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.
When it comes to Croatia and tourism over the past few years, good news has become a common thing. The latest news comes from one of the largest hotel brands in the world, in the next two years, the tourist offer of the country will be enriched with two more hotels that will operate under the Hilton brand.
The Zagreb City Hotels company, which runs the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton in the Croatian capital, confirmed this announcement a few days ago.
The Canopy by Hilton Hotel is to be opened in Zagreb in the middle of next year, (after the first one opened in Reykjavik), whilst the opening of Garden Inn is scheduled for the second half of 2019.
The Hilton company will invest 10 million Euros in equipping of the future four-star hotels, confirmed Josipa Jutt Ferlan, the director of the Zagreb City Hotels and the cluster general manager for all three Hilton hotels in Zagreb.
Swimming pool of Hilton Double Tree in Zagreb
The Canopy by Hilton is an upscale lifestyle brand with a high-level design featuring a fusion of international standards and local features. It targets the market that is more demanding and is positioned right behind luxury brands such as Waldorf Astoria and Conrad. Thus, Zagreb will be the second European city to get the Canopy by Hilton Hotel, right after Reykjavik, and before London, Paris and Madrid.
The Hilton Garden Inn is a focus service brand intended for a wider population of guests. Within the hotel in Zagreb, there will be a congress-banquet centre with five halls, out of which the largest one will have a capacity for 400 visitors with a terrace and a view over the Upper city. Thus, Zagreb will get a new state-of-the-art congress hall with built-in boots for simultaneous interpretation and translation, as well as a new attractive venue for organizing weddings and other events.
On the busiest and most iconic beach in Dubrovnik, Banje Beach, a World War II mine floated up onto the beach this morning. The gale force south winds, that have been blowing for the past few days, quite probably brought this unwanted “surprise” onto the beach.
On a beach that is full on hundreds of thousands of tourists throughout the summer months it was surreal to see a World War II mine float up and land on the beach. The police were immediately called to the scene and the bomb was removed from the beach and deactivated. The road above the beach was closed for most of the morning whilst the police cordoned off the scene.
According to unofficial information from the scene the bomb was an English made sea mine, but this has yet to be confirmed. It would appear that the rough seas finally broke the rusty chain that anchored the mine and washed it up on the Banje Beach. However, where the mine had actually arrived from will remain a mystery forever.
As from next year, Croatia will introduce roadside technical inspection of vehicles on Croatian roads.
Starting from May 2018, the police and road traffic inspectors will carry out on-the-spot roadside technical inspection of transport vehicles and buses. This is regulated by the Regulation of the technical inspection of vehicles on the road, which the Ministry of the Interior has sent to a public discussion.
The Regulation was adopted in order to comply with regulations imposed by the European Union. The Croatian police and inspectors will have mobile units at their disposal for this purpose.
They will also have to carry out an initial roadworthiness inspection on at least 5% out of the total number of freight vehicles and buses registered in Croatia.
Inspection data will be submitted to the European Commission. The Regulation states that police officers or road traffic inspectors have to stop the vehicles visually looking badly maintained for roadside technical inspection. These vehicles will first be subjected to an initial technical inspection, which includes a check on the latest regular roadworthiness report or roadside inspection, a visual assessment of the vehicle’s technical condition and, if necessary, a visual assessment of the safety of cargo transported by the vehicle.
Based on the results of the initial technical inspection, the police and inspectors will jointly decide whether to subject the vehicle to a detailed technical roadside inspection, which includes checks on brakes, tyres, wheels, chassis and environmental impact hazards.
The Dubrovnik Tourist Board organized their traditional holiday gathering for journalists with very tempting awards, to thank them for the great cooperation during the whole year.
Dubrovnik journalists were more than happy to take a break from the hard work and enjoy the finest delicacies in the beautiful and modern restaurant Pantarul, while the program was led by DJ Vjeverica.
Music, holiday atmosphere, good food and even better company were a perfect way to end the 2017 and slowly start getting ready for 2018, which is expected to be even better. We are sure that the great cooperation with the Dubrovnik Tourist Board will stay at the same level during the next year too.
Anyway, journalists left with their hands full – some with tickets to Istanbul, some with coupons for restaurants and spa centres, and one happy journalist of The Dubrovnik Times with two nights in the Hotel Odisej located at paradise island - Mljet.
Director of Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic, presents Ivana Smilovic from The Dubrovnik Times with prize - Photo Zeljko Tutnjevic
One of the most prominent contemporary photographers, Ahmet Ertuğ, opened an exhibition 'Vanishing point' in Dubrovnik last night in the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik.
In his long-time professional work, Ahmet Ertuğ uses a unique approach that is consistently traced through his photographic work - architectural elements as a whole detail, whether constructive or decorative.
