Real Estate EN Volume 17

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ISSN 2812-7293

M AA GG A A Z ZI N I N E BROJ NO. 1717| |JUNE APRIL2022. 2022.

RNEE AK LR EETSNTI AN TE E, , D DI ZE AS JI N G N& &S TL I ILF EŽ S I VT OY TL AE

PORTO ŽIVOT MONTENEGRO MANJE OBIČAN PORTO MONETENGRO

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY CZECH INVESTORS IN SERBIA

THE NEXT TRENDOVI POSLOVNOG GENERATION PROSTORA U BEOGRADU OF FACILITY MANAGEMENT

INVESTICIJE U DIGITALIZATION NEKRETNINE

OF THE REAL ESTATE MARKET

GRADSKA ARHITEKTURA MILAN DESIGN WEEK’S ULTIMATE TRENDS

INDUSTRIJSKI DIZAJN NA OTVORENOM


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CONTENT

PORTO MONTENEGRO

10 A LIFE LESS ORDINARY TATJANA MATIĆ, MINISTER OF TOURISM, TRADE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

16 POTENTIAL OF SERBIAN SPA TOURISM NEMANJA BUĆINAC, RETAIL LEASING DIRECTOR, MPC

20 WE SET NEW STANDARDS IN THE RETAIL INDUSTRY

LEV WEISS, CEO, BIG CEE

48 BIG IN SERBIA VLADIMIR BAIĆ, IREP&WEST

52 THE NEXT GENERATION OF FACILITY MANAGEMENT UROŠ DJAKOVIĆ, REALPAD

56 A SOFTWARE FOR BETTER PROPERTY SALES ZLATKO TRHULJ, CEO, YUNET INTERNATIONAL

NANA KARAVELIĆ, DOM U TURSKOJ AGENCY

72 THE BENEFITS OF INVESTING IN PROPERTIES IN TURKEY CUNAMI HOUSE PREFABRICATED HOUSES

74 NEW HOME ON THE WATER CONCEPT SALONE DEL MOBILE MILAN

80 DESIGNING SUSTAINABILITY

58 DIGITAL SOLUTIONS FOR ADVANCED BUSINESS IN FOCUS

24 CRISIS ON THE CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL MARKET EXCLUSIVE: CZECH AMBASSADOR TOMÁŠ KUCHTA

28 SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS OF CZECH INVESTORS IN SERBIA

SANJA MITROVIĆ, DIRECTOR, BRIAN LACK & CO

60 THE BELGRADE MARKET IS GETTING MORE EXCLUSIVE NIKO LAKOVIĆ, MONTENEGRO SOTHEBYS REALTY

64 NEW BUYERS IN THE MONTENEGRO REAL ESTATE MARKET

MILAN URBAŠEK, MOBI BANKA

36 DIGITAL BANKING LEADERS

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92 E-VEHICLES ARE CONQUERING EUROPE 96 QUICKLY AND EASY TO THE NEAREST ELECTRIC CHARGER

38 THREE DECADES OF PRAGUE URBAN DEVELOPMENT 44 INDUSTRIAL PARKS OF THE HIGHEST STANDARD

AUTOMOBILES

DIGITAL APPLICATION CHARGE&GO

MILORAD MIŠKOVIĆ, KARLIN PORT REAL ESTATE

CTP INVEST

PHILIPPE STARCK, DESIGNER

84 THE BEAUTY OF SUBVERSIVE AESTHETICS

ART OF LIVING

TRAVEL

68 TOP FIVE UNDERWATER HOTELS

100 CHAMPAGNE VS. PROSECCO LIFESTYLE

102 SECRET ROOM OF MOULIN ROUGE


EDITORIAL

TRENDSETTERS MAGAZINE NO 17 | JUNE 2022 Real Estate magazine covers all current real estate subjects as well as modern lifestyle topics such as architecture, design, fashion, art, travel, gastronomy, and prestigious fresh new releases. The magazine was established in 2016 and is published on a bimonthly basis. DIRECTOR

Vladimir Popović

vladimir.popovic@realestate-magazine .rs

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Gordana Knežević Monašević gordana.km@realestate-magazine.rs

ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR

Jelena Randjelović

jelena.r@realestate-magazine.rs

SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER

Djordje Ivanković

djordje.i@realestate-magazine.rs

ART DIRECTOR

Ilija Petrović IndigoChild

indigochild.ilija@gmail.com

EDITORIAL OFFICE

Jovana Nikolić Petra Vasiljević Petar Dobrosavljević Ana Kralj PROOFREADING

Tamara Djokić TRANSLATOR

Aleksandra Ristić +381 11 324-32-74

redakcija@realestate-magazine.rs

PRINTING

Zlatna Knjiga Jagodina Bagrdanski put bb, Jagodina PUBLISHER

West Media World Baba Višnjina 38 Vračar, Belgrade Publisher is not responsible for the content of published advertisments.

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CIP - Каталогизација у публикацији Народна библиотека Србије, Београд 659 REAL Estate magazine : real estate, design and lifestyle / editor-in-chief Gordana Knežević Monašević. - [English ed.]. 2021, no. 15- . - Belgrade : West Media World, 2016- (Jagodina : Zlatna knjiga). - 28 cm Tromesečno. - Preuzima numeraciju srpskog izd. Ima izdanje na drugom jeziku: Real Estate magazin (Srpsko izd.) = ISSN 2466-4170 ISSN 2812-7293 = Real Estate magazine (English ed.) COBISS.SR-ID 53491721

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f you don’t mind, I’d like to begin at the end of this issue, where a chilled bottle of sparkling wine awaits us. I’d start by pouring a glass of prosecco or champagne, then relax on Philippe Starck’s Miss Dior chair on one of Porto Montenegro’s gorgeous terraces and gaze out at the sea. Because I can view all we discussed in this issue only from the horizon on the high seas. I’m not exaggerating. Geographically, this time we mapped with real estate points the largest area so far, from Prague in the Czech Republic, through Belgrade and Serbia, and along the entire length of the Montenegrin coast, all the way to Alanya in Turkey. And what points! Our interlocutors in this issue are some of the largest regional players in the real estate industry in all sectors: residential, construction and management of retail facilities and parks, as well as industrial parks. Apart from the impressive number of square meters and the volume of business that they can boast of, you will learn first-hand how the real estate market will be traced in the coming period and which new trends will define further development of the real estate industry in Serbia and the region. We are also dealing with the current crisis in the construction materials market, which threatens to shake the construction sector and the real estate market in general. However, judging by the reactions of our interlocutors, the situation is currently under control, in the sense that serious investors do not give up the realization of their projects, regardless of major problems in the supply chain and uncontrolled price jumps. New circumstances have forced investors to implement some new sales strategies, which, in the end, for buyers, may turn out to be favorable, despite the fact that real estate prices in the entire region continue to grow. In this issue, we had the exclusive opportunity to visit and photograph the building of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Belgrade, a representative example of the Prague school of architecture from the early 20th century and one of the few diplomatic buildings in Belgrade that were purposely built. Our host

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was the Ambassador personally, His Excellency Tomáš Kuchta, an excellent expert on the economic situation in the Balkans, who is closely following the growing penetration of Czech investors in Serbia in all industries. Some of them have already positioned themselves as real estate trendsetters in Belgrade, whose projects we are eagerly awaiting to be realized. At the same time, we bring you a great, reciprocal story about our real estate trendsetter in Prague, a Serbian businessman who has been changing the face of a Prague district for three decades, which today is compared to London’s and New York’s Soho. We’ve also started talking about facility management, which is a topic that we’ll be talking about a lot more in the future because it’s so crucial for both investors and tenants, especially given the worldwide energy problem. A term that we have easily accepted without knowing what it entails or how far the world has progressed in innovative solutions in this field. We have also provided the right interlocutor on this topic, with vast experience in providing FM services in more than 50 countries on six continents, whose solutions will significantly improve the level of FM services currently provided in our market. We also take you to Milan’s Salone del Mobile, which has once again proven to be the world’s largest design event, undeniably dictating interior design trends every year. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to take a break from chatting here and go back through the magazine pages in search of any inspiration or ideas. It’s summertime, which means it’s time to renovate or at least refresh the apartment. The wine will also warm up. Yours...

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NEWS

BELGRADE IS TO GET EIGHT SKYSCRAPERS he tower trend has definitely affected the Serbian capital, since the construction of as many as eight skyscrapers in New Belgrade, up to 120 meters high, has been announced. However, the new skyscrapers will not overshadow the Belgrade Tower in Belgrade Waterfront, which still holds the title of the tallest building in the capital and the region with its 168 meters in height. On Bežanijska kosa, right next to the highway, the construction of the Tempo Tower, 120 meters high, is planned, along with two smaller towers, 100 meters high. The complex will include 300 apartments and accompanying facilities such as a kindergarten, playroom, shopping center, cafes, restaurants, cinema, swimming pools, spas, and fitness centers. The project envisages the construction of three new roads, as well as footbridges for pedestrians and cyclists across the highway, which will connect the Sports Center “11. April” with other sports facilities on Bežanijska kosa.

