Tuesday, 23 January 2018
The Dubrovnik Times

The Dubrovnik Times


Zagreb is among the most expensive cities in the world when it comes to the cost of living, according to an estimate published by Numbeo.

Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user-contributed data about cities and countries worldwide. It provides current and timely information on world living conditions including cost of living, housing indicators, health care, traffic, crime and pollution.

And their latest data shows that the cost of living for a four-member family in Zagreb amounts to staggering 14,585.10 Kunas a month without rent, whilst for a single person it is 4,292.99 Kunas without rent.

Zagreb’s cost of living index is 56,77 percent and is 43,23 percent lower than in New York, which is the most expensive city in the world.

Among 525 world cities, according to Numbeo, the Croatian capital ranks as the 317th on the list of the most expensive cities on the planet.



The border crossings of northern Croatia are extremely busy as thousands of Croatians make their way to the ski slopes of Europe.

Skiing package vacations are almost sold out in all the major travel agencies in Croatia with Austria and Italy the two most popular winter destinations followed by France. Whilst for shorter weekend breaks Slovenia and Herzegovina are also popular.

Estimates suggest that up to 200,000 Croatians will hit the slopes this winter with family holidays the most sought after.

Atlas Travel Agency have reported that demanded is up by 10 percent on last year and that they have sold all their winter ski packages for this year. Whilst the Kompas Agency has reported a huge 20 percent increase in demand over last winter. With the snow in Europe clean and fresh and temperatures just perfect for skiing the ski season could well last into early Spring.



Advent in Zagreb has grown incredibly over the past few years, with more and more guests, more attractions and for the third year in a row an award as the leading Christmas market in Europe. And this year looks like being just as successful as ever.

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 Busy Christmas market in the Croatian capital - Photo - Zagreb Tourist Board 

Figures released by the Zagreb Tourist Board show that from the 1st of December to the 31st of December 2017 a massive 110,707 tourists visited the Croatian capital achieving almost 200,000 overnight stays. The most numerous tourists, in terms of nationality, were from neighbouring Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Slovenia and Germany.

The simple fact that Austrians, with their varied and traditional Christmas markets, have chosen Zagreb as a destination for the festive season shows the attraction of the Advent in Zagreb. “We are from Graz and we heard about the large ice-skating rink and the hundreds of festive stands and atmosphere,” explained a group of young Austrian tourists to The Dubrovnik Times in the Croatian capital.

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A sea of festibe lights - Photo - Zagreb Tourist Board  

But it wasn’t only neighbouring countries that decided to drop into Zagreb for advent, thanks to an opening of flights from more distant destinations there were also tourist from the United States, Canada, Australia and South Korea. Speaking to the Croatian newspaper Vecernji the Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Martina Bienenfeld, commented that she expects revenue from the advent season to exceed 500 million Kuna. The festivities in the capital come to an end this weekend with the conclusion on Sunday the 7th of January.



All good things come to an end – Dubrovnik Winter Festival will end on Saturday, January 6th with the concert by the Dubrovnik band ‘The Bourbons’ at Gundulic Square.

Otherwise, the Dubrovnik Winter Festival leadership points out that the current festival included some new locations, bringing all of them the spirit of Advent and the holidays.

The Teddy Bear park, placed at Park Pile, was there for the youngest. The programs were coordinated by Dijana Sinanovic and Zrinka Japuncic on behalf of the Lazareti dance studio and the Le Petit Festival du Theater. The winter atmosphere was also felt at the Bay of Lapad, which was the site of numerous large and small programs in the coordination of the Administrative Department for Education, Sport, Social Welfare and Civil Society. The Advent Train and Ice Skating Rink have additionally complemented the winter offer and the humanitarian concert Rokcek - Tribute to Alan bands will also be remembered for a long time as the memorial to the Dubrovnik musician Alan Lasic, that passed away this year.

The Sunday Advent Afternoons in Mokosica was particularly vivid and cheerful, and the vocal groups concerts, especially when singing traditional Kolenda, delighted the locals and their guests every weekend all around the City. The programs included Dubrovnik musicians: Valetudo, Dubrovnik Accoustic Session, Maja Grgic, Igor Vlahusic and Zeljko Barav, and DJs - Petra, Lane, Djivo and Maha.

One of the highlights of this year's Winter Festival was certainly the Dubrovnik Christmas Concert.



