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.
After almost two months in Dubrovnik waters the luxury yacht of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich finally sailed into the horizon yesterday. The second largest private yacht in the world, Eclipse, arrived in Dubrovnik on the 31st of August and stayed at anchor in the Bay of Zupa for the whole of September and most of October.
According to Forbes, Abramovich's net worth in 2015 was $8.3 billion making him the 12th richest person in Russia, so he probably didn’t need a loan to buy the $400 million Eclipse. When she was delivered to the owner of Chelsea FC she was the largest private yacht in the world, however she is now the second largest after the monster Azzam yacht owned by the Emir of Abu Dhabi.
There have been rumors that the Russian oligarch has set up a floating European base in Dubrovnik on his Eclipse. And as the billionaire was anchored for free in Croatian waters he had also saved a few dollars. But with the mega yacht sailing out of Croatian waters at around 7pm last night we can wave goodbye to Roman Abramovich, at least until next year.
For purchasing Sveti Rok, the water bottling plant in the Lika region which filed for bankruptcy and for the continuation of its production, there will be no lack of interested parties. Even though the bankruptcy institutions haven't made the decision about taking over the company yet, a process of restructuring and finding a potential buyer has yet to be prepared, but potential investors themselves are already knocking on the company's door.
Certain Croatian retail chains have already expressed their interest in the Sveti Rok company, as well as one Canadian group, presumably members of the Croatian Diaspora. However, the biggest interest is coming from Saudi Arabia. Recently a potential Arab investor has been purchasing large quantities of the Lika water thus raising the balance of exports of the Lika water which is currently at about 10 percent of the company's revenue.
According to the words of Frane Dobrovic, the bankruptcy trustee, the potential Arab investor is a member of the global high-level business circles and one of the leading water importers in Saudi Arabia who works with the largest water manufacturers in the world. Considering the fact that the water company from Lika is quite small on the world market, the interest of the global business players in Sveti Rok, Frane Dobrovic explains with the quality of the Lika water. ‘’They say it is the best water they have ever tasted, but doing business in Croatia is very difficult for them. However, that wouldn’t be an obstacle if the company’s business was well regulated’’, said the bankruptcy trustee.
The key to the best outcome of this story could be in an upcoming assembly of creditors. It is expected that this October important decisions will be made in order to find a new owner. It would also accelerate judicial evaluation of the assets and making of the bankruptcy plan, but also the possible positive solution of some administrative and legal obstacles.
As the state is the biggest creditor in the bankruptcy, it can dictate the further development of the situation and the way of settling with the creditors.
''The state should be flexible because the preservation of this production is of great importance to the Lika region, whilst the general social interest is to continue with the work. During the whole season the company worked better than before the bankruptcy, with more employees (28), and all obligations were duly settled. We managed to ensure the liquidity of the company from regular sales. So, there will be no sale yet’’, concluded Dobrovic.
More praise for the Croatian tourism! This time the Luxury Travel Guide award goes to the Old Zagreb Tour in the Croatian capital.
The Eco Group company from Zagreb which was founded earlier this year among other services also provides an unforgettable sightseeing and a unique experience of time travel to its clients, citizens of Zagreb and their guests.
By driving in environmentally friendly electric car through the streets of the Croatian capital this company revives the times when Ferdinand Budicki introduced the first car to Croatia in 1901 and led Zagreb into the new technological era. Thirteen year after, the Croatian capital issued a driving licence to the first lady driver in Croatia – the noble Alma Balley.
The Luxury Travel Guide award represents quality and prestige as well as top achievements in the tourism industry and is awarded to the best in their segments. This year the number of nominees, without doubt, was the biggest so far thus the competition was very strong in each tourist category.
All winners of the Luxury Travel Guide award were subjects to strict criteria of evaluation by professionals from the tourism industry.
The Luxury Travel Guide with more than 500,000 subscribers and with distribution to more than 23,000 luxury hotels and exclusive airport salons is the leading lifestyle travel portal which celebrates the quality of the best in its guide.
Dietmar Gamerith, from Graz in Austria, loves Dubrovnik so much that he has had a permanent reminder of the city tattooed on his left arm. An emblem of Dubrovnik features at the top of his upper arm and underneath that is a radio with Radio Dubrovnik emblazoned above it. “I listen to Radio Dubrovnik everyday back home in Austria so a motif of the radio station seemed like a good idea,” added Gamerith.
The Austrian is currently on holiday in Dubrovnik for the 74th time and calls the city his “second home.” And the two tattoos aren’t the end of the ink on his arm. “I am planning to get St. Blaise added on my forearm and then the logo of The Dubrovnik Times under the Radio Dubrovnik,” said Gamerith.
He had the tattoos done in Graz by the artist Christoph Fischerauer. “I had my first tattoo when I was 24 and now twenty-eight years later at the age of 52 I have decided to cover up this original tattoo with these new ones of Dubrovnik,” concluded Gamerith.
Fair of healthy food and local products opened today at Pile, as part of this year's Good Food Festival.
Eight houses are located right before the entrance to the Old City. Eleven manufactures offer their products, mainly from the continental Croatia and visitors of the fair can buy cheeses, meat products, jams and marmalades, blackberry wine, teas, liqueurs and enjoy in sweet fritters.
Fair will be opened every day from 10 am to 8 pm, from today to Sunday, 23rd of October.
The “bear” necessities are all you need when travelling to Dubrovnik. This rather unusual teddy bear bag was spotted today on the streets of Dubrovnik.
Quite clearly this tourist was carrying the “bear” essentials on her sightseeing trip. As she took a selfie on the Stradun along with her “honey.” And as the weather is Dubrovnik is still glorious there is no need for winter hibernation just yet.
The world famous confectioner Buddy Valastro, also known as the Cake Boss, is coming to Croatia today and he will be one of the judges choosing the best cake with Croatian motifs.
Dubrovka Falkoni and Kate Perovic, cake masters from Dubrovnik, made the top 10 with their cake made in the shape of Konavle traditional costume and on Saturday they have made a beautiful cake in the shape of Onofrio's fountain. The cake is truly a work of art. Sadly, they didn't make it to the top three and they were out of the competition for the best Croatian cake.
The owner and head baker of the Carlo’s Bakery and the star of the culinary and family show ‘’Cake Boss’’ which is broadcast on the TLC reality TV show, will visit Croatia today. The Zagreb event will be held at the City Centre One West on the 17th of October at 6 pm. Visitors can also meet the famous chef in the evening.
Even though this talented ladies didn't make it to the top three we are still very proud of them. For us their cakes were the best!
We might be into the second half of October but the Adriatic is still tempting. In between the clouds and rain the sunshine peeked through and brought temperatures in the mid twenties, and with the sea temperature still around 20 degrees it was a perfect day to have the sea to yourself.
The main beach in Lapad and the long sandy in Kupari both proved magnets for swimmers and sunbathers. The end of the weekend in Dubrovnik was certainly stunning. “Is it always this warm in October,” questioned a young couple from France before diving into the Adriatic.