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Towers in Block 11

Hotel Intercontinental

Towers in Block 12

Tempo Tower

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In Milentija Popovića Street, near the Sava Center, Delta Real Estate is building two towers that will be 100 meters high. They will include a five-star hotel from the Intercontinental chain and 220 exclusive rooms, with a total area of 80,000 sqm. Three skyscrapers will be built in Block 11 in New Belgrade, on the corner of Trešnjinog cveta Street and Mihajlo Pupin Boulevard, on an area of 40,094 sqm. They will have a total of 200 housing units located on 22,000 sqm and about 14,000 sqm of office space. In the neighboring Block 12, two more 100-meter-high towers are planned. This residential and commercial complex will be around 100,000 sqm in size, with 604 apartments and 952 parking spaces. The complex will be located on Nikola Tesla Boulevard. Due to the attraction of the site on the Danube’s bank, a square meter in this complex is expected to cost more than 10,000 euros.


THE NEW DORĆOL’S NEW PHASE nvestor Deka Inženjering recently solemnly marked the beginning of the construction of the second phase of the exclusive residential and business complex Novi Dorćol. The complex will cover an area of 50,000 sqm and will include six lamellas with 347 apartments, nine commercial premises, new 480 parking spaces, a central square with a wide pedestrian zone, plenty of green space, a fountain, a children’s playground, and prestigious restaurants and cafes. Jugoslav Janjić from Design Architecture, the main designer of the second phase, pointed out that Novi Dorćol is a unique project that respects the historical heritage with its urban concept, building on the existing environment. The new residential oasis in the center of Belgrade will be connected to the future Line Park and Dorćol streets.

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A CHINESE SHOPPING CENTER TO BE BUILT n Jurija Gagarina Street in New Belgrade, on the land that the City of Belgrade sold at a public auction for seven million euros to the Chinese investor Eurasia Trade Center, the construction of a new Chinese shopping center should start soon. The new shopping center will be one of the most modern in Belgrade and Serbia, and will improve the quality of trade and the offer of Chinese manufacturers. The center will play an important role for the Belgrade economy but also for local Chinese businessmen, who will be able to operate in an improved environment, it was pointed out at the recent presentation of the project in the City Assembly.

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NEWS

THE FIRST RADISSON COLLECTION HOTEL IN CROATIA he Grand Hotel Brioni recently became part of the luxury Radisson Collection brand. This is the first hotel of this brand on the Adriatic coast and the first in Croatia. The Grand Hotel Brioni, which will soon mark 50 years of existence, was previously completely renovated according to the highest world standards, which influenced the RHG group to dedicate its most luxurious brand, Radisson Collection, to it. The Grand Hotel Brioni Pula, a Radisson Collection Hotel, enjoys an exceptional location right on the seafront, overlooking the island of Brioni. Guests can enjoy 227 rooms and suites; an infinity pool; several restaurants and bars; luxury wellness and beauty facilities; and a business and corporate meeting center. The interior of the hotel was designed by the architects of Studio 92 in Labin. The visual impression perfectly connects the heritage of this legendary hotel with the modern day.

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REBEC 2022: REAL ESTATE PRICES WILL CONTINUE TO GROW he largest regional real estate event, REBEC 2022, which took place on June 13–15 at the Metropol Hotel in Belgrade, gathered a large number of participants from the country and Southeast Europe, but also from the rest of Europe, Canada, UAE, and Kazakhstan. Experts and representatives from all sectors of the real estate industry exchanged experiences and tried to predict further trends in the real estate market, and special panels were held on the development of the retail sector, hotel industry, office space, and luxury housing. One of the event’s conclusions is that real estate prices in the region will either continue to rise or remain stable at some level in the next two or three years. When it comes to renting office space, it was noted that the most essential thing is for employees to return to the office, which is already at 80%, and that the presence of a large number of Russian companies shifting their operations to Serbia would undoubtedly affect market rates.

Photo: Ekapija

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— WEST MEDIA WORLD —

BECOME A PART OF A LARGE REAL ESTATE NETWORK! West Media World is the only publishing house in Serbia and the region that offers full media support to all real estate and associated industry professionals. Through our regular and special editions, we keep up with all the latest news and trends in the real estate business around the world and in our country. We share information from the real estate market and connect all companies and institutions from Serbia and the region involved in this massive business chain: investors, construction companies, architects, designers, furniture manufacturers, manufacturers and importers of construction materials, interior furnishing companies, banks and insurance companies, competent state institutions, brokerage and consulting companies, appraisers, real estate agencies, and business associations, all the way to the end user – buyer or tenant.

OUR PORTFOLIO INCLUDES: Regular REAL ESTATE magazine’s print edition, published bimonthly in both Serbian and English

REAL ESTATE magazine’s digital media platform, which includes a bilingual portal in Serbian and English, as well as official profiles on social media (Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn)

REAL ESTATE magazine’s special, themed print editions

Newsletter promotions through our large client base

Organization of round tables, panels, and conferences

WEST MEDIA WORLD

www.realestate-magazine.rs

www.realestate-magazine.rs +381 11 32 43 274 redakcija@realestate-magazine.rs prodaja@realestate-magazine.rs

M A G A Z I N E

If you want to learn about the latest news in the real estate market, network with new business partners, share common problems and visions, improve your business, or better advertise your products and services, join our large REAL ESTATE network. Follow us on our portal and social media profiles, subscribe to our print edition, write to us or call us.

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REAL ESTATE, DESIGN & LIFESTYLE

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REAL ESTATE

PORTO MONTENEGRO: A LIFE LESS ORDINARY Regent Pool Club Residences, Elena Residences and Boka Place are residential gems of Porto Montenegro. With their luxury, sophisticated design and world-class amenities, they are an ideal opportunity for a sound and smart investment Text and photo: PORTO MONTENEGRO

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ately fall in love with the place, seduced by its natural beauty and the warm welcome they receive. For a significant number, that love-at-first-sight feeling has translated into a decision to buy a home in Porto Montenegro – whether as a seasonal hideaway or a permanent base – secure in the knowledge that its world-class amenities make it a sound investment in both financial and quality-of-life terms. While some home buyers are content to wait for the completion of the new Boka Place neighbourhood in 2023, others fulfil their urge to move immediately by buying into one of Porto Montenegro’s recently completed buildings, where a limited number of residences are still available. Set directly on the quayside, Regent Pool Club Residences comprises two wings – Baia and Aqua. Designed in sleek, contemporary style and linked at podium level by an expansive terrace with swimming pools, the residences feature light-filled interior spaces and sweeping views of the sea or mountains. Owners have access to all services and amenities of the five-star Regent Porto Montenegro and can benefit from the hotel’s optional rental pool programme.

ounded some 15 years ago by a consortium of visionary developers, Porto Montenegro is set in the spectacularly beautiful Bay of Kotor on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast. From historic origins as a naval base, it has been transformed into an exquisite waterfront destination, with low-rise apartment buildings, treelined pedestrian boulevards and an array of chic boutiques, restaurants and cafes surrounding a breathtaking superyacht marina. What began as a best-kept secret among yachting enthusiasts is no longer so secret, as sophisticated travellers add Montenegro to their list of mustgo destinations. With few exceptions, they immedi-

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also presents an excellent investment opportunity, in terms of both capital appreciation and the option to benefit from a well-established and proven rental management programme. It’s very easy to fall under the spell of Boka Bay: it has a special, indefinable magic that goes beyond the spectacular natural surroundings – a serenity that is increasingly valuable, yet ever harder to find, in today’s world. And that makes the prospect of a home in Porto Montenegro hard to resist.

Just a few steps back from the waterfront, Elena Residences is a sophisticated addition to Porto Montenegro, with well-planned interiors featuring expansive terraces and beautiful views of the sea or mountains. Owners are offered a comprehensive menu of services including the option of interior design and furnishing solutions, and access to Porto Montenegro’s well-established M Residences rental management service. As in Regent Pool Club Residences, buyers receive automatic membership of the exclusive Owners’ Club, with its dedicated lifestyle team and portfolio of special privileges.

OWNERS ARE OFFERED A COMPREHENSIVE MENU OF SERVICES INCLUDING THE OPTION OF INTERIOR DESIGN AND FURNISHING SOLUTIONS, AND ACCESS TO RENTAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE This year, we are thrilled to tell you more about the village’s new jewel, Boka Place – a rare chance to create an easygoing yet elegant lifestyle, become part of the vibrant and welcoming community that’s already well established in Porto Montenegro, and make a sound investment. Due to be completed in 2023, this lively, top-ofthe-line urban neighbourhood has been designed for year-round living, with a focus on wellbeing and fitness. It features a wide variety of residences, high-quality retail outlets, extravagant eateries, a new flagship SIRO hotel, and a plethora of entertaining activities for families, couples and friends. With its distinctive style and privileged position, Boka Place

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NEWS

SVETI STEFAN LOCKED FOR THE TIME BEING he town-hotel Sveti Stefan and the villa Miločer will remain “locked” this summer as well, according to Adriatic Properties, the complex’s leaseholder. The most recognizable brand of Montenegrin tourism is not operating for the second year in a row due to a dispute between the leaseholder and the Hotel Group Budvanska Rivijera and the Joint Stock Company Sveti Stefan Hoteli, both of which are majority owned by the state of Montenegro. Both sides sued each other in the London Arbitration Court to safeguard their rights under the contract, prolonging the agony whose consequences, as a result of the absence of guests at Sveti Stefan, will have a considerable negative impact on tourism. Meanwhile, MK Properties, a member of the MK Group, has announced an offer to take over the remaining shares of the Hotel Group Budvanska Rivijera and Sveti Stefan Hoteli, having passed the 30% ownership level. The purchase of a majority stake would cost 61.5 million euros. MK Group claims to have invested 500 million euros in tourism thus far, both in its own capacities and in the development of tourist destinations. It currently, in majority or minority ownership, owns 15 hotels throughout Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro, and works with prestigious international hotel brands such as Kempinski and Marriott. The government of Montenegro has not yet commented on this offer, although its representatives have repeatedly pointed out that Sveti Stefan is a jewel and a national treasure that will remain the property of Montenegro.

