Saturday, 25 January 2020
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.


Another major European city will have flight connections with Dubrovnik next year with the Polish Airline, LOT, announcing operations between Dubrovnik and Budapest.

LOT have included connections between Budapest and Dubrovnik for 2020 as part of a seasonal service, with flights beginning on the 7th of June and operating once a week, on Sundays, up until the 27th of September.

Budapest is the third European city that LOT operates flights to Dubrovnik from, following Krakow and Warsaw. And with a flight time of only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Budapest to Dubrovnik this new connection is sure to prove popular.

“Don’t forget children that there won’t be any school tomorrow as the teachers are going on strike,” announced our headmaster. At least I think that’s what she said, I turned off when she said “won’t be any school tomorrow.” It was my first year of primary school and my first taste of a strike. I really had no idea what a strike was. To me, as a young first-grader, strike equalled holiday.

I have the feeling that there are a few thousand children in Croatia who have the same train of thought at the moment. Of course, just as I did, they will soon discover that those strike holidays aren’t really holidays at all as at some point those lost days will have to be made up.

I am not going to comment on the current teacher’s strike in Croatia, I really don’t have enough information to have an opinion. Whether it is right or wrong, or could have been handled differently, I’ll leave you to make your own conclusions. I do however absolutely support their right to take action, in fact anyone’s right to take action and protest. I have to admit I am a little surprised at the weight of support they have had, pleasantly surprised I should add. I didn’t really expect it. In my experience strikes, and indeed demonstrations, in Croatia are rare and usually less than effective. But this one seems to have gathered pace and public support.

And in a strange twist of fate the UK is seeing a similar strike at this very moment, with 40,000 university professors walking out and striking, for pretty much the same reasons as their Croatia educational colleagues. It must be strike season. Strikes aren’t uncommon in the UK, they usually last for a short period of time and are resolved to a degree of mutual satisfaction. In fact, the professors have already announced that they will be on strike for eight days, quite a civilised approach.

They aren’t as common as in France, who are the strike leaders in the EU, whilst the Germans strike the least, presumably due to living in an organised and functioning political system. But on the whole, France excluded, strikes across Europe are becoming fewer and fewer. This is, of course, mainly due to the slow and steady demise of unions. It is estimated that union membership across Europe is down to under ten percent of the workforce. Now being in mind in the 1950’s it was around 40 percent that is quite a slump. A very sad state of affairs. For with the fall in power of unions comes the subsequent decline in the power of workers to unite and to force better working conditions.

And there is another important reason why strikes have dropped, and this is the reason why this current strike in Croatia is vitally important. It is what’s called the demonstration effect. In simple terms this describe the fact that developments in one place will often act as a catalyst in another place. Or if strikes are seen as useless and without reaching any successful outcome then they will become rarer. In many ways this is what happened in the UK after one of the largest strikes in history, the miner’s strike which lasted for a year in the 1980’s, was lost to Margaret Thatcher’s government. Strikes in the UK really haven’t been the same since.

Now as so many people have been mobilized behind this teacher’s strike the outcome could well effect, not only the teacher’s but decades of future actions. For the demonstration effect works both ways. The unions and people will lose hope and on the flip side the government will adopt a stricter approach to policies on strikes. With so many people, so much media and so many protests the success hangs in the balance. And this isn’t just a matter of solving the current problem on the table but could well be a historical moment for the country. If they lose the long-term effects could be significant. “Unions do have a proper role in negotiating for employees and advising employees, but they have to engage with the employer,” once said the British businessman Jim Ratcliffe. Well the teachers are certainly engaging with their employees, the state. Who will prove the more determined?

Looking to plan your vacation in Dubrovnik around an important event, or maybe you'll get lucky and an event will coincide with you holiday, check out the 2020 Dubrovnik Events guide to keep your finger on the pulse of the cultural heart of the city.

From the Dubrovnik Summer Festival to a wine festival and numerous musical events throughout the whole calendar, Dubrovnik is a city of culture and the events always come thick and fast.

Main Events in Dubrovnik in 2020

30 NOVEMBER 2019 – 1 JANUARY 2020


The Dubrovnik Winter Festival is an event which reveals a new aspect of the City of Dubrovnik, featuring magical lighting highlighting its timeless beauty and uncovering the rich diversity of artistic expression through special events, entertainment programs, colourful cuisine with a touch of tradition, and ancient customs.



This multi-day event traditionally opens the official program of celebrations around the holiday of St. Blaise and the Day of the City of Dubrovnik.

