Thursday, 26 April 2018
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.


It isn’t too late to enter this year’s Dubrovnik Half Marathon but you’ll have to be quick out of the blocks. Due to the runners’ interest, applications for the Dubrovnik Half Marathon have been extended, but with limited number of registrations available. 

The fourth edition of the sports and recreation event Du Motion - Runners' Days Dubrovnik will be held on the 28th and 29th of April.

The two-day event once again offers a program that features the popular Dubrovnik Half Marathon, the challenging City Walls Race, a 5K Charity Race and a Children's Race, alongside the Du Motion Expo and other accompanying events.

The past three years of the Du Motion event have attracted runners from over 50 countries and this most international Croatian running event is set to reaffirm its status if the numerous queries to date from abroad serve as any indication. Dubrovnik attracts many running and racing enthusiasts with its excellent atmosphere, interesting panoramic routes that pass through the Old City and along the Dubrovnik coast, as well as a variety of racing packages that guarantee a great time and getting to know all of the beautiful parts of the city.

The organisers confirmed today to The Dubrovnik Times that registration is still open and they have a few packages left. The late registration half marathon package includes a race bib, medal, Dubrovnik City Walls entrance, Dubrovnik museums entrance, Lokrum island excursion, free public transport, partner discounts, Du Motion info magazine and refreshments.

Follow this link for more details and register today.

Zagreb will have additional flights from Dubai this winter as the airline Emirates have announced an increase in their weekly operations. Emirates will introduce an additional two flights every week from Dubai to Zagreb in their winter schedule.

Flights were launched last June and have proved popular, with daily flights through the summer months and five flights a week through the winter. With the added two weekly flights in the winter the airline will now have the same number of flights between Croatia and the United Arab Emirates all year round.

"Emirates is pleased with the reception our product has had in the Croatian market. Passengers out of Croatia are travelling to Dubai, but also to the Far East, Australia and the Indian subcontinent and coming into Zagreb from Dubai and other destinations from Emirates' global network," commented the airline in an official statement.

According to reports on the specialised website ex-yu aviation the additional two weekly winter flights could bring another 15,000 passengers to Zagreb.

Advertising is all around us: at sport events, abandoned buildings, vehicles, toilets in restaurants, motorways, as well as television. Is there really a situation we could call – “too much advertising”? We will find that out from top professionals, panel speakers at NEM 2018 in Dubrovnik, that will discuss earnings, audience, content and new advertising tools.

We all like to see an interesting ad, hear a catchy jingle, or repeat that sentence from the ad we like. But on the other hand, we’ve all also found ourselves in a situation where we say: “If I see this ad one more time, I swear...” How to make money from advertising without losing the favour of the audience, and at the same time keep the level of advertising non-irritating – that is a challenge for experts.

Advertising should engage the buyer – it should not only persuade him to buy the product, but also induce an emotional reaction in him. Traditional advertising is still very much present and relevant (especially in our region), but there is an increasing need for content not focused solely on selling, which leads to the following question Is native advertising better and more profitable than classic advertising?

nem after party 2018

Answers to these interesting questions will be given by the speakers at the panel “Advertising – when is it too much?”, moderated by Kaltrina Bylykbashi, editor at Television Business International. Other speakers include Alida Žorž Miketek, Managing Director of AGB Nielsen Audience Measurement Croatia, Dirk Gerkens, CEO of TV2 Media Group, and Srđan Šaper, founder of I&F McCann Group, who pointed out the following:

“Times are challenging for all of us – advertisers, brands and agencies – because we need to find a way to reach consumers with a message that will be relevant to them. Today, when consumers are swarmed with hundreds of different messages, it is often hard for them to identify the right one. The best way of attracting consumers and audience to a particular brand is to make personalized ads useful, entertaining and, most importantly, smart. We know that the attention of today's consumers, on average, lasts only 6-8 seconds. The message, therefore, needs to be clear, honest, targeted... because only those messages that stay with the consumer make the difference. Essentially, this sea of content will lead to a search for great ideas that have a lasting impact. Creativity will definitely profit from this”, said Šaper.

World without marketing?