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INTERVIEW

WE WILL MAKE FULL USE OF OUR BEATIFUL SPAS’ POTENTIAL One of the priorities in development plans of our spa and mountain resorts which are known for their clean air, is to attract more foreign tourists. Preconditions for this are an improvement of the traffic infrastructure and development of modern spa & wellness resorts, says Tatjana Matić, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications By: GORDANA KNEŽEVIĆ MONAŠEVIĆ

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Photo: MARINA JANČEVIĆ


nnual revenue from Serbian tourism last year broke the record of the most successful year so far – 2019. Considering the number of foreign tourists in the first five months of this year which is almost 70 percent higher than in the same period in 2021, we can expect an unsurpassed tourist season. What are the ways to enhance tourist capacities of our country, especially spa and special climate areas which have the potential for development of health and wellness tourism, what is it that Belgrade needs to enrich its tourist offer and which measures has the Government of Serbia undertaken so far to encourage investors and local authorities to invest in tourism – these are the topics we discussed with Tatjana Matić, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications.

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Foreign currency inflow in Serbia last year was around 1.6 billion euro, breaking the record of the year 2019, which was the most successful tourist season ever. What are the most attractive places in Serbia for tourists? — In 2021 the foreign currency inflow from tourism was 1,596 million euro, which represents a growth of 47.2 % in comparison to 2020. The record was broken primarily thanks to domestic tourists who were most numerous, but also foreign tourists who recognised Serbia as an attractive and unique destination. These figures are very encouraging, confirming the potentials of our tourist sector, even in difficult and uncertain circumstances created by the corona virus pandemics. One of the most frequently visited tourist locations in Serbia was Belgrade, which is not surprising, knowing that our capital is a very dynamic and modern metropolis, which boasts a rich history and offers diverse cultural programmes. Guests preferring active holidays and spending time in nature, mostly visit Zlatibor, Kopaonik and Tara. When it comes to spas, the highest visiting frequency was recorded in Vrnjačka Banja, Sokobanja, Banja Vrdnik and Banja Koviljača. I am confident that the future of Serbia’s tourism lies in development of the mountain and spa resorts, rural tourism and manifestation tourism which combines vacations in the natural environment with cultural programmes and visiting historical sites. Do we know the profile of foreign tourists visiting Serbia and what are our advantages as an attractive tourist destination? — The total number of tourist arrivals in Serbia amounted to almost 2.6 million, of which 871,239 were international tourists. This shows that Serbia is becoming an increasingly important destination on the world tourist map. Visitors are predominantly tourists coming from the neighbouring or nearby countries: Bosnia and Her-

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zegovina, Russia, Montenegro, Germany, and North Macedonia. This has been a continuity for years, considering the cultural and language ties between us. Main advantages of Serbia’s tourist offer are outstanding hospitality, rich and diverse gastronomic offer, cultural and historical heritage, and traditional manifestations which are flourishing and attracting an ever-increasing number of tourists from around the world. The majority of international tourists declare themselves as having higher education and above average incomes. Approximately half of them are visiting for the first time, while the other half are recurring visitors. During the first two months of this year, Serbia had almost twice as many arrivals than in the same period last year, which holds a promise for this year’s tourist season to be even more successful than the preceding one. What are your estimates when it comes to the 2022 income from tourism?

WE HAVE A POSITIVE EXAMPLE OF VRNJAČKA BANJA’S S SUCCESSFUL MODEL OF COMBINING PRIVATE AND STATE INVESTMENTS — The total number of arrivals in our country during the January-May period was around 1.4 million, which shows an increase of 68.3 % when compared to the same period in 2021. This is an indication that this season will certainly surpass the previous one. Cancellation of Covid-19 related restrictions for international tourists visiting our country will be an additional incentive, and so will be the continuing investments in infrastructure and the promotion of our country. The promotion of Serbia as a tourist destination during the pandemic proved to be very effective as Serbia ranked among the first 22 best countries to visit. Continuing this good practice, we will keep promoting our tourism with an aim to improve our ranking in the world market. Serbia has no access to the sea, but it is rich in spa resorts. The thing is that these tourist potentials have not yet been sufficiently developed to become more attractive for tourists… — One of our priorities when it comes to development of our mountain and spa resort with outstandingly clean air is attracting higher numbers of international tourists. Preconditions for this are to upgrade the infrastructure and to develop modern spa & wellness centres within the existing spa and mountain resorts. Existing natural resources in our spas and mountains are of great sig-

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nificance for the regional economic development. With this in mind, the Ministry for Tourism has initiated projects and activities with an aim to improve the quality of products and offers, especially when it comes to spa & wellness services, as well as their positioning in both local and international markets. The Government of Serbia has announced its intention to sell all spa resorts currently owned by the state Pension and Disability Insurance Fund. Some of them have already been sold, and some have been recently advertised for sale. Do you have some examples of successful privatisation, have some of these projects been launched already? — Insufficient investment in Serbia’s spas during the 2000-2015 period led to devastation and damage of some hotels, tourist companies, and specialised health centres. I want to emphasise that sale refers to the real estate in resorts only, but the state ownership over the geothermal water sources remains. As of 2015, the situation has been continuously improving with health tourism becoming increasingly important and the state and private direct investments in spa tourism are growing on a yearly basis. One of the goals is to carry out a thorough evaluation of the spa resort capacities and then apply different models of strategic partnership. When it comes to privatisation, several hotels and other facilities are now in the hands of new owners who have invested considerable amounts of money in their reconstruction and renovation of accommodation facilities and other tourism amenities. What is the general concept behind development of our spa resorts, is it developing health tourism and accordingly spa resorts as health resorts, or are they envisaged to be rest and relaxation destinations? — There are more than 500 mineral, thermal and thermo-mineral registered water sources in Serbia, of which only 240 have been captured. Serbia is also rich in gas and mud with healing properties. Many spas and special climate regions in Serbia have both health and tourist facilities and offer both services. The relevant government decree identifies 29 spa areas in the country. Apart from the health aspect offered by our spa resorts, it is important to keep in mind the high demand of tourists today for the spa & wellness tourism. Complementarity of the recreational and health functions which are evident in many spa resorts across Europe and our aim is to implement these examples of best practices in Serbian spas. Initial steps in this sense were to trans-

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form the Hotel Izvor in Aranđelovac into the first wellness hotel in our country, open a wellness centre in Vrnjačka Banja, as well as in Prolom banja, Banja Koviljača and Ribarska Banja, which also boast well equipped wellness centres. Niška banja Institute and the Rehabilitation centre in Sokobanja have well organised wellness centres. Under an ongoing project we are constructing two water parks and a wellness centre in Palić, which will contain a swimming pool with slides and other children’s attractions. In order to further develop this branch of tourism, we must first improve the overall infrastructure, but we have no doubt that we will eventually succeed in making full use of our beautiful spas’ potential. Investments in construction and adaptation of the spa resorts and their hotel capacities are among most attractive for foreign investors in Serbia, and they are also supported by the government subsidies. What is the extent of investors’ interest? — Successful privatisation is one of the Serbian government’s aims along with investments in new modern products and services. This implies different strategic public-private partnerships and investments of both foreign capital and the government’s funds. We have a positive example of Vrnjačka Banja’s successful model of combining private and state investments. Development and improvement of a traffic and communal infrastructure as well as development of modern spa & wellness centres are crucial for further development of tourism in spa resorts across Serbia. Every year, the Ministry for Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications issues calls for applications for subsidies and grants intended for tourism development projects, as well as loans to support improvement of services quality in tourism, which includes development of spa tourism. This allows local authorities to come up with their own development plans for an efficient use of investments for the purpose of efficient exploitation of healing water sources. Last year, the Ministry invested 123 million dinars in infrastructure projects in spa resorts across Serbia, and 10 million dinars for educational programmes, promotional activities, and support to various manifestations. In the following years, we expect a full development of this particular branch of tourism in Serbia. How many attractive locations with potential to attract renowned hotel chains does Serbia have and what are they? — Hotels that operate in accordance with the principles of environmental protection are becoming in-

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creasingly prominent today. Many hotels recognize the benefits of implementing ecological approach in doing business, as a basis of competitive advantage and to diversify their offer. We are talking here about and increasing trend in building “green” hotels with ecological awareness, which operate with a focus on environment protection, using recycled materials, efficient water consumption and waste reduction. There is a significant potential across Serbia for developing such hotel industry, and our first hotel chain classified under high “A hotels” category is operating in Bukovička and Vrnjačka banja, on Zlatibor and in Šabac. One of our goals is full expansion of this Serbian hotel brand.

THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ARRIVALS IN OUR COUNTRY DURING THE JANUARY – MAY PERIOD WAS AROUND 1.4 MILLION, WHICH SHOWS AN INCREASE OF 68.3 % WHEN COMPARED TO THE SAME PERIOD IN 2021 Belgrade, of course, attracts the majority of international tourists, being the capital of the country. What is it that Belgrade is still missing in terms of offer and capacities, in order to attract more visitors throughout the year? — Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries and one of crucial importance for our capital – Belgrade. A large number of global media placed Belgrade high on the list of cities which must be visited. Our capital is the first on the list of places in Serbia visited by tourists. Last year we had more than half a million arrivals, which makes almost one third of all arrivals in Serbia. This city has diverse potentials and a great opportunity to accelerate development of tourism throughout its territory, but particularly in the suburbs. Apart from façade renovation, revitalisation of areas with special ambiance, new park arrangements an improvement of substructure with an accent on diversifying accommodation capacities, such as high-class hotels, hostels, camps, but also accommodation capacities along the Danube. Belgrade is Serbia’s major economic driver so I am hopeful that the development of the city’s potential will significantly contribute to better positioning of Serbia in the world.

