Monday, 06 April 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.


Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt was spotted this week on the Croatian coastline seemingly soaking up the sunshine and sightseeing. However it has emerged that the star of Mr & Mrs Smith had more concrete reasons for his flying visit to Dalmatian seaside.

He may have just celebrated his second wedding anniversary to Angelina Jolie but Pitt travelled alone to Sibenik where he met with business partners to discuss a possible 1.5 billion Euro real estate project.

According to reports from RTL Pitt met with architect Nikola Bašić and investors to see the site of a new development which would include luxury villas, a golf course, shops and a hotel.

It was truly a flying visit as the Hollywood star spent only one night in Croatia, in the D-Resort, before jumping on a private plane and heading back to France to be with his family.

The Zagreb Stock Exchange has finally recorded some positive trends. On Thursday, the 1st of September the Crobex index increased by 0.32 percent to 1,824 points and reached the highest level since the 7th of November 2014 when it was at 1,831 points.

At the same time, the Crobex10 strengthened for 0.64 percent to 1,063 points which is the highest level since the 13th of October 2014 when it finished at 1,066 points.

The regular share turnover was 13.6 million Kunas, which is roughly 5.8 million Kunas more than on Wednesday, the 31st of August.

''Yesterday the stock market achieved 13.63 million Kunas of the regular share turnover, which has been rarely seen in recent years. Both indices ended the day in positive figures, whilst the Crobex index kept the whole week above the psychologically important level of 1,800 points'', said Ante Obucina, a broker from Podravska banka.

On the weekly level the indices have moved back into positive territory for the fourth week in a row, with the Crobex in the green by 0.87 percent and the Crobex10 by 1.28 percent.
The most liquid were shares from Hrvatski Telekom, which accounted for 4.25 million Kunas of turnover. Its price increased by 4.59 percent to 153.75 Kuna.

According to data from the Croatian Tourist Board based on data from the eVisitor and eCrew systems, in the first eight months of 2016 around 13 million tourists visited Croatia and realized 75.1 million overnight stays.

In the period of the 1st of January till the 28th of August 2016 the most overnight stays were realized in the Istria County (20.7 million), followed by the Primorje-Gorje County (14.4 million), the Split-Dalmatia County (14 million), the Zadar County (9.7 million), whilst the Dubrovnik-Neretva County achieved almost 6 million overnights. This season the Sibenik-Knin County realized 5.3 million overnight stays.

As usual in previous years the most numerous guests with the highest number of realized overnights were Germans (14.2 million), followed by Slovenians (8.4 million), Austrians (5.7 million), Italians (4.7 million), whilst tourists from Poland realized 4.5 million overnight stays.

''This season has shown how important is the cooperation between the public and private sector and that in a short period of time it is possible to achieve really great results, especially during summer, which totally surpassed all previous records. This is something everybody in the tourism sector should be proud of'', said Anton Kliman, the Croatian Minister of Tourism.

He also emphasizes that according to announcements from the tourism industry, it is expected that upcoming off season will exceed last year's 80 million overnight stays and make this tourist season the best one in the independent Croatia.

The first interventions in the so called “bikini law” were taken this week with security guards warning tourists on the new dress code regulations now in force inside the Old City of Dubrovnik. Instead of fining these first offenders the guards decided to warn them to cover up rather than fine them.

To remind you of the new regulations, if you are now caught “wearing swimwear or inappropriately uncovered” on the public streets of the city you will have to pay a fine of 1,000 Kunas, or around 134 Euros. This so called “bikini ban” will mean all visitors to the city centre will have to cover up or pay up. Bare-chested men and bikini clad women are a thing of the past as a total of fifteen security guards will patrol the streets looking for flesh-baring law breakers.

The new set of regulations also includes a ban on riding bikes, throwing cigarette butts, walking dogs without a leash and the use of sound amplifiers for music and entertainment programs. The 1,000 Kuna fine will be reduced to 500 Kuna if paid on the spot.

bikini cover up 2

It is a weekend of vocal groups, or Klapa, in Cavtat with a festival of these harmonious melodies this weekend. This is the 17th year in a row that this festival has been held and this year will see ten vocal groups from all over Croatia perform.

Organised by the Konavle Tourist Board and the Klapa Ragusavecchia the festival opens on the 3rd of September at 8.30pm on the terrace of the Villa Banac in Cavtat. The opening night is a bumper one with nine different vocal groups performing. And then on Sunday the 4th of September the vocal group “Iskon” will perform. Entrance to both evenings is free of charge.

Klapa music is a form of traditional a cappella singing in Dalmatia, Croatia. The word Klapa translates as "a group of friends" and traces its roots to littoral church singing. In 2012 Klapa was inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

As in previous years, this year the Tourist Board of the city of Zagreb will also offer its citizens free sightseeing tours of the city.

Starting from the 3rd of September till the 5th of November all interested parties will have the opportunity to learn more about the Croatian capital and their native city. Departures of the city tour are planned for Saturdays at 5 pm in front of the Tourist Information Centre at the Ban Jelacic Square.

Educational sightseeing of the city with a tourist guide will last for two hours, whilst groups will be accompanied by a mascot Licitarko. Each participant of the city tour will receive ''licitarsko srce'' or the ''licitar heart'' as a gift. This colourfully decorated biscuit is a traditional symbol of Zagreb made of sweet honey dough in various shapes.

In 2010, UNESCO added the Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia to the "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage" for Croatian culture.

The city tour will include visits to the Ban Jelacic Square, the Cathedral, the Dolac market, the Tkalciceva street, the Radiceva street as well as Gornji Grad (the Upper town) , where costumed characters from the Zagreb Time Machine can be seen.

Brad Pitt is in Croatia! One of the most famous actors in the world has been spotted in Sibenik, writes There is a photo proof too, where it is possible to see the actor casually walking around Sibenik, looking just like another tourist.

Pitt, still the dream of many ladies, is just one of the celebrities that has chosen Croatia for a vacation this year. It seems like his wife, Angelina Jolie and their five kids haven't come with him, but who knows, maybe they'll join him later on.

It's still not known where Pitt is staying or how long he'll be Croatia, but the news made Croatian fans really excited. brings a story of a fan who called her husband to tell him that Pitt is Sibenik and he was searching for him to get an autograph. Apparently, he saw the actor getting on a yacht, so who knows, maybe he's coming to Dubrovnik next!

The Croatian art gallery PMS (Prostor manufakturne slobode) has entered the final selection of exhibitors for the 44th Design Festa Festival which is to be held in Japan this November.

Design Festa is the biggest international art event in Asia dedicated to art, performance, fashion, music and even international gastronomic scene, which is held every other year in the fantastic Tokyo's space called Tokyo Big Sight centre. It was founded in 1994 with the main goal of connecting and representing original artists from all over the world.

The art gallery PMS from Zagreb was founded in 2011 and since then it has promoted and gathered talented creative people and artists from Croatia. Their original handmade items have enriched the tourist offer of the attractive Tkalciceva Street in Zagreb and represent an ideal Croatian souvenir.

This is a great opportunity for Croatian artists to represent Croatia among 12,000 artists who will exhibit their original handmade craft on this Far East festival.

This year the very popular water pumps of the street art collection “Pimp My Pump” will be travelling to the famous festival in Tokyo as well as Shivam jewellery, Maya art, works by Masha Novak & Marta Grbesic, brands Driftwood, Fun Attic and many more.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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