2 – 9 FEBRUARY 2020


Ever since the year 972, when people began to celebrate it, the feast day of St Blaise, Dubrovnik patron saint, has been a quite special festival, typical of Dubrovnik. A series of church and secular concerts, exhibitions, book presentations and theatre guest performances are dedicated to the patron saint of Dubrovnik, whose statues look at us from the city walls and gates and whose caring hand guards Dubrovnik on his palm.


20 – 25 FEBRUARY 2020


Our ancestors also had fun, and so should we... is a proverb which one can hear in Dubrovnik in February during the carnival, the time when everything is allowed, when people become someone else or show their true face... Experience the special atmosphere of the Dubrovnik carnival festivities characterized by jokes, laughter, merriment, joy, satire... feel the special spirit of the City at carnival time!

17 APRIL – 2 JUNE 2020


Dubrovnik musical spring is a new musical event organized by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. This is a cycle of concerts of classical music that will be held from 17 April to 2 June 2020. It is designed to enrich the cultural offer of Dubrovnik.

24 - 26 APRIL 2020


Tourist orientation of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik-Neretva County represents a tremendous privilege and challenge to local winemakers. It brings thousands of curious visitors to their cellar each year, and many of them are knowledgeable about wine. The central event of the project „Wine Tourist Network – WiNe“ is Regional wine festival – Dubrovnik FestiWiNe which will be held in Dubrovnik again in April. The festival will gather more than 100 regional winemakers who will have the opportunity to present their wines to numerous wine professionals and visitors. Domestic high quality wines of authentic varieties represent powerful, underutilized competitive advantage
of this area.


17 – 19 APRIL 2020

AKLAPELA (Dalmatian songs festival)

Aklapela festival of the best Croatian vocal groups nourishes the authentic vocal singing, a festival named by a pun of the words klapa and a cappella. Unlike other numerous established music festivals that are successfully held in Dubrovnik, Aklapela is an entirely national musical product and, with visionary artistic leadership, has the potential to become a referent value of Croatian ethno-music.

24 - 26 APRIL 2020


The attractiveness of this new sporting event is based on the fact that Dubrovnik – the host city is part of the UNESCO’s world Heritage. The terrain is very attractive for marathon running, especially 2K (two-kilometer long) race with a limited number of participants held at Dubrovnik walls, Dubrovnik’s most important attraction. Half marathon route is 21.1 km long, starts at Ploče, passes through the Pile up till Kantafig in Gruž, with a turn near the Marina Komolac and finish in the best possible venue - Stradun. With the motto “More than a race” this new event, as planned, will be more than just a sporting event, through running healthy lifestyles will be promoted, all in “hugs” of Dubrovnik historical monument, with Klapa songs and blessings of Dubrovnik’s patron saint - St. Blaise - as protected elements of intangible heritage in the UNESCO’s.

5 – 12 June 2020

Cycle of baroque music - ORLANDO FURIOSO

Orlando Furioso, organized by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, will be held from 5 to 12 June 2020 in Dubrovnik. It's a cycle of baroque music.

JUNE 2020


This is a small festival, but a special and distinctive cultural event in which artists represent and artistic talents from around the world. Le Petit Theatre du Festival every year raises the curtain revealing creations carefully selected and talented artists whether they are poets, actors, dancers, or something else.

21 JUNE 2020


The festival Ana in Town celebrates a young artist, a cellist with a recognizable musical style, Ana Rucner in a double role as classical musician and crossover instrumentalist. A fantastic concert at the dawn of the first day of summer and World Music Day on June 21st is an exceptional artistic event and unique view and experience of sunrise at the top of the Srdj Mountain.

20 JUNE – 6 JULY 2020


Midsummer Scene is an established theatre festival held in English that uses one of the most beautiful stage ambients – Dubrovnik’s St. Lawrence Fortress – which is the stage for Shakespeare’s most well-known dramas, realised through the cooperation of British and Croatian theatre artists.

28 JUNE - 5 JULY 2020


The festival is named after and organized in the memory of the world famous tenor Tino Pattiera, one of the major singers at the opera houses both in Europe and worldwide in the first half of the 20th century. The International Operatic Aria Festival Hommage Tino Pattiera was founded aiming to become another permanent operatic event in our city, to complete the operatic milieu of Dubrovnik, and to present the most beautiful operatic output of the greatest composers to its audiences.