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WE SET NEW STANDARDS IN THE RETAIL INDUSTRY

INVESTMENTS

With an updated interior, an improved offer – especially in the food&beverage segment, and a variety of even more attractive fashion brands, UŠĆE Shopping Center will be able to create a unique customer experience, while remaining one of the main landmarks of the city, says Nemanja Bućinac, MPC Properties Retail Leasing Director By: JOVANA NIKOLIĆ

Photo: MPC PROPERTIES

Nemanja Bućinac, MPC Properties Retail Leasing Director

he news that MPC Properties is about to launch a redevelopment of the UŠĆE shopping mall with the aim of enriching its offer and refreshing the visual character of the building has expectedly caused great interest. Expectedly for two reasons: the first is that this shopping mall is a favorite of both Belgrade residents and visitors; and the second is that this project will be carried out by one of the region’s leaders in construction and property management, with vast experience in the development and management of major retail projects in the country. For these reasons, the expectations are huge, both from the UŠĆE SC and MPC Properties, which manages five shopping malls in its portfolio. Nemanja Bućinac, Retail Leasing Director of MPC Properties, explains the changes this shopping mall will undergo, and the future trends of the retail industry.

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UŠĆE SC’ s response to new market conditions and the entry of new competitors has been long awaited. What are your plans for upgrading the of4fer and the overall shopping mall experience? — Continuous change is in the nature of the retail industry. MPC Property, being a market leader, is responsible for adapting its business to the market’s needs or, actually, the needs of the customers as the ultimate users. It is of the utmost importance for us to follow global trends in this field and to make our contribution to innovations in our environment. In line with this strategy, UŠĆE SC, as a category leader, will introduce new trends and a modern design while keeping in mind community needs and the environment, as well as the people themselves and their priorities. SC UŠĆE will be thoroughly refreshed, not only when it comes to its appearance but also in terms of introducing new content and upgrading the


offer. The ultimate aim is to bring more excitement and interesting, up-to-date content to the shopping process. It is crucial to have an improved offer, particularly in the food and beverage segment, on one hand, and the modernization of the interior, on the other hand. What changes do you intend to make to the interior design as well as the food&beverage offer? — Modern interior design will allow for an easier connection between the floors and improved store visibility. This will allow visitors to move more quickly and easily within the mall. When it comes to the food and beverage offer, this segment will experience a true renaissance. With the new formats at key positions in the center overlooking the rivers, i.e., the entire city, UŠĆE SC will become a new gathering place for the most attractive cuisines in the world. The new and updated Food court, in a completely new location, will significantly contribute to an improved fast-food offer and a new, unique experience for our guests. On top of that, UŠĆE SC will update its offer of fashion brands and introduce new places for entertainment and relaxation with family, colleagues, or friends. UŠĆE SC will undergo many positive changes while, we are confident, remaining one of Belgrade’s main landmarks. Which categories and brands make a difference when it comes to the performance of a shopping centre? — A current trend in this industry is the expansion of the

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food and beverage segment, and this trend has developed from the fact that the shopping malls have grown beyond their initial purpose—they have become much more than just shopping places. Today, these are places where people spend their free time, socialize, and live their lives. As of late, we are witnessing an expansion of gastronomic offers and entertainment content. Also, as fashion keeps changing, we can see that sports outfits are becoming part of the business “dress code”,

OUR RESULTS SHOW THAT UŠĆE SC REMAINS THE ABSOLUTE LEADER IN THE REGION, A SHOPPING MALL SETTING STANDARDS FOR THE INDUSTRY so the sports outfit category is becoming increasingly important in a shopping centre’s offer. I support this trend myself. People are becoming increasingly aware of the need for comfortable clothes, which they have to wear all day long. On another issue, brands are increasingly using alternative ways of presenting themselves in a shopping mall, such as, for example, popup shops. They are not widespread, but it is interesting to note that some brands, while having their store in the mall, like to use this option as an additional sales channel or for the promotion of specific products.

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Of course, the presence of the major retail groups and their brands in shopping malls is a must. What are your predictions when it comes to the future trends of the shopping mall industry? — The shopping mall industry is lively and keeps changing. The reason for this is the customers’ expectations, which are very demanding and constantly changing. Nowadays, every customer expects to see something new and have a different experience every time they

SHOPPING MALLS HAVE GROWN BEYOND THEIR INITIAL PURPOSE— THEY HAVE BECOME MUCH MORE THAN JUST SHOPPING PLACES visit a shopping mall. So we have to, together with the brands, work intensively on enhancing the customers’ shopping experience and making sure that the customers are offered something new. Shopping malls and brands can no longer rely on traditional ways of selling but must come up with innovative solutions that the customers will find amusing. Customers’ involvement in the purchasing process to the highest possible extent should be ensured. To achieve this, it is necessary to offer additional benefits to consumers. MPC Properties, as a company managing not only shopping centres but also

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business facilities, has launched a mobile loyalty platform, Your Centre. It practically links all our shopping malls - UŠĆE, BEO, Mercator and Delta City, and allows our customers to earn points for shopping, which they can further use for discounts and gifts. How has online shopping changed consumers’ habits when it comes to visiting shopping centres? — When it comes to our industry, we are seeing people going back to their old habits. This practically means that going to shopping malls is still the number one way of shopping, although it is possible to purchase your goods on numerous online platforms. The pandemics provided an excellent opportunity for the online market to show its strength, but we are now seeing that physical shopping remains dominant, covering around 85–90% of all transactions. Stores are currently undergoing a transformation and are focusing on enhancing potential customers’ experiences. We kept in mind these new trends in planning the UŠĆE SC Redevelopment project. Can you announce the arrival of some new brands in the shopping malls in your portfolio? — Our aim is to continuously enhance our offer in shopping malls. We are negotiating with several brands that are still not present in our market. However, this is confidential information, which I cannot share with you at this point. The crucial thing is that we are working on some big and positive surprises.


Do you think that UŠĆE SC has competition? — It certainly does, and I must admit, it is getting more and more significant, which is good for the industry and the market in general. However, when it comes to statistics and results achieved, we may conclude that our efforts in the past 13 years have ensured that UŠĆE SC remains the absolute leader in the region,

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a shopping mall setting standards for the industry. Apart from what I said earlier, our focus in the upcoming period will be the implementation of a comprehensive socially responsible strategy, in line with ESG factors (Environmental, Social, and Governance), with the aim of promoting sustainable projects benefitting the overall community.

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IN FOCUS

HOW TO OVERCOME THE CRISIS ON THE CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL MARKET In anticipation of the meeting of construction companies with the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, where the modes of overcoming the ongoing crises caused by the war in Ukraine will be considered, we are discussing the current situation on Serbia’s construction sites with Ivana Vuletić, Secretary of the Association of the Construction Industry, an integral part of the Serbia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry By: JOVANA NIKOLIĆ

Photo: PKS

he previous year was characterised by activities prompted by large scale investments in Serbia’s construction sector – the value of the projects increased, as well as the number of employees and their incomes. Considering the record number of newly issued building permits, construction activities will continue to grow. However, considering hampered supply and very high and unstable prices of raw material currently challenging the construction sector, how will this crisis affect the pace of the ongoing projects, but also the black market – these are the questions we asked Ivana Vuletić, Secretary of the Association of the Construction Industry of the Serbia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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The war in Ukraine caused great shocks in the construction industry, the prices of the construction material have drastically increased and supply chain shortage is getting worse every day. For all these reasons, the construction leaders announced their intention to ask for government’s support in this matter. Has this meeting taken place and are there any suggestions for ways to overcome this situation? — Initial major disruptions on the construction material market were caused by the Corona virus pandemics and had an impact on our market mostly at the end of the first quarter last year. This was the

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Ivana Vuletić, Secretary of the Association of the Construction Industry


time when the steel price significantly increased in stock markets around the world, which was reflected on the concrete steel prices in the world, and consequently in our country, too. Thanks to, among other things, measures undertaken by the Government of Serbia to assist the companies affected by the pandemics, construction companies managed to overcome the price disturbances in the market. The beginning of the war in Ukraine prompted new disturbances in the global stock markets, and therefore in our construction material market, too. The armature prices have doubled in just a few weeks time. Apart from the steel, bitumen and bitumen emulsion prices have gone up, as well as the prices of alluminium and PVC doors and windows, copper cables, brick material, timber... Because of that, and following the market trends and construction activities, Serbian Chamber of Commerce approached the Ministry of Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure (MCTI) with a suggestion to arrange a meeting related to disturbances on the construction material market and their effects on the local construction business. The aim of the meeting would be to jointly search for an adequate proposal of the modes to introduce sliding scale in their ongoing and future contracts. Sliding scale implies an option of increase, but also decrease of prices, depending on the market trends. The construction companies have also suggested to form a joint working team whose responsibility would be to formulate recommendations for the contractual provisions which will lead to overcoming possible unforeseen circumstances and to suggest methods for adjusting contract prices in signed contracts. At the beginning of March this year, and with an aim to stabilise the production of ribbed steel and steel armature used in construction, we shared our suggestions with the office of the Prime Minister to intensify inspection controls and expedite imports of raw materials, namely scrap metal, which is the basic raw material in armature production. An increase of the construction material prices inevitably leads to increased work costs, and subsequently, the price per square metre... — An increase in square metre prices was recorded long before the rise of the construction material prices. This has been an ongoing trend for the past few years, so I would like to avoid directly linking these two prices. At this moment, the growing trend of the square metre price is obviously driven by demand, which remains high, despite the high prices.

