj Al Arab

Among the recognizable symbols of Dubai, it is impossible not to mention the Parus Hotel. Its height is 321 meters. It's not just the unusual shape that makes Burj Al Arab stand out, making it the most recognizable building on the coast. The building is located on an artificial island in the middle of the sea. The unusual location attracts thousands of tourists to it.

Desert Reserve

The Dubai Desert Reserve is a popular destination among travelers because more than 50 species of rare plants can be seen there. The territory is home to about 120 species of birds and more than 40 species of various representatives of mammals and reptiles.

It is necessary to visit Dubai at least in order to see with your own eyes how the emirates managed to create a real corner of paradise in the middle of the endless desert. Plan your trip in advance and enjoy a luxurious vacation in the UAE, which leaves few people indifferent.


The heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik was lively yesterday on Easter Sunday. Sunshine warmed the whole of the south of Croatia and as this weekend marks the start of many international flights the stone streets of the city were very busy and it felt more like June than the end of March.

The festive and joyful atmosphere was enhanced by the program organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board. Alongside a performance by the vocal group, Klapa Ragusa, in front of the Church of St. Blaise, girls in traditional folk costumes handed out painted Easter eggs. Tourists particularly enjoyed this small gesture with symbols of the tradition of the Dubrovnik region.


Easter Celebration Brightens Saturday in Dubrovnik 2


Spring is in the air. Ah, spring, that magical time of year when the world awakens from its winter slumber, and everything is suddenly covered in a fine layer of pollen. Yes, because nothing says "renewal" quite like the relentless assault of allergens on your respiratory system.

I didn’t even realise that the first day of the season had been and gone.

I have never understood why the Friday before Easter, or Good Friday as it’s called in the UK, isn’t a public holiday here. Whilst the Brits are enjoying a very long weekend, with both Friday and Monday holidays, we’re left with just the one free day.

It could be argued that in a country that is far more religious than the UK that we should also be enjoying some quality family time. But I guess there are already plenty of days off, so we’ll just make do with the one at Easter.

“Do you paint eggs at Easter like we do,” asked me a local the other day. “We used to, but they have been replaced by a much sweeter version,” I answered.

And an Easter card from my family said it all “Time for chocolate,” was the greeting inside. And yes Easter cards is also a tradition. Real eggs have long been replaced by hollow chocolate ones. So much so that on average 80 million chocolate eggs are sold every Easter in the UK alone.

In 2019 over £200 million was spent on this cocoa confectionery. I guess it could be argued that after the period of Lent that stuffing yourself with chocolate isn’t a bad way to break the fasting.

And on Good Friday we eat “Hot Cross Buns,” basically spiced and sweet buns that are marked with a cross on top, symbolizing the crucifixion of Jesus. So that’s two sweet delights. Yes, Easter in England is a tough time of the year to be on a diet. You could probably compare these buns with pinca.

One thing that we don’t really do is the palm weaving, which is obvious really as palms don’t really enjoy the wet weather on my island. So does that mean with global warming we’ll soon see palm fronds in England as well?

But perhaps the most egg-stravagant tradition of all is the Great British Easter getaway. Like migrating swans, families across the country flock to airports to fly away to warmer climates in search of relaxation and rejuvenation.

As the days get longer, especially with the clocks going forward, this time of the year is symbolical as the start of the tourist season. So we get a day off before thousands of tourists descend this weekend as a certain Irish airline promises to pack our hotels.

The airline that makes you question whether you're flying or participating in a game of budget airline bingo. Who needs frills and fancy amenities when you can have seats that feel like they were designed by a medieval torture enthusiast? Are we ready for the new tourist season? I am not.

I am, or rather I was, quite enjoying the calm before the storm. This last weekend was the first time, for what seems ages, that traffic jams and parking problems raised their ugly heads again. “We’ve got a good seven months of this ahead of us,” I said to my passenger. “This is a light version of what’s on the way,” I smiled.

So, as we bid adieu to the chilly embrace of winter and begrudgingly embrace the unpredictable chaos of spring, let us raise a glass (or a box of tissues) to the season of allergies, awkward wardrobe transitions, and the eternal quest for a free parking space.

Here's to spring – may it be as delightfully frustrating as ever. 