For the Dubrovnik exhibition, with which he presented himself for the first time to the Croatian audience, 20 photographs of large format of representative interior of buildings photographed in Italy and Dubrovnik were selected.
Ertuğ came to Dubrovnik with his team at the end of September because of the invitation of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik. He was here for six days, shooting early in the morning to avoid tourist crowds and catch the empty and hidden spaces of the City.
Many people were delighted to visit this special exhibition. If you wish to do the same – the 'Vanishing point' will stay opened until March 11th next year.
Dubrovnik's winter magic continues with the rich programs of the fourth Dubrovnik Winter Festival throughout the city during its third weekend. The world's most beautiful stage - Stradun, will host the popular Croatian band Pavel this Saturday and Christmas Fairytale will become a reality at Hotel Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik.
The youngest will be really happy this weekend with the Christmas Fairytale, organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board once again this year as a part of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival. It will be held on December 16th in the Hotel Rixos Libertas Congress Hall, starting at 11 am. The first location for the Christmas Fairytale was Stradun, but is moved to Rixos Libertas due to te bad weather forecast.
The entertaining program which will delight and entertain all visitors, especially the youngest, will include a performance by the Mak Theatre from Zagreb and their play ˝Snježna staza˝ (English: ˝Snow Trail˝), the elves of the Ad Libidum Trio, the Dubrovnik Children's Choir that will sing the traditional kolenda carols. There will be a lot of dance too, with the Dance Studio Lazareti , Le Petite Festival and Little Linđo.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING
The colorful winter at the Lapad Bay brings a rich program for the children on a small stage next to the fountain. This Saturday from 2pm to 5pm there will be a Dance Studio 3V, Aster Association that will perform a play for children, while in the musical part of the program Nika Bjelovucic and Elza Filipovic will perform. In case of bad weather conditions, the program is postponed to Sunday.
In the evening, on December 16th, the candle of joy will be lit up at 7:30 pm in front of Dubrovnik cathedral.
From 7 to 9 pm vocal group Kolafjak will be singing around the city. At 9 pm there will be a Pavel concert at Stradun.
The following morning, on Sunday, December 17th, female vocal group Lindo will sing from 10 am to 12 pm.
From 11 am in the Teddy Bear Park there will be a real winter fairytale with elves and many other characters from favorite children’s stories. Like every Sunday, there will be a fun-filled corner with old-fashioned games and make-up ccorner, with a dance of joy organized by the Lazareti Dance Studio and the Le Petit Festival du Théâtre.
The Sunday Advent Afternoon is full of entertaining programs in Mokosica, which take place at 3 pm on the playground next to Cafe Bar Kiss. This Sunday in the program is fun for all generations featuring Zumba Kids and Zumba Teens, Maro and Baro stories, Christmas Games and Santa Claus karaoke, and special photo booth by Mrs. Claus. At 5:30 pm Dubrovnik band Valetudo will play. In case of bad weather, program will be moved to Mokosica elementary school.
Croatians are still lagging behind when it comes to shopping online. According to recent information released by the Croatia Bureau of Statistics only 29 percent of the population, between the ages of 16 and 74, use the internet for online shopping.
Maybe somewhat surprisingly by far the most popular items bought on the web are clothes and sporting equipment. In fact, 49 percent of all online shoppers in Croatia use the internet to buy clothes, quite clearly they aren’t worried about ordering the wrong size.
After clothes the second most popular articles are household items (27 percent) followed by electronic goods, tickets for events and concerts and telecommunication services. But with less than a third of all citizens actually using the web to purchase goods Croatia is still well behind the European average.
Every year in December,Google announces the most popular searches over the past year as a way for people to look back and see what major things and events had the biggest impact on the world.
The list includes people, terms, events and places that attracted attention of people from all around the globe in 2017 and according to Google, Croats mostly browsed terms such DIP (State Electoral Commission of the Republic of Croatia), Despacito and Wimbledon as well as Croatian parliamentary elections.
In the category of terms, the most popular in Croatia were Eurovision Song Contest, 2017 IHF World Men's Handball Championship, iPhone 8, Sudbina (Turkish TV series), EuroBasket 2017, Fidget spinner and Mother’s Day.
In the category of events, the parliamentary elections as the most sought after term were followed by Wimbledon, Eurovision Song Contest, 2017 IHF World Men's Handball Championship, EuroBasket, the World Cup qualifier football match between Croatia and Greece, Špancirfest, local elections, the Oscars 2017 and Museum Night.
In the category of films, ‘’La La Land’’ topped the list as the most popular Google search among Croats. The musical was followed by ‘’Just like Heaven’’, ‘’Wonder Woman’’, ‘’Justice League’’, ‘’Blade Runner’’, ‘’Moonlight’’, ‘’Manchester by the sea’’, ‘’Blade Runner 2049’’, ‘’Pirates of the Caribbean’’, and ‘’Logan’’.