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THE ARMATURE PRICES HAVE DOUBLED IN JUST A FEW WEEKS TIME. APART FROM THE STEEL, BITUMEN AND BITUMEN EMULSION PRICES HAVE GONE UP, AS WELL AS THE PRICES OF ALLUMINIUM AND PVC DOORS AND WINDOWS, COPPER CABLES, BRICK MATERIAL, TIMBER... We should also have in mind housing loans which are more affordable then before when it comes to the interest rate, which also a factor that affects the stability of the real estate demand. How can this situation influence illegal labour? — The shortage of workforce in the construction business is, we may say, a lasting problem. In Serbia this problem is very pronounced, particularly due to the increased activity of the construction sector in the preceding period which led to an increased demand for workers. In the forth quarter of 2021, a total of 167,687 persons were employed in the construction of buildings and other facilities and engaged in specialised construction works, including production of nonmetal mineral material, as well as in architecture and engeneering, which is 4.1% higher than in the same period the year before. Construction accounts for 7.5% of the total employment rate in Serbia. When it comes to specific sectors, 59,505 employees were recorded in specialised construction works, which is

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an increase of 1.7% in comparison to the last quarter of 2020. There were 32,668 employees (0.6% more) in the building construction, and 30,568 employees (9,1% more) in architecture and engeneering. During the period from January to November 2021, the average salary in the construction sector was 77,477 dinars, which is 8,2% higher than in the same period of 2020. The highest average salary was in construction of other types of facilities, and it amounted to 102,148 dinars during the period from January to November 2021, which is 13.8% higher than the Serbian average salary, and 5.1 % higher than it was in the same period of the preceding year. In the sector of specialized construction works and buildings construction for the same period, average salaries were 29% and 16.2% lower, respectively, than average salaries in Serbia, while earnings in architecture and engineering were 9.5% above average. In sum, earnings in construction sector in 2021 were higher by 5%, and at the end of 2021, in December, 2,916 building permits were issued, which is an increase of 34.3% compared to December 2020. Apart from the shortage of the qualified labour, construction workforce is also facing the problem of a low number of students enrolling in the construction technical schools. Significant involvement of construction companies in the dual education system, would allow technical apprentices to prepare for work on the construction sites during the practical part of their education. Considering the ever increasing demand on the labour market, there is a continuous demand for workers in the construction business. Also, construction companies have come up with an initiative to establish training and retraining centres for construction workers, subsidised by the government.

CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL SUPPLY PROBLEMS

What was the Serbia’s construction industry balance sheet last year, and are there any predictions for 2022? — The preceding year was marked by significant investment activities related to the construction sector, which participated with over 5 % in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the value of works increased by as much as 35 %, and the number of workers by close to 10 %. As a reminder, in the first quarter of 2021, the construction sector marked the highest year-over-year growth of the gross added value among all industries (19.6 % increase) when compared to the same period of the preceding year. When it comes to the number of building permits issued, it is evident that the construction activities are expanding. According to the Republic Bureau for Statistics, 2,743 building permits were issued in March 2022, which indicates an increase of 35.2 % in comparison to the same period of the preceding year. Having in mind the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, we cannot expect the continuation of an accelerated growth at the level reached in the past few years, but when it comes to the ongoing activity at the existing construction sites, we may be assured that the current projects will be implemented according to the agenda. The current crisis is unpredictable in terms of possible shortages and effects on prices of raw material, energy sources, various material apart from those used in construction, so we cannot come up with a general answer as to what is awaiting us in the upcoming period, only what we can conclude on the basis of the current situation. And in that respect – the construction industry keeps on working.

According to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce report, concrete iron supplies have been reduced. Dealers have lowered the prices for the time being, but the prices of the steel armature are still extremely high and go as high as 1,200 EURO per tonne (as a comparison, on 01 March the price of the concrete steel was 762 EURO per tonne). Dealers are requesting an advance payment, and their offers remain valid for 1-3 days. There is no guarantee of price, and the shortage of some goods is evident (4mm net is not available, there is a shortage of steel for the locksmith works). Some contractors have tried to import the steel armatures, considering that they can get a lower price per tonne, but the procedure is too complicated, and the transport costs are too high. Brick and tile producers are concerned about the uncontrolled export of the best quality ceramic clay from Serbia. Ukraine used to be an important exporter of this raw material in the construction material industry, so the pressure on our country increased with the beginning of the crisis. Representatives of the leading Italian, Spanish, Polish, and Bulgarian producers in Serbia are trying to negotiate the procurement of large quantities of ceramic clay, offering prices considerably higher than the current market price. Local construction material industry is endangered.

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EXCLUSIVE

H. E. Tomáš Kuchta

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THE CZECH REPUBLIC HAS BECOME AN IMPORTANT FOREIGN INVESTOR IN SERBIA “The range of interests of Czech investors in Serbia is very broad, and considering the construction boom in your country, the potential for cooperation in this sector is enormous", says Tomáš Kuchta, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Serbia. We had the honour to be taken on a tour of the Embassy by His Excellency himself, and have a look at this magnificent edifice in the centre of Belgrade, which has been standing there for a whole century as a symbol of the friendly relationship between our two countries By: GORDANA KNEŽEVIĆ MONAŠEVIĆ

Photo: MILOŠ LUŽANIN

t is delightful to be a guest of the Czech Embassy in Belgrade, where you are, as soon as you step on the monumental staircase at the entrance, welcomed on the red carpet. You cannot avoid feeling important as you climb up the stairs, walk down the wide corridor or sit in one of the elegant lounges, knowing that many eminent people stayed and visited there before you during the one-hundred-year history of this building. Looking at the authentic, perfectly preserved early 20th century furniture, one can easily imagine the rustling of ball gowns in the Great Hall with its mirrors, piano, and spectacular chandeliers made of Czech glass, or serious political discussions that gentlemen used to have in the Wooden Lounge, while sipping their Czech slivovitz, and the ladies having becherovka in the Ladies’ Lounge. Great Hall, Wooden and Ladies’ Lounge look the same as before, as showing in the hundred years old photographs, but the protocol has slightly changedBalls have been replaced by concerts and art exhibitions, but guests are still being served with Czech slivovitz and becherovka, a famous bitter-sweet liqueur. Depending on the occasion and the menu, excellent Czech white wines are also served, as well as the finest Serbian red wines and, of course, unchallengeable Czech beer. Beautiful glasses made of the finest Czech glass, proudly lined up in the glass showcase in the Wooden Lounge, provide the final touch to this exquisite atmosphere. „I travelled extensively and saw many Czech embassies around the world, but none of them are like this one. When

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this Embassy was built, almost one hundred years ago, the best of Czech architecture and Czech products were woven into it, and this mixture of cubism and functionality remains unmatched even today“, says His Excellency Tomáš Kuchta, who has proven to be an outstanding host and converser. Not only because he is an experienced diplomat, having been in several successful diplomatic missions in Rome, Brussels and Zagreb, but also because he is familiar with every nook and corner of the Embassy and its history, not to mention that he speaks Serbian fluently. He has been an ambassador to Serbia for the past four years, during which time he and his family have come to love Belgrade as their second home. The Embassy building of the Czech Republic is one of the oldest and few diplomatic buildings in Belgrade that were built for this specific purpose. How does it feel to work in a century-old historical edifice that has museum values, considering that most of its original furniture and decorations are still intact? — It is an honour to work on the premises of one of our most beautiful embassies in the world. At the same time, it is a big responsibility because this property should not only be preserved but also, if possible, handed over to our successors in a better condition than when we assumed the responsibility for it. This will be, I believe, made possible for me and my associates, thanks to the recently completed extensive reconstruction.

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The building was designed by the Czech architect Alois Mezera, a representative of the Prague school of modern architecture, who introduced this new trend in Serbia by making this very building. Which types of chambers and quarters may be found in this monumental building of subdued elegance? — This monumental edifice is, actually, one of the few embassies that were built with this specific purpose, so that it contains everything that one diplomatic mission may need, and maybe even more than that. Its location, characteristic architecture, and the careful consideration with which it was designed, built, and eventually furnished, are the most reliable evidence of the close and friendly relationship between our countries at that time, which still applies to our countries today, because I can confidently say that this friendship persists to this date, both between our two nations and the representatives of our two states. Apart from the representative premises used for meetings, receptions, concerts, and other events, and also the official premises necessary for the everyday functioning of the Embassy, there are a number of living units used by the Embassy employees and their families, a recreation space which had once been used as a school, and a tucked-away pleasant

Stairs at the entrance to the embassy

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courtyard, a true little oasis in the centre of the city. What is your favourite part of the Embassy, and which quarters and attractions do you usually present to your guests? — My favourite is the Wooden Lounge. It is very pleasant and, according to the old photographs, almost preserved in its original state. However, I do admire all the representative rooms, crystal chandeliers, Max Švabinský painting, and the piano, which happens to be one of the best in Belgrade. I would also like to show the visitors our official premises, so that they can see how this building was designed smartly and in line with functionalism. It is incredible how it still responds to all requests made in modern times. During one century, many distinguished personalities stayed in or visited this building, from kings to presidents, and some important events took place here. Can you tell us some curiosities from this building’s rich history? — Certainly, the most significant historical event that took place in the Embassy building is the unconditional surrender of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, signed on April 17, 1941, which by this act ceased to exist and was subsequently partitioned. Understandably, at that time, the building was controlled

Wooden Lounge used to be a salon for gentlemen

The meeting room where the capitulation of Yugoslavia was signed in 1941


by the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which took command of it in the spring of 1939, following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. There is another historical moment I would like to mention, which did not take place inside the building but in front of it. It was in 1968, when, as a reaction to the occupation of Czechoslovakia, a large gathering of Yugoslav citizens took place in front of the Embassy to express their support for Czechoslovakia. According to contemporary testimonies, it was the largest gathering in the former Yugoslavia, with around 100,000 people.