Guy Bisson, Research Director at Ampere Analysis, who has specialized in the global TV industry and has more than 20 years' experience as a leading industry analyst, touched upon the providers of SVOD services with no advertising:

“The risk has never been greater for the emergence of a viewer base with no tolerance for advertising. This is particularly so among the youngest demographic whose experience of viewing often centres on an SVOD service. The average SVOD home is already watching around two hours of streamed content a day, adding the additional threat of substitution for commercial broadcasters. Re-engaging this audience will become a key battleground for ad-supported players in the next decade.”

A key networking event

This year's NEM, which will be held from June 11-14, is an ideal opportunity for your new business story. Get inspired by panels, world-renowned speakers from the media industry, screenings and the company of people with similar interests.

“We know from speaking to our clients that NEM has become a key show for operators in the region, offering unrivalled networking opportunities by bringing content owners and Infrastructure players together... all in a breath-taking setting”, concluded Bisson.

To combine business with pleasure, secure your badge and book you accommodation at the official NEM website

The colourful parrots that were a photo attraction in Dubrovnik for the past few years will no longer be in the centre of the Old City. The Dubrovnik city authorities have refused to give a licence for the parrots to be located on the main street, Stradun, for this season and have relocated them to the park in Pile.

Many have argued that these parrots have absolutely nothing to do with Dubrovnik’s tradition and culture and should be banned from the city altogether, but it would appear that the city has found a compromise and moved them away from the hustle and bustle of the main street to the relative peace of the park.

Even though thousands of tourists decide to have their photo taken with these birds every summer season there have also been questions raised as to the authenticity of this particular tourist offer, and more importantly the question of cruelty to animals.

This is Dubrovnik as you have never seen it before, well as nobody has ever seen it before. These animated images are part of a popular game for smartphones called “The Royal Romance.”

The game is a choices style in which the choices the player makes affects the final outcome. And Dubrovnik, or a slightly altered version of Dubrovnik, acts as the kingdom of Cordonia. It is a love story game in which gamers follow the romance and alter the final ending. Several fans on social media have stated that the book is very similar to the reality TV show, "The Bachelor".

The altered images of Dubrovnik certainly caught our attention and if Game of Thrones can add computer enhanced graphics why can’t a gaming company “play” with the original look of the city.

choices dubrovnik 1



At 47 metres the luxury yacht Africa is one of the largest ever private yachts to dock in the Bay of Župa. Africa, which can accommodate up to 12 guests, was launched in 2010 and has recently been purchased in a deal believed to be worth 16.7 million Euros.

Built in the Italian shipyard Benetti and designed by Stefano Natucci the yacht certainly dominates the shoreline in Srebreno. With a crew of nine, six guest cabins including a VIP cabin the yacht is the lap of luxury.

Although it hasn’t been publically announced it is believed that the owner of the mega yacht will be involved in the congress Reboot Dubrovnik 2018, which will be held in the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera from the 19th to the 21st of April.

africa 1 yacht croatia

mega yacht zupa

yacht zupa 2018 1

yacht dubrovnik zupa 2018 99


brovnik is a university city. International students from all over the world flock to the city and the Libertas International University in the heart of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik is certainly a popular destination. We caught up with Florian Schacht, a student from Hamburg, Germany, who is currently studying a semester at Libertas to discover his experiences. Schacht has studied all over the world, from New York to Amsterdam, and is currently in the fourth year at a university in Hamburg. “All of my university studies have been in English, even in Hamburg, so having the chance to study in English in Dubrovnik was just too attractive of a chance to miss,” adds Schacht.

Why did you decide to study a semester at Libertas University in Dubrovnik?

I have a little background in Dubrovnik. I did an internship as a radio presenter in Dubrovnik and I was not only a get experience but also opened my eyes to the beauty of the city. Also my brother is currently studying in Libertas, in fact he has been here since he was 17 years-old. As I have studied all over the world it seemed like an opportunity to spend some time with him. He also filled me in on the work at the university and made it look even more interesting. Libertas also gave me the opportunity to study and explore international relations and international organisations, even though I have to take course that are more business orientated because of my major in Hamburg. So I am studying international organisations, international business, methods of social research and negotiating and contract resolution at Libertas.

florian 5

It must be a unique feeling to actually study in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. What’s it like being a student in a such a historic city?