The lack of quality workers in the tourism and hospitality industry in Croatia is a problem that has been tormenting Croatian employers for years.

The quest for seasonal workers has already begun this January because neither the increased quotas for employing foreigners nor the currently 187,000 unemployed Croatian citizens are a guarantee that there will be enough workers for the upcoming tourist season.

The prolongation of the tourist season and changes on the Croatian labour market only make the problem even bigger than it already is.

In order to facilitate the finding of a quality labour force, the Croatian Government has decided that accommodation and food costs for seasonal workers will be tax deductible this year, thus, leaving employers more money for workers’ salaries.
Furthermore, considering the situation in the country as a result of a massive migration wave of Croatians to other EU countries in search of a better life, the Ministry of Labour suggested increasing the number of working permits for foreigners to almost 30,000.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce has seen this move as a short-time measure that will enable the realization of the upcoming tourist season; however, a long-term solution should be sought in the dual vocational education.
The Ministry of Tourism sees the solution in the activation of domestic labour force on the domestic labour market, primarily through re-qualifications.

Currently, around 2,000 people are being included in the re-qualification for tourist professions. According to some estimates, the summer season 2018 will require additional 10,000 to 15,000 tourist workers.



As the skiing season has already started, school holidays are in progress, the holiday of Holy Three Kings is tomorrow, a large number of tourists will return to Western European countries, while Croatian citizens will go to the Italian, Austrian, Slovenian and French ski resorts. Therefore, since today (January 5th) and during the whole weekend increased traffic is expected on Croatian roads and border crossings – it’s reported from the Ministry of the Interior (MUP). Because of this, a sufficient number of police officers will be engaged in border control to ensure the maximum flow of passengers at the most loaded border crossings.

In case of bigger crowds at certain border crossings, police will redirect traffic to less loaded border crossings. During the redirection of traffic, the police will take preventive measures to maintain a favorable state of public order as well as traffic safety.

In order for the citizens of the Republic of Croatia and other EU countries, as well as the Swiss Confederation to avoid long-term waiting, the MUP suggest using smaller border crossings in the vicinity. On the flow of traffic at border crossings and alternative border crossings, as well as road conditions, citizens can be informed on HAK web site.

-We appeal to citizens to stick to traffic regulations, and especially not to sit in their cars under the influence of alcohol, to respect the speed limitations, to wear safety belts, to take care of safe placement of children in the vehicle and not to use the mobile phones while driving. It’s necessary to adjust the speed of the vehicle to conditions and to comply with the instructions of the police officers on the ground – MUP writes.

Croatian real estate is on the radar for the Dubai based property giant DAMAC International.

"Croatia has a lot to offer, picturesque places for residential communities as well as an attractive tourist destination, which is a huge potential for accommodation projects," commented the Senior Vice President of International Business at DAMAC, Wael Al Lawati. He added that he sees the potential of real estate locations in Istria, Dalmatia and Dubrovnik.

The reason for DAMAC’s sudden interest in Croatia relies on a recent visit by the President of DAMAC, Hussain Sajwanja, to the country and a business meeting with the President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar – Kitarović. The pair met in July last year and apparently discussed some possible future co-operation in the real estate sector. It would appear that these meetings have proved constructive.

"DAMAC has the capital and resources to realize large-scale projects with the right local partners and in cooperation with the government, and we could soon announce a big project in Croatia," said Al Lawati.

Could that project be a golf course or hotel resort? In Dubai the company has built a number of residential complexes as well as golf course resorts. In fact, the Trump International Golf Club Dubai, which was opened by Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump in February last year, is one of the jewels in their property empire.



Most popular and most awarded Croatian photographers have released an excellent new time-lapse video showing all the charms of Croatia’s natural heritage.

After the impressive time-lapse videos of Hvar, Baranja, Motovun, Šibenik, the National Park Krka and others, Mario Romulić and Dražen Stojčić from Osijek have shown their crazy skills again with this masterpiece video with stunning scenes of Croatia’s nature.

‘’Timeless Beauty’’ is the first video which Romulić & Stojčić studio made for the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, but it isn’t the last as they are planning to film another one dedicated to Croatia’s historical and cultural heritage.

Finally, the Ministry of Tourism is waking up to the idea that promotion needs a slice of creativity. Croatia already has plenty to offer on all fronts, it just needs promoting with a modern touch.

Check out the glorious time-lapse video






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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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