MY FAVOURITE IS THE WOODEN LOUNGE. IT IS VERY PLEASANT AND, ACCORDING TO THE OLD PHOTOGRAPHS, ALMOST PRESERVED IN ITS ORIGINAL STATE The construction of the Embassy building was, at that time, between the two world wars, a symbol of exceptional relations between the two countries – Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Relations between the Czech Republic and Serbia are also excellent at all levels of cooperation. What is it, in your opinion, that is crucial for close ties and

Ladies’ Lounge

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good relations between our two countries? — As you said, the embassy building is a symbol of exceptional relations. That period was marked not only by excellent relations between our countries and peoples, but also by sincere and friendly relations between the representatives of our states, our President Tomáš G. Masaryk and your King Aleksandar I Karadjordjević. It is not a coincidence that our Embassies are located in the very centres of the two cities – ours in Belgrade in the King Aleksandar Boulevard, in the vicinity of the National Assembly and the Presidency, and yours, in Prague, in a gorgeous villa located in the vicinity of the famous Charles Bridge. These locations also serve as an evidence of these friendly relations. Relations between our countries are traditionally good, throughout history and today. We never had any outstanding problematic issues that could endanger this close friendship, and we maintained continuous ties. So, for example, the idea of studying in Czechia remains popular here, and we are always proud to point out that some of the important names in Serbian society are actually “Czech students“. Although the best known ones are those in the film industry, they are actually present in all segments of society. And it is they who spread the good word about the Czech Republic in their respective

The painting “Hradčany“ by Václav Radimský from 1938

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Concerts and exhibitions are held in the Great Hall today

The clock and the candlestick, which adorns the Wooden Lounge, have been part of the embassy’s inventory since its opening

milieus. There is a continuity of contacts in all other fields, too – economy, culture, politics, etc. I think it is these traditionally friendly relations and contacts throughout history, as well as our awareness of them, that keeps us close even today. We have inherited these close and good relations between our countries from some earlier generations, and it is our responsibility to maintain them, if not even to advance them. Economic relations between our countries are highly developed. One of the proofs is the intensive activity of the trade and economic department of your Embassy, but also your personal engagement, considering the fact that you are an economist by profession and that you were

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involved in this particular sector in your previous missions, too. What is the focus of Czech investors in Serbia? — It is my great pleasure to confirm that Czechia has become a very significant foreign investor in Serbia. The scope of interests of the Czech companies is very broad and, actually, it is hard to point out one particular trade sector as being in the focus of the Czech investors. Instead, I would prefer to present to you some of the most interesting investments made by Czech companies in the past few years. It is, for example, an investment of the SEBRE company in the film centre Avala Studios Belgrade, or their project Marina Dorćol; the investment entry of the PPF group in Telenor, now Yettel communication company and Serbian mobile banking; the investment entry of the PENTA - Dr. MAX group in the farmaceutical chain Farmanea; the acquisition of the Knjaz Miloš company by the company Mattoni from Karlovy Vary; the acquisition of the state company for aircraft maintenance – JAT-Tehnika, by the Avia Prime consortium; and the investment of the company IMG Automotive in the Vršac municipality, where there is a large Czech community. I would also like to mention the Czech real estate group, UDI Group, which is successfully realizing and developing residential and business buildings in Belgrade. Another important investment is last year’s investment entry of the Czech company CE Industries into the Serbian Beohemija.


The expansion of the real estate industry in Serbia has attracted a significant number of investors, some of whom are developing large-scale projects – residential, business and industrial. How satisfied are they with the business-friendly environment in Serbia, and do you expect more Czech real estate investors to come here? — As a response to your question, I would like to share with you details of two interesting projects developed by a Czech investor in Serbia. The first one refers to Avala Film Belgrade – which is Serbia’s’ family silver’, the largest film studio in Serbia, established in 1946 as the first film studio in postwar Yugoslavia. The Czech investor, SEBRE company, comes here with a plan to place this film studio back among the leading centres of film production in Europe, i.e., in the very place that Avala Film occupied until the 1990s of the last century. SEBRE is planning the modernisation and knowledge transfer of active European film studios, such as the Barrandov film studio in Prague. The ultimate goal is to produce new films and digitalize old ones. The complex extends over 40,000 sqm, and the plan is to completely modernize outdated and dysfunctional facilities. In December 2019, the project was designated as “The project of particular importance for the Republic of Serbia”.

I would like to add that the investment in the film studio is linked to the residential development project, with a particular focus on the high quality of environmental protection. The author of the residential area is a renowned Czech architect, Stanislav Fiala, who is a winner of many awards in the Czech Republic – the architect of the year and for the construction building of the year, among others. Construction of around 3,000 apartments for 8,000 people is planned within this project, including a school, kindergarten, and a community health centre. The Czech company SEBRE actively participates in another significant construction project, named Marina Dorćol. This project envisages the construction of an urban complex on the Danube embankment at a walking distance from the very centre of Belgrade. Within an area of 76,000 sqm, a revitalisation of the original railway is planned, as is the construction of a residential building with retail spaces on the ground floor, directly connected to the embankment and offering all urban conveniences. In the vicinity of this 4.15 hectares area there is an old coal thermal power plant from the 1930’s, where

Czech glass chandeliers in the Great Hall

Porcelain figurines are a trademark of the Czech tradition

Czech glass cups are lined up in a case in the Wooden Lounge

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one of the most important Serbian museums will be moved to – that of Nikola Tesla, one of the giants of world science and innovation. There were many Czech exhibitors at the recently held Construction Fair, which you visited on the very first day. What is it that the Czech companies of this profile offer to the Serbian market? — In this year’s international building trade fair SEEBBE 2022, which was held from 27 to 30 April at the Belgrade Fair, the Czech Republic had its national exhibition stand, organised by the Czech state agency CzechTrade. A total of eight Czech exhibitors were registered as interested in the Serbian market. Following companies expressed their interest in cooperation with potential partners in the Serbian market: Plast Brno, a manufacturer of elements for internal waste systems; MFC-Morfico, which offers floor systems (anhydrite and cement subfloors) and arbolite blocks; Fortemix, a family company producing industrial floor systems; Berndorf Baderbau, renowned manufacturer of luxurious swimming pools, jacuzzis and wellness equipment. I would also like to mention the Doornite company, the largest manufacturer of doors in the Czech Republic. Having talked with the representatives of these companies, I am glad to confirm their huge interest in the Serbian construction market. Considering the current construction boom in Serbia, the potential for future cooperation is enormous, and I believe that our companies and their products have great chances to become successful here. How would you describe the housing market trends in Czechia? How are investors and construction companies coping with the latest crisis and its effects on prices, materials, and real estate itself? — In my opinion, the real estate market in the Czech Republic is at a crossroads. Becoming an owner of your own living space is becoming a non-viable option in many places in Czechia. For some people, it is for financial reasons, and for others, it is simply because there is not enough on offer on the market. As of last year, there has been a huge problem with a shortage of some construction materials, which resulted in an extreme price rise of these materials and, consequently, of real estate. For example, the market price of aluminium last year was 2,209 USD per tonne, and now it is 3,528 USD, or 60% higher. Aluminium is one of the key materials in construction. Even a 100% increase in price is no longer unusual. The “crises of material” also refers to supplies

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of steel, wood, and copper, as well as isolation material and brick material. All this has consequences for the Czech real estate market, which is, among other things, dealing with stricter mortgage loans, including higher interest rates resulting from the interest rates prescribed by the Czech National Bank. Nevertheless, demand for apartments is not decreasing and it is expected to remain higher than supply in the next few years. Czech culture – not only the architecture mentioned above, but also the film school – has always had a significant influence on our artists and intellectuals. What is our cultural cooperation like today? — The Czechs are particularly proud of these two creative fields that you just mentioned. Czech architects made a significant impact on Serbian architecture. There is no need even to go into details here; it’s enough to mention just a few buildings that come to mind right away – for example, Captain Miša’s edifice, which today serves as the home to the Belgrade University; Novi dvor, today’s seat of the President of the Republic of Serbia; and the Astronomical Observatory in Zvezdara; all these are works of Czech architects. When it comes to the film school, everyone knows that some of the most renowned names