Every morning when I enter into the university I am actually entering into a medieval monastery, that is certainly a unique feeling. I have been told by one professor that the rooms in which we study we originally used by monks for reading and storing books, it was one of the oldest pubic libraries in Europe, so I think that the classrooms are a great place for education. After class you can go to the beach, between classes you can have a coffee on the Stradun and basically after every day we all go for a drink in a bar in the Old City.

You have relatively small classes at the university, does that help with communication with professors?

I have had the opportunity to take classes with all the generations, from the first year to the third year, and in every class there have been around 15 students, so even smaller classes than the private university in Hamburg. Of course all of the classes are in English and the students are an international mix.

florian 2

You have studied in various cities, from New York to Amsterdam, so how would you compare student life in Dubrovnik to all of these other world destinations?

Yes, Dubrovnik is of course much smaller than all of these other cities I have studied in. However, it is a great place because it is quieter and even though there are less things to do it’s great because you can experience a different kind of culture. It just seems calmer and more relaxed. Here you take your time for coffee and to actually communicate with people, so for me it is a great escape from these faster paced cities.

It is challenging to study in such a well-known tourist destination? And what other problems have you had studying here?

Of course Dubrovnik changes through the seasons. In the spring it is easy to get around and find accommodation, but as the summer approaches the city gets busy and the housing for students can be challenging. I know that from talking to the American students who are studying in Libertas that their accommodation is included in the package. There is of course some paperwork that needs to be sorted out but the university can help students with that. As far as actually studying here I have all the tools I need, and not only all the information but also the time to put them to use. I have found that the professors not only have a background in education but also in work or life experience. This makes their educational package more interesting and more open-minded. In fact, I would say that I have a close relationship with my professors, having small classes helps but also the professors are always open to help.

You are a foreign student in a country where you don’t speak the language. Of course Libertas International University teaches exclusively in English but how have you coped with other aspects of life outside of the classroom?

Look Dubrovnik is an international city. I am quite used to living in a country where neither English or German is a first language, for example in Amsterdam. As Dubrovnik is a tourist destination pretty much everyone speaks English to a relatively high level. Living in Dubrovnik, especially, without actually having any knowledge of Croatian would not be too much of a problem.

florian 4

Would you recommend the Libertas International University to other foreign students who are thinking of studying abroad?

Yes. Their professors have great experience, all with a great background and great knowledge. What gives them added value is that they have worked outside of education, they have an interesting background.

What memories will you take with you after the experience of studying and living in Dubrovnik?

I think I have learned to take my time, to sit down for a moment and take the time for myself and to also make time for friends and family, rather than just to focus on a career. Dubrovnik has taught me that finding a balance between work and private life is essential.


Text and Photos - Mark Thomas



The contract to construct the new Peljesac Bridge will be signed on Monday. Speaking to Croatia Radio Television, the Minster for Sea, Traffic and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, commented that the contract for the construction of the bridge will be signed with the Chinese company on Monday.

The Chinese company, Chinese Road and Bridge Corporation, won the public tender to construct the new bridge, however this result has been challenged by the other companies in the tender. The Austrian construction company, Strabag AG, have filled a complaint against a bid and this court process could slow down the whole process by up to two years.

The Peljesac bridge is the largest planned infrastructure project in Croatia, intended to link the southernmost part of the country with the rest of its road network by circumventing a short strip of Bosnia and Herzegovina's coastal territory around the town of Neum, avoiding customs controls and improving the flow of road traffic during the summer tourist season.

The entire project is worth €420 million without VAT, with the EU funding 85 percent of the total cost, or €357 million. The government's tender to build the main part of the project, including the bridge itself and access roads, received three bids, and the winning bid, announced in January 2018 by the state-owned road management company Hrvatske Ceste, was by the CRBC, worth 2.08 billion kuna (€280.7 million).

"We confirm that we have filed a complaint against the decision in the tender for the Peljesac Bridge project today at the Administrative Court in Zagreb. We also filed a motion for a temporary court ban on the construction works to start. We also turned to the European Commission," Strabag said.

When asked whether the Strabag court case would delay the start of construction of the Peljesac Bridge the Minster replied “Despite Strabag's lawsuit, the procedure is legitimate for us. What kind of citizen of this country would I be if I advocated stopping the construction of the Peljesac Bridge?”




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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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