1 JULY –31 AUGUST 2020


For many years the City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Tourist Board have been organizing music and entertainment programs on the Elafiti islands, and in Zaton and Orašac in order to present tourists the Mediterranean melody, folklore and folk traditions that have been cherished for ages. Within special programs with traditional folk festivities and holidays guests will be able to enjoy some thirty performances this summer such as: Dalmatian vocal groups concerts, folklore performances, classical music concerts and performances by Croatian music entertainers which will be held on Koločep.
Lopud, Šipan, in Zaton and Orašac.

10 JULY–25 AUGUST 2020


Dubrovnik Summer Festival is undoubtedly the largest and most representative cultural manifestation, not only in Dubrovnik, but in all of Croatia. It is held since 1950 and lasts every year from 10 July to 25 August.



Each summer on the island of Šipan the summer film school and film festival called ̋Šipan Film Summer School ̋ is held. The event has an international character since the films, participants in the program, and festival guests come from Germany, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. Under the auspices of the City of Dubrovnik, the film festival in Šipanska Luka lasts from August 4th to 14th, and ten selected films are shown. ̋Šipan Film Summer School ̋ takes into account the specific situation of a Dalmatian island. In winter it is a closed environment, and in the summer months through cinema the island communicates with the whole world. School children from Šipan have the opportunity to be creative together with their peers from Europe and the around the world.



The end of August and almost whole September in Dubrovnik are reserved for great classical music concerts. For the seventh year the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra organizes the International Late Summer Music Festival Dubrovnik, which brings internationally acclaimed artists to the town. The music director of the festival is Austrian conductor Christoph Campestrini and this year festival takes place from 26 August until 18 September 2020.



Marija Pavlović, Artist in residence



EARTH, SEA & FIRE Triathlon Event is held in the southernmost Croatian city of Dubrovnik, a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most attractive global travel destinations.


6.- 30. OCTOBER 2020


Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra autumn concerts are covered with a new festival – Autumn Music Variety. Festival, as the name says, brings us a variety of music events.

19 -25 OCTOBER 2020


A number of new and interesting gastronomic programs are found within this unique project of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, which has become an exceptional supplement to the regular tourism offerings for tourist in the autumn month of October and has become a favourite among the locals, as well. The new edition of the Good Food Festival brings presentations of culinary specialties typical for our region, educational programs for children, tastings of regional wines, culinary workshops, and events such as ̋Dinner with a famous chef ̋, workshops on preparing Dubrovnik delicacies, special menus in Dubrovnik restaurants, an ̋Eat & Walk ̋ culinary tour, as well as other surprises.




The Dubrovnik Winter Festival is an event which reveals a new aspect of the City of Dubrovnik, featuring magical lighting highlighting its timeless beauty and uncovering the rich diversity of artistic expression through special events, entertainment programs, colourful cuisine with a touch of tradition, and ancient customs.

winter in dubrovnik croatia


The program of Dubrovnik’s winter festival – Advent in the City – begins with the lighting of the first Advent candle.The uniqueness of Dubrovnik is also visible during the month of giving. This year’s Christmas market will be set up on the most beautiful street in Dubrovnik, Stradun, where traditional craftsmen will present their handicrafts, Christmas decorations, and traditional Christmas cakes and sweets will be offered as well. Try to sing the traditional holiday songs, the Dubrovnik
kolenda (carols), which have been sung on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve since olden times, offering congratulations and wishing everyone a joyful holiday!


Dubrovnik’s many visitors will bring in New Year’s 2021 while entertained by a spectacular music programme which will already begin in the morning hours of December 31st, New Year’s Eve. The New Year’s program includes a diverse, entertaining three-day program, in which everyone will find something interesting. The New Year will begin with the traditional New Year’s Day 10 km race, and a special treat will be a concert of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, paired with oysters and champagne, beginning on New Year’s Day at noon.

Subway, the largest restaurant chain in the world, is opening its second restaurant in Zagreb, directly in the city centre, below the most famous skyscraper in the city - Ilic Skyscraper on Ban Jelacic Square.

With the new restaurant, Subway is bringing to Croatia the premiere design of Fresh Forward Restaurant Design, which will provide guests with new choices - from how to order and grab food, to full enjoyment of the meal. The first priority continues to be fresh ingredients and sandwiches that guests can prepare to their liking. With its proven business model, the Subway franchise is an excellent business opportunity for franchisee entrepreneurs as well.


"With the new restaurant design, we wanted to encourage guests to spend more time in the restaurant. The restaurant is fresh, which goes hand in hand with our products - freshly prepared sandwiches, salads and wrap. We wanted to make the design emphasize the restaurant offering. We are proud that our new restaurant and all our products fit perfectly with the preferences of our guests,” commented Vladimir Hanula, Subway's franchise partner in Croatia.


