Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic ended her five-day visit to Sweden last week.

During her visit, Grabar-Kitarovic met with the Croatian Diaspora in Sweden, the Swedish King Gustaf XVI and Queen Silvia, the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lovfen, the Parliament Speaker Urban Ahlin, and the Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist. She also visited the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, the owner of the ICT company Ericsson Nikola Tesla in Croatia.

The Croatian president concluded her official visit to Sweden at Lund University, one of the largest Scandinavian research universities. During a lecture to professors and students at the university on the topic "Southeast Europe - Testing Ground to Prove Europe's and Euro-Atlantic Resoluteness and Solidarity’’, she referred to the current situation in the region of Southeast Europe.

‘’In the past decade the European Union and NATO stopped focusing on Southeast Europe because large conflicts in that part of Europe seemed to have been solved and there was less reason for concern, however, that part of Europe need more commitment from the international community’’, explained Grabar-Kitarovic.

The Croatian president also added that Southeast Europe was experiencing the heavy burden of serious security concerns that were troubling the EU and NATO.

‘’The combination of this problem with the specific political instability of this area and partially weak institutions and economies, makes it obvious that these young democracies need stronger commitment from the European Union and NATO’’, emphasized Grabar-Kitarovic.
After the lecture at the university, Grabar-Kitarovic visited the MAX IV Laboratory for synchrotron radiation, the largest of its kind in Europe. On this occasion, she said that science, research and innovation were the foundation of all development and in particular of the economy.

"Even though Croatia will not be in a position in the near future to have a laboratory like this, for a start it would be extremely good to establish cooperation in science and exchange and to start investing more in research and development’’, concluded Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

The British multinational corporation headquartered in New York and the world famous auction house Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC has signed a 25-year franchise agreement with the Croatian company Porta Stella-Luxury Real Estate Ltd and opened its office in Split.

The global network for trading in luxury properties selected the city of Split as its headquarters due to the focus of potential clients on properties located in coastal areas of Croatia.

The head of the Croatian Sotheby's branch will be Marko Pazanin, the owner of the Porta Stella Luxury Estate company.

"The fact that Sotheby's has chosen Croatia to expand its network of real estate offices is just a confirmation of our country's international reputation. Our goal is to bring to Croatia as many potential buyers as possible as well as to encourage potential investors to make investments here," explained Pazanin.

Furthermore, Philip White, the president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC commented, ’Due to the development of the luxury properties market in Croatia, we have recognized the right moment to open our first office. This beautiful Croatia’s coast and its islands offer a life by the sea in large coastal cities that fits perfectly into our vision of the development of the brand. It is my great honour and pleasure to welcome Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty in our network of agencies for luxury real estate business’’, concluded White.

It is highly likely that many luxury properties will soon find their place on the pages of Sotheby’s partner publications such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post and Bloomberg as well as in the Art & Home magazine or on Apple TV.

Sotheby’s International Realty operates worldwide with around 20,000 associates through 850 offices in 65 countries and territories.


The island of Lokrum is open for another season! The first boat left the Old City harbour yesterday at 10.00am brining the first visitors to the island for this year. The price of a return adult ticket, which also includes entrance into the nature reserve, is 120 Kuna this year, and a ticket for children from 5 to 15 years-old costs 20 Kuna.

The first boat to the island for this season was almost full and visitors took the chance to walk in the unspoilt nature and enjoying Dubrovnik's green oasis. The spring schedule, with boats leaving the Old City harbour on the hour from 10.00am to 3.00pm, will remain in force until the summer season begins. The last boat back from the island oif Lokrum is at 4.00pm.

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Photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic 

The final performance in the “Saturday Winter Morning” program was held yesterday in front of the St. Blaise Church. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board introduced this program at the begging of November 2016 in order to encourage more tourists throughout the winter period.

The special program was free of charge for visitors and included a guided tour in English of the Old City as well as a performance of traditional folklore dancing by the Lindo ensemble.

This Saturday was the final tour for this winter period as the city prepares itself for another busy summer season. According to information from The Dubrovnik Tourist Board 331 visitors participated in the program, or an average of 17 guests per Saturday.

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lindo 3

lindo 1

Photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic 

Darkness came to the historic city centre of Dubrovnik last night as the city marked Earth Hour. The iconic Dubrovnik city walls which normally glow and surround the city stood dark for an hour from 8.30pm last night.

Dubrovnik joined this global initiative is organised annually by the WWF and aims to encourage individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.

Croatia has always been a part of this action and last year the country turned the lights off in 68 cities: landmarks such as Zagreb Cathedral, Dubrovnik city walls, the Pula Colosseum and the Split Diocletian’s palace were just some of the attractions that drowned into darkness.

earth hour 1

earth hour 2

The prefect of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County, Nikola Dobroslavić, received the Senior Director for social, urban, rural and resilience global practice for the World Bank, Ede Jorge Ijjasz - Vasquez and his associates today.

They discussed projects financed by the World Bank and about their future plans, and the plans and development, and which are concerned with the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Mayor Dobroslavić thanked Vasquez for the implemented projects in the county, and pointed out that certain important projects could not be realized without their financial support.

A diesel engine train that was manufactured by the Gredelj company in Croatia a few years ago will be soon be presented in Sweden as the first such product from Croatia in this Scandinavian country.

The Croatian company Tvornica željezničkih vozila Gredelj (Rolling Stock Factory Gredelj) is one of the leading companies in the region in the field of designing and manufacturing new types of railway vehicles.