The embassy building is located in the very centre of the city, at the beginning of King Aleksandar Boulevard


bian history, in many different areas and in numerous locations. Some of these names are well known, some are forgotten, but their accomplishments have helped to build good relations between the Czech and Serbian nations. Another important role of the Czechs in Serbia was their “know-how” in the glass, confectionary, and beer industries, as well as some other trades. We still have a significant Czech community in Serbia, especially in Banat. The Czechs like to visit Serbia, particularly for its natural beauty, and they also like to visit the historical centre of Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš, Kragujevac, and other towns, as well as Banat, where, apart from the natural beauty, they are attracted by the trails of Czech history and folklore. When it comes to tourism in Czechia, apart from Prague, the Czech Republic offers many other historical places such as esk Krumlov, Olomouc, Tel, Kutná Hora, numerous spas such as Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázn, natural beauties, many beautiful castles and fortresses, wine-producing regions and many other places. I would certainly recommend Serbian tourists visiting Prague to take a tour of the historical city centre with its numerous cultural monuments and, after that, to taste the Czech cuisine and beer. The piano in the Great Hall was produced a century ago and is one of the best in Belgrade

in Serbian cinematography are Czech students – Goran Marković, Emir Kusturica, Goran Paskaljević, Srdjan Karanović... Throughout history, our cooperation in these areas corresponded to the pace of cooperation in other fields, so it was highly developed. And it remains so even today. Even today, Serbian artists and scientists are enthusiastic about cooperation with Czechia and vice versa. These contacts slowed down due to the pandemics, of course, but we are confident that very soon they will resume with the same intensity as before. Our Embassy is within its competence and possibilities to try to mediate these contacts, and we are also encouraging all direct contacts between artists and scientists and the institutions they belong to, which are also numerous, thanks to the earlier mentioned traditional close contacts between our two nations. How often do the Czechs and Serbs visit each other? What would you recommend your fellow countrymen to see in Serbia, and where would you take us if we were to be your guests in Prague? — The Czechs and Serbs visit each other a lot. Our two nations are connected by common history and Slavdom. In Serbia, we can follow a historical trail left by the Czechs, dating from different periods of Ser-

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How do you like your life in Belgrade, where you have been serving as an ambassador for the past four years? Do you have your favorite places for socializing and relaxation, and do you manage to ride your bicycle around the town? — Life in Belgrade is very pleasant for a Czech; many things are the same as in Prague, sometimes even better, such as, for example, hospitality. On the contrary, neither I nor my family have ever encountered any serious problems here. Wherever we say that we come from Czechia, we are always met with positive responses. We always find a common topic to discuss, be it history, culture, travel, architecture. I grew to appreciate the Ada Ciganlija neighborhood, a lovely spot in the heart of Belgrade that allows its residents to participate in sports or simply relax. My son has his football training there regularly, while my wife and I avail ourselves of that time to take long walks with our dog. This gives us the opportunity to watch in continuity how residents of Belgrade actively spend their time and how this whole area keeps changing for the better. When I have time over the weekend, I like to take a long ride on my bicycle. Usually I ride by the river, so the last part of my trip is the hardest, as I have to ride up one of the steepest climbs in Belgrade to get back home.

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FINANCE

THE LEADER OF DIGITAL BANKING According to a European Investment Bank report, the Czech Republic is the most successful EU country in digital technologies, while Mobi Banka leads the digitalization of banking in Serbia, says Milan Urbašek, a member of Mobi Banka's Executive Board

By: JOVANA NIKOLIĆ Photo: NENAD JOKSIMOVIĆ

igital banking is no longer a luxury but a necessity today. With the idea of transforming banking in Serbia to be completely digital, Mobi Banka is well on its way to ending the year with 750,000 satisfied customers and breaking the prejudice that click banking is reserved only for the younger generation. We are talking about further digitalization of banking and Mobi Banka’s plans with Milan Urbašek, member of the Executive Board of Mobi Banka, who gained extensive international experience in leading positions in Kazakhstan, India, and Prague, working within Home Credit Group.

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Milan Urbašek, member of Mobi Banka’s Executive Board

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Mobi Banka is the first online mobile bank in Serbia. How does digital banking work and how much are the citizens of Serbia used to it? — Simply put, everything is just a click away. From opening an account, realizing transactions, to submitting a loan application, our clients can access almost all our services through the Mobi application. We see potential for further digitalization in the field of onboarding, where we would like to implement the good


practice of a Czech banking institutions’ consortium in the future. It is a “banking identity” system which, in compliance with all Know Your Customer regulations, enables fully digital onboarding of new clients, which may ultimately have a wider application than the banking sector. When it comes to the structure of clients, I think we break the prejudice that modern business models mostly aim young people, because our clients come from the most diverse categories of the population. We even have a couple of tens of thousands of retirees who successfully use their app. Digital banking is no longer a luxury but a necessity today, so I think that the real trouble would be only if they had to get used to waiting in lines again, which, of course, we will not allow. Mobi Banka and Yettel are part of the international investment PPF Group, established in the Czech Republic, which operates in 25 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia in the fields of finance, telecommunications, media, real estate, engineering, and biotechnology. What is the foundation for the success of this investment giant? — From the very beginning, in 1991, PPF has strategically chosen investment opportunities and carefully built its network. Today, PPF has assets of more than 40 billion euros, employs more than 82.000 people and has a large family of 27 companies from various fields of business where knowledge and experience intertwine and exchange, creating market leaders. Thanks to this corporate community, we have access to the best global practices, and our mission is to adapt these practices and offer them to the domestic market. We do this according to the principle of “glocal” – we recognize global trends, and then tailor them according to the needs of local clients. What is it that sets Mobi Banka’s offer apart from others? — In the first place, I would say that these are interest-free micro loans that we issue for the purchase of digital devices, thanks to our cooperation with Yettel. Until April this year, we have credited the purchase of over 850.000 digital devices worth more than 250 million euros, which is the equivalent of 460.000 credit lots. Although we don’t offer housing loans, we are here to help when it comes to the first next expense – furnishing the apartment. Clients often opt for our cash loans of up to 1.000.000 dinars, with a maximum repayment period of almost 6 years. To what extent do the relations between the

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Czech Republic and Serbia affect the operations of Mobi Banka and the PPF Group in general in Serbia and vice versa? — I would say that everything works on the principle of mutual trust and respect. The long-term friendship between the Czech Republic and Serbia creates a positive climate for the further development of our business in Serbia. On the other hand, each foreign investment, especially when it comes to the value of 2.8 billion euros that PPF invested in 2018, additionally strengthens the bridges between the two nations. This way, clients of companies like Mobi Banka have the opportunity to take “the best of both worlds”.

WE WANT TO PUSH THE BOUNDARIES AND TRANSFORM BANKING SO THAT IT IS FULLY DIGITAL Finally, when we look at the bigger picture, we see that the volume of foreign trade exceeded 1.400 million euros last year, which makes the Czech Republic one of the 10 largest foreign trade partners for Serbia. This is complemented by non-financial benefits such as the exchange of experience and knowledge, which are equally important. I think that this is best illustrated by the fact that, according to the “Digitalization in Europe 2021-2022” report of the European Investment Bank, the Czech Republic was declared the most successful country within the EU in terms of advanced digital technologies last year, and that Mobi Banka is the leader in the digitalization of banking in Serbia. In Serbia, Mobi Banka has over 650 thousand users. What strategy do you plan to use to reach the first million? — Our plan sounds very simple, but in practice it is very demanding - we want to push the boundaries and transform banking so that it is fully digital and adapted to the needs of modern society. Along the way, we are guided by the principles of simplicity, accessibility, and innovation. This approach results in a dynamic and continuous increase in the number of users year after year; we currently have 670,000 users. Predictions say that we will close the year with 750 thousand satisfied clients, and having in mind that we have already realized 100 thousand completely online loans and 100 million digital transactions, I believe that we are ready to serve a million of them.

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INTERVJU

BETWEEN KARLIN AND BELGRADE Milorad Miško Mišković is one of the most renowned Serbian names in the real estate industry in Central Europe. After 30 years of an incredibly successful career in Czechia, tumultuous personal and professional upheavals, and a significant trail he left in Prague’s urban development, this distinguished businessman with inexhaustible energy and ideas is ready to implement his first large project in his native country By: GORDANA KNEŽEVIĆ MONAŠEVIĆ Photo: KARLIN PORT

e often say that life is like a movie, but Milorad Miško Mišković decided to make his own film when, all the way back in 1993, he left for Prague to graduate from the American University. Instead of coming back home, as other students have done, Milorad stayed in Prague for another year upon completion of his studies with the intention of acquiring some working experience – and still has not come back. He fell in love with the real estate world at his very first job, in German consultancy firm Müller International, and poured this love into the fantastic 30 years of a successful career and, practically, his life’s passion. Today, Milorad Mišković is the owner of Karlin Port Real Estate, with its head office in Prague, but it is just a crowning achievement of his numerous business visions, ideas, and projects, which keep flowing and which he keeps executing relentlessly.

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Milorad Mišković, Founding & Managing Partner, Karlin Port Real Estate

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The first job you occupied at Müller International introduced the real estate world to you. How did it happen that you stayed in this world? — After one year in the Müller International company, and primarily because of my English language skills and because I was proactive and eager for success, I was offered a position in the world’s largest real estate consultancy firm, JLL. From 1996 to 2000, I was one of the managers in their Czech branch office and the only manager in JLL who was not English. This was a challenge for me. I always set high goals and do not consider myself inferior to other businessmen anywhere in the world or political leaders. Considering that I had the privilege to work for the biggest company in the world offering real estate consultancy services, I met most of the international developers who used to visit Czechia and Central Europe at that time. All the competitors I have in the market now are my former clients. This is fantastic, because I never run into a closed door, even if they are my rivals. Following the four years you spent at JLL, you became something of a star in your profession and almost got the position of the AFI Europe company director. However, you ended up in the Karlin Group. How did this happen?