“Our first Fresh Forward restaurant is an example of how we want to develop further in the Croatian market and all new restaurants will be open in this design. We still see great potential in Zagreb, as well as in other Croatian cities - Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Šibenik, Zadar, as well as on highways,” said Martin Prince, the Country Director for Central and Eastern Europe.

Subway's business results are also significant. On an annual basis, Subway is constantly growing in Croatia - annual sales growth in Croatia is 6% and annual profits for franchisees are 9%. In 2019, Subway recorded significant growth in Croatia - sales grew 13% in the last quarter and 20% last month.

Subway in Zagreb already has one restaurant in the Arena Center.

Once again this winter, as a festival town, Dubrovnik will be transformed into a magical place adorned and illuminated by thousands of lights, a city filled with holiday spirit and ambience, as well as song and joy.

Dubrovnik is well connected during the winter months

The travel connections between Dubrovnik and the rest of the world have never been better than this winter when Dubrovnik will be connected with seven different international destinations: Frankfurt, London, Istanbul, Warsaw, Rome, Barcelona, Athens and a domestic destination - Zagreb.

Winter saturday mornings in the city

In order to encourage tourist visits during the winter, for the sixth year in a row the Dubrovnik Tourist Board is organising ˝Winter Saturday Mornings in the City˝ for tourists who are staying in Dubrovnik. Every Saturday, beginning on the 9th of November 2019 until the 28th of March 2020, a free tour of the Old City with an English speaking guide will be organised for the guests of the city beginning at 10 am in front of the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) Pile, located at Brsalje 5. It is necessary to register for this free tour the day before (on Friday) by 6 pm at the TIC Pile (tel: +38520312011; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The offer is meant for individual visitors and does not apply to groups. Following the tour of the city with a professional guide, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board is also sponsoring a free performance for all visitors by the folklore ensemble FA Linđo beginning at 11:30 am in front of the Church of the St. Blaise (in case of rain the performance will not be held). This free program will be a great addition to the various entertainment programs offered during the winter months.


The program of Dubrovnik Winter Festival

The City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the Dubrovnik Summer Festival have prepared a colourful cultural, entertainment, gastronomic and musical program for all ages and all visitors.

The sixth edition of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival will begin on the 30th of November 2019 with the lighting of the first Advent Candle and will take place until the 1st of January 2020.

The official opening of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival will start on the 30th of November with the performance of popular female pop group The Frajle in front of the Church of the St. Blaise. Holiday cottages featuring various food and beverages will also be placed on Dubrovnik streets and squares.

On Saturday, December 14th, in the morning, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board is organising the 12th annual Cake Party as part of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival. All proceeds will go to charity. All the cakes will be exhibited and sold by Roland’s Column on Luža Square and the youngsters, their parents and visitors will be entertained by musical pop star Domenica.

On the same evening, the 14th of December, famous Croatian singer Gibonni will entertain the audience in front of the St. Blaise church.

A ˝Christmas Fairy Tale˝, organized by Dubrovnik Tourist Board, will be held on the 21st of December, when youngsters will have the opportunity to enjoy a festive entertainment programme with a live children’s play, as well as gifts given by the Santa Claus.

A Christmas concert will be held in the Hotel Lacroma on the 21st December. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra with Dubrovnik choirs, soloists and traditional “klapa” singing groups, as well as the soprano singer Valentina Fijačko and famous singer Vanna will perform the program featuring traditional Christmas songs and chants. The conducter of the program will be Veton Marevci.

The codfish days

As part of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival and in collaboration with Dubrovnik restaurants, once again this year the Dubrovnik Tourist Board is organising the ˝Codfish Days˝. One of the traditional delicacies that can be found on the majority of Dubrovnik's dining tables on the Christmas Eve is definitely codfish that has been prepared in several ways. A week before Christmas in several Dubrovnik restaurants, you will be able to delight your taste buds and to try codfish prepared by traditional recipes, codfish in bianco or in red sauce, or in slightly different ways, such as thick, creamy codfish soup, fried codfish balls or codfish soufflé.




The Christmas and New Year’s program

On the 24th December at noon, the traditional Kolenda, Christmas carols, of the folklore ensemble Linđo, the Libertas choir and Dubrovnik Brass Band will be held in front of the St Blaise church. On that Christmas Eve morning you can feel the real traditional Christmas spirit of Dubrovnik.