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to


About the author
Mark Thomas (aka Englez u Dubrovniku) is the editor of The Dubrovnik Times. He was born and educated in the UK and moved to live in Dubrovnik in 1998. He works across a whole range of media, from a daily radio show to TV and in print. Thomas is fluent in Croatian and this column is available in Croatia on the website – Dubrovnik Vjesnik

From the middle of the week until the Easter weekend, there are 3,224 tourists in the Dubrovnik, which represents an increase of ten percent when compared with the same period from last year.

Easter is very much the start of the tourist season in Dubrovnik and this weekend around 30 hotels will be open in the city.

According to data from the eVisitor system - the most numerous guests are from Germany, the USA, the UK, Croatia, Ireland, Austria, Korea, China, and Singapore.


The Bishop of Dubrovnik, Roko Glasnović, led the Good Friday Observance at the Dubrovnik Cathedral last night. The ceremonies included the service of the word accompanied by the singing of the Passion, veneration of the cross, and communion.

Following the service, a procession through the streets of the city took place, carrying the relic of the Holy Cross preserved in the cathedral's sacristy.

Bishop Roko Glasnović Leads Reverent Good Friday Ceremony in Dubrovnik 1

Photo - Bozo Radić/CROPIX


This summer, Ryanair is broadening its presence in Zadar with the commencement of a seasonal route connecting Katowice and the picturesque Croatian coastal city, reports EX-YU Aviation.

Set to take off on April 17th, these flights will initially operate once a week, ramping up to three times weekly starting May 6th.

This new route complements the five previously announced routes by Ryanair from Zadar. Remarkably, Ryanair will hold a staggering 82.8% share of capacity at Zadar Airport throughout the summer season, offering access to a total of 51 destinations.

Ryanair, Europe's leading low-cost airline, has announced the launch of its highly anticipated Summer '24 routes from Dubrovnik, with the inaugural flight to Bari scheduled to take off on March 31st. This route marks the beginning of an extensive network expansion, with a total of 17 new routes set to commence operations from Dubrovnik this summer, providing travelers with increased options at competitive fares.

The full schedule of Ryanair's Summer '24 routes from Dubrovnik is now available for booking on the airline's official website, ryanair.com.

The new routes and their respective start dates are as follows:

- Bari: March 31st

- Bergamo: April 2nd

- Memmingen: April 2nd

- Krakow: April 2nd

- Dusseldorf (Weeze): April 2nd

- London (Stansted): April 2nd

- Arlanda: April 3rd

- Berlin: April 3rd

- Rome (Fiumicino): April 3rd

- Oslo (Torp): April 3rd

- Wroclaw: April 3rd

- Brussels (Charleroi): April 4th

- Manchester: April 4th

- Poznan: April 4th

- Paris (Beauvais): April 5th

- Karlsruhe/Baden Baden: April 5th

- Helsinki: April 5th

Ryanair Unveils Summer 24 Routes from Dubrovnik Your Gateway to Adventure Takes Off This Easter Weekend 1

Jade Kirwan, Ryanair's Head of Communications, expressed the airline's enthusiasm about the expansion, stating, "Ryanair is delighted to officially launch our 17 exciting new Summer '24 routes for Dubrovnik, with our first flight to Bari departing Dubrovnik Airport on the 31st of March, alongside our other new routes commencing over the next week. This Summer, Ryanair will operate 19 routes to/from Dubrovnik Airport, offering our customers in the region even more choice and regular frequencies at the lowest fares. These exciting Ryanair Summer '24 routes are available to book now at ryanair.com."

With the introduction of these new routes, Ryanair aims to further enhance connectivity between Dubrovnik and key European destinations.


For travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Ryanair's expanded network from Dubrovnik offers an array of options to suit every preference. Whether it's a weekend getaway to bustling cities like London and Berlin or a leisurely escape to scenic destinations such as Bari and Bergamo, the airline's diverse route network ensures that passengers can easily explore Europe's most sought-after destinations.

As the Easter bank holiday weekend approaches, travelers are encouraged to take advantage of the newly launched routes and plan their next adventure with Ryanair from Dubrovnik.

For more information and to book flights, visit ryanair.com.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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