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— The Karlin Group literally snatched me from Lev Leviev, who was the owner of AFI Europe back then. At that time, Marc Rich was the man behind the Karlin Group, an American of Jewish origin who was one of the biggest international investors and the founder of the Glencore multinational corporation. I spent 12 fantastic years in the Karlin Group, first as their Commercial Director, and then as Director General, and finally as the minority shareholder. We worked on revitalization of Karlin, which used to be an industrial area in Prague, in the immediate vicinity of the old town. We completed more than 50 projects in Karlin, building and reconstructing residential and office buildings. As investors and developers, we were the pioneers of revitalization not only in the Czech Republic but throughout Central and Eastern Europe. However, we were pioneers in another sense, too: we were the first to bring to Czechia the most renowned international architects to work with us on our Karlin projects. During the 12 years I spent in Karlin, we engaged 52 international architects just at the Karlin location! At the same time, we employed local Czech architects, but we gave priority to the foreign ones for the simple reason that they had more experience. Today, of course, the situation is different, and we cooperate with Czech architects much more than with international ones.

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Karlin is obviously very important to you; it is a part of the name of the company you later founded. What does Karlin look like nowadays? — I am in love with Karlin. I dedicated 25 years of my life to it, and I also live there. I insist that Karlin is one of the best examples in Central and Eastern Europe of the correct approach to the revitalization and regeneration of an entire industrial quarter located in the center of the city. Although the revitalization process is not over yet, we have managed, by putting a lot of effort into it, to turn it into one of the most expensive locations in Prague, which is now compared to Soho in London and New York. You left the Karlin Group in 2012 and founded Karlin Port Real Estate in 2013. This one year in between still provided a lot of professional and personal turmoil... When I left the Karlin Group, and I left it because Marc Rich, the main investor, had become ill by that time and we were prevented from having the same level of cooperation, I sent a notice to 12,000 addresses on my departure from the company, informing everyone that I remained a shareholder as well as a participant in several projects. The very next day, I received two business offers. One was from Karel Komárek, one of the wealthiest Czechs, who offered me a position as a Director in his newly established KKCG Real Estate Group, and the other was from Luděk Sekyra, the founder of the Sekyra Group, who offered me a position as his personal ad-

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visor. I chose the latter offer, which was interesting because the Sekyra Group was one of our main competitors. I could not accept Komárek’s offer as it would mean sitting on two chairs, but I have accepted an invitation from the Israeli Daramis Group to increase the company’s visibility in the market as a Director through my activities. In Daramis, I met Miki Goldshtein, who was their Finance Director, and offered him a partnership in Karlin Port. I founded Karlin Port in 2013, immediately before my first battle with cancer. Karlin Port is, in a way, a spin-off company from the Karlin Group. Serge Borenstein, the current owner of the Karlin Group, had nothing against me using the name Karlin for my own company, so now there are two real estate companies with similar names operating in Prague. Borenstein remains one of my best friends, although, paradoxically, we are opponents in the market. And he is also my spiritual father in the real estate investment and development sector. In that same year, you founded the first real estate fund in Prague… — I was a pioneer in this, too. I established the fund together with Mirek Topolánek, former Czech Prime Minister, and some other colleagues. The idea was to invest in real estate and the energy sector, and we set off successfully, but then I had health problems for a year and a half. Since I, as the main protagonist in this fund, had to take a break and fight

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leukemia, we lost our initial pace, so I bought this fund from my partners in 2015, and it is passive now. A year ago, my business partner, Miki Goldshtein, and I established a new investment fund called the Opportunity Real Estate Fund. We are focusing on development, which means we will be buying plots, revitalizing locations, reconstructing old buildings, and building new ones. What is your company, Karlin Port Real Estate, dealing with now and which projects would you select as the most significant? — Karlin Port functions as an investor, developer and, less often, as an advisor in different projects. At this moment, we are participating in 11 partner real estate projects in Prague. We are financial advisors to the OAKS Prague project, the first of its kind in Europe. It is the development of a gated community, some 25 km away from Prague, covering an area of 200 hectares. A 5-star hotel will be located there, as will a Michelin-starred restaurant, a tennis academy and a golf course, which will be the only one in this part of Europe with a PGA license, meaning it will have permission to host the leading world tours. As advisors in this project, we have helped two Russian oligarchs who entered into this project get loans worth 100 million euros. We are also partners in two of three or four of the largest projects in Prague – Smichov City and Rohan City, on opposite sides of the Vltava River, where, in

cooperation with our partners, we are developing 800,000 square metres of residential and business space. These two projects represent a natural continuation of the Karlin revitalization. These projects were initiated in terms of construction two years ago and will probably continue for another 10 to 12 years. The total value of both investments is 1.5 billion euros. One might say that these projects are similar to Belgrade Waterfront but not entirely the same. Speaking of Belgrade Waterfront, there was an option for you to become the director of this project… — I negotiated this with our political elite some eight or nine years ago, when there was just a project idea and a preliminary assessment of urban planning. And I was very interested in it because, for me, this would be a project with an emotional component. We did not manage to reach a mutual agreement, but I am glad that this role was taken by Nikola Nedeljković. I have been cooperating with him closely on another project in Belgrade since last year when he left this position. What do you think of Belgrade Waterfront now that it has significantly progressed? — This was a unique opportunity for Belgrade to move down to the river and to create a new city area, but I think that this opportunity has not been fully taken advantage of. The architectural solutions should have been more attractive, which

Smichov City

Rohan City

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does not necessarily mean more expensive. The new urban area should have been better adapted to the old part of the city and its representative symbols, such as Belgrade Palace or The Temple of Saint Sava. This mixture of the old and the new would have been a fantastic challenge for me. In any case, Belgrade Waterfront is a great refreshment for Belgrade and, on top of that, it gave a huge impetus to housing construction. This expansion of the construction sector, which you have just mentioned, has attracted many Czech investors to Serbia... — Yes, it is my estimate that some 40 Czech developers, or investors, entered the Serbian market in the past few years, which is very interesting because the Czechs are not that active outside Czechia and Slovakia. The main reason for this is that the procedure for obtaining building permits and location conditions takes much less time in Serbia than in Czechia. Investors are under pressure to get a return on investments as quickly as possible, and if you have to spend 10 years waiting for the building permit and then two more years completing the project, meaning it takes you 12 years to get a return on your capital and make a profit, then this investment does not pay off. Czech investors have found in Serbia a safe niche for doing business, and it is a compliment to us. I have helped many Czech companies with my advice or personal contacts to enter the Serbian market, not only in the real estate sector, but also in energy, communal waste and recycling, banking, and construction. I often tell Czechs that they are one of the few nations that enter Serbia through open doors and do not require any marketing because they have been one of our country’s largest investors since the beginning of the 20th centu-

ry, and we are extremely familiar with their products. Nevertheless, you, as a Serbian investor coming from the Czech Republic, have not yet entered Serbia. Why? — It was only in 2007 that I started to be active in the real estate market in Serbia. Then I participated with my partners in the Robne kuće Beograd auction and I negotiated to buy a stake in MPC, in both cases without success. I must admit, these were some of the best business opportunities that we failed to take advantage of. However, we did initiate the third project, and we are currently 12 months from the start of its realization. It is a plot of approximately 30 hectares located on the Belgrade– Zagreb highway, between the Nikola Tesla Airport and the city centre, for which we have already prepared a plan for a large retail park. The value of this investment is around 100 million euros. What is your view of Belgrade’s future investment potential? — Serbian colleagues and friends often ask me what my view of the Serbian real estate market from the outside is, saying: “Don’t we already have enough development projects going on? What else is missing?” This always gets me very emotional, so I tell them: “Everything is missing! Everything is just about square metres. There are no common areas within the projects, no thoughtfully designed spaces between two development projects, there is no landscaping, there is even no architecture!” Not a single international architect is engaged in Belgrade, except for Stanislav Fiala, who works for SEBRE. I think that the world architectural machine should be given a chance to refresh Belgrade because foreign architects do not have the prejudices that exist in Serbia.

OPPORTUNITY REAL ESTATE FUND SICAV Property investments managed by KARLIN PORT REAL ESTATE • The fund structure enables investors to achieve excellent returns with low risk due to the diversified approach and the blending of various types of projects that match the risk/return profile of its investors. • Participation in large attractive transactions that are beyond individual accessibility. • Professional management team handling all transactional and operational aspects for Investors. • Transparent and flexible structure with a strong regulatory supervision. • Targeting a net return of 8% per annum to the investors. www.opportunity.estate

THE OPORTUNITY REAL ESTATE FUND TEAM MEMBERS HAVE ALTOGETHER BEEN INVOLVED IN 50 REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS WORTH EUR 1 BILLION 42

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INVESTMENTS

INDUSTRIAL PARKS OF THE HIGHEST STANDARD CTP Invest has eight industrial and commercial facilities in its portfolio, covering an area of 180,000 m2. Other projects are either under construction or in the planning phase. They all together cover a total of 600,000 m2, which makes this company a leader in the industrial real estate in Serbia Text and photo by: CTP

CTPark Belgrade North

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TP Invest is a leading commercial and industrial park owner and operator in the Central East Europe (CEE). The company’s portfolio covers more than 9 million square meters of commercial and industrial space in 10 CEE countries, accommodating over 700 renowned clients from different industries, including Continental, BMTS, Yanfeng, Tehnomanija, Nidec