A few years ago, the company manufactured a diesel engine train for the needs of the Croatian Railways Passenger Transport. The train is leaving Croatia on the 24th of March heading to Sweden for a promotional ride on a limited route and for a series of promotional activities in cooperation with the Inlandsbanan private company from Östersund. This will be the first time that a railway vehicle from Croatia rides Swedish railways.

The first contacts and talks with representatives of the Inlandsbanan company began in September 2016 during the InnoTrans fair in Berlin, after which the representatives visited the Gredelj company's facilities in Croatia. A detailed insight into the technical capacity and a special organized ride by Gredelj's train resulted in concrete interest of the Swedish company; it was concluded that the train, with its technical and other characteristics, would fully meet the needs of the Swedish partner.

Furthermore, the promotional activities in Sweden will last a few days; they will include a promotional train ride on a limited route for a small number of invited guests as well as a presentation of the train at stations on the Inlandsbanan's route, with the possibility of sightseeing the vehicle.

The promotional ride itself will be an excellent opportunity for the Gredelj company to present the train to the representatives of Inlandsbanan as well as to other private operators in Sweden who need to purchase a vehicle of this type. An interest from companies in the neighbouring countries of Denmark and Norway is not excluded.

These activities on the demanding Swedish market are yet another confirmation of Gredelj's quality and capacity to implement the most complex projects.

On the 20th of April the Groton - Dunstable Choir will perform a concert together with the Dubrovnik Chamber Choir in the St. Ignatius Church. The Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Chamber Choir is renowned for their choral performances throughout Massachusetts. Combined the two choirs will perform sacred and secular music.

The Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Chamber Choir has competed in national competitions held in New York and Philadelphia. In these competitions they have placed first for three consecutive years and have been honored with the title, “Best Overall Performer”, in Philadelphia’s 2010 Music Showcase Festival.

According to the growing demand on the French start-up digital platform for renting boats in Europe in 2017, Croatia placed as the second, just behind France, whilst the number of vessels in Croatia tripled since the end of the last season to nearly a thousand, reported the Click&Boat headquarters in Paris.

Click&Boat or the so-called ''Uber for boats'' is one of the major internet platforms for renting boats in Europe, which arrived in Croatia last summer. It had more than 600 boats in the country in 2016 and after a few months of doing business in Croatia and 500 boat bookings, business growth in 2017 is reasonably expected.

‘‘Our thousand boats represent around 10 percent of the total number of available boats on the platform. So far, more than 10,000 people sailed the Croatian side of the Adriatic with Click&Boat, and we expect this number will tenfold in the next two years'', said Dubravka Puljak, the Click&Boat manager for Croatia.

Puljak also points out that such expectations are based on the growing popularity of Croatia as a destination for renting boats, as well as on the increasing number of vessels for renting in Croatia, adding ‘‘That is why Croatia is the second most requested destination on the platform, after France''.

Furthermore, the Click&Boat manager for Croatia also reveals that the most popular type of vessel/boat for rent in Croatia are sailing boats, and not only during the high summer season, but practically throughout the whole year. In addition, the most numerous renters in Croatia on the Click&Boat platform are coming from Germany, France and the UK.
Puljak also emphasizes that according to the latest data for the first two months of 2017, Click&Boat registered 2 million viewers on the platform on which every two minutes one vessel/boat is reserved.

''Every year we record a business growth, and even though we launched the platform in Croatia last year, we are very satisfied with excellent feedback from customers and boat owners, as well as with their high scores for rentals in Croatia'', concluded Puljak.

The French start-up was launched in Paris in 2013 and since then it has become one of the strongest internet platforms for private boat renting (''yacht charter''). Currently the company employs 22 people; it has 8,000 vessels of various types in 22 countries worldwide and about 80,000 members.

After 70 world cities such as London, New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Mexico City, Toronto and Los Angeles, an exclusive ''dinner in white'' is coming to the Croatian capital this spring. Tickets for this upcoming gastronomic event will no doubt be extremely sought after.

Le Diner en Blanc is a worldwide event and a popular Parisian pop-up picnic known for its strict dress code. The story began in Paris in 1988 when a Frenchman Francois Pasquier invited a group of friends to an elegant outdoor dinner at Bois de Boulogne asking them to dress in white so they could recognize each other.

This international gourmet sensation, which promotes friendship, elegance, equality, gathering, gallantry and secrecy, has grown to over 70 cities in 25 world countries attracting more than 100,000 people a year.

In 2009, Pasquier's son, Aymeric, introduced the concept in Montreal, Canada where the organization Le Diner en Blanc was launched. Two years later, the event made its New York debut, whilst Singapore was the first Asian city to host Le Dîner en Blanc in 2012. Among cities ‘’down under’’, Brisbane was the first Australian city to host the event in 2012, Canberra held Le Dîner en Blanc in 2013 and 2014, whilst Melbourne debuted the phenomenon in 2015.

sydney le dinner en blanc

Le Dinner en Blanc in Sydney 

On the other hand, among thirteen European cities that already hosted the exclusive dinner, this year the Croatian capital will have the honour to host Le Diner en Blanc for the first time.

‘’We are very proud to host the premiere edition of the most famous picnic in white in Zagreb this year, and we are very pleased that the City of Zagreb and the Tourist Board Zagreb have recognized the importance of this project. Even though the location will be kept secret until the last minute, we are sure that all participants will enjoy in magical moments sharing food and drinks with their friends and creating unforgettable memories’’, said Tihana Barisic, one of the hosts of Le Diner en Blanc in Zagreb.

This year only 800 selected lucky ones in Zagreb will have the opportunity to participate in this exclusive secret gathering, which will be held on the 20th of May.

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