In the morning hours of the 31st of December the traditional Kolenda by the “klapa”, vocal group will take place on Stradun and the traditional Children’s New Year's Eve will be at noon held by a popular singer Mia Dimšić, while a spectacular New Year’s Eve party on Stradun will be opened by Ante Gelo and the band, followed by the famous Croatian pop-rock group Parni Valjak. This year's rich New Year's Eve program will bid farewell to the old year in a true New Year's mood with famous stars whose concerts you will be able to enjoy on the most beautiful stage of Stradun.

On the first day of the New Year enjoy the abundance of oysters and sparkling wine with the sounds of the most famous opera arias and waltzs of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra at noon on Stradun, organized by Dubrovnik Tourist Board!

Choose the best of what the city offers: tradition, culture, gastronomy and entertainment, and encounter the unforgettable experience of a magical winter in Dubrovnik.

Source – The Dubrovnik Tourist Board

Croatia ranked 45th of 167 countries in the Legatum Prosperity Index ranking for 2019, which is conducted by the Legatum private investment firm from London.

According to Legatum, which claims to be dedicated to eliminating poverty and achieving prosperity by strengthening open economies, the inclusivity of society and empowering people, conducts the ranking in 167 countries, with 88% of the world's population living in 148 of these countries.

Croatia generally recorded good results in the areas of Safety, Security and Natural Environment (31st), while its weakest point, where it ranked 136th, was Social Capital.

The Social Capital sub-index includes the percentage of citizens who volunteer, give to charity, help strangers, and who feel they can rely on family and friends.

Croatia has fallen by 4 places since 2009 on the prosperity index, Legatum noted in its report.

Estonia was best among Eastern European countries, ranking 21st. Slovenia ranked 27th, followed by Hungary (46), Romania (47) and Bulgaria (49).

Montenegro ranked 50th, followed by Serbia (52), North Macedonia (54), Albania (65) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (70).

Creating a business in the UAE is not an entirely new story. A lot of people already know that the UAE is the union, consisting of seven emirates; the most popular ones are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, and Dubai.

Creating a business in the UAE is not an entirely new story. A lot of people already know that the UAE is the union, consisting of seven emirates; the most popular ones are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, and Dubai. Every emirate has its own policy, laws, and regulations. There are also free economic and free trade zones. You’ve definitely heard about forming new companies in Dubai as it has around 20 free trade zones, divided by types of activities, e.g. IT companies, trading companies, law companies, etc.

Why a Free Zone?

Setting up a company in the UAE has a lot of advantages, but establishing a business in a free trade zone is believed to be the most beneficial option. For example, an Ajman free zone license will give you:

- a residence visa for you to live legally in the country (usually up to 3 years and then you need to renew it);

- a tax certificate, which also offers a tax exemption opportunity for countries of residence with double taxation systems;

- access to amazing infrastructure to use in operations of the company and to operate within the country;
no annual audits whatsoever, etc.

dubai river business

A Much-Needed Piece of Advice

However, to make the most of the situation, you still need to learn and handle some important details. For instance, there are three types of licenses you can get, depending on the main activity of your company – industrial, commercial and service licenses. Also, there are different conditions for foreign investors in some of the emirates, especially on the mainland, you need to study for creating a successful business.

That’s why it’s usually advised to search help in local consulting companies that can assist you in setting up a trading or a professional company in just one day. They supervise all steps of the process, starting from choosing the right location and getting a license.

Desa Vlahutin, a Dubrovnik citizen with a London address, opened an exhibition on Monday night at one of London's most prestigious collection houses - Bonhams.

In the exhibition for a select audience, featuring Bonhams' permanent clientele, Desa Vlahutin presented seven white sculptures in wood inspired by the Fibonacci series. Her idea was to combine visual art, mathematics and music in a series based on a minimalist, geometric abstraction entitled “Fibonacci Fragments”, and was called “Interactive world of Science and Art.”

Dr. Sc. Jan Rosenzweig gave a short presentation on the life of the famous Italian mathematician Leonard of Pisa called Fibonacci, and the duo "Fibonacci Chamber Ensemble" played Bach and Poulenc's compositions.


- It is interesting to me to think that the Fibonacci sequence can be found almost everywhere: in nature, music, mathematics, art, our body. And it attracts us precisely with its harmony and harmonious relationships. In London, I met enthusiasts who share my fascination with Fibonacci so the desire has easily become a reality. The series consists of seven sculptures in wood, each based on the Fibonacci sequence that is apparent in the relationships of the surfaces on the sculpture. When the form is "cleared" of details, that relationship is more pronounced,” commented the artist, who announced another London exhibition for spring.

bonhams london desa vlahutin

The Voice of Dubrovnik


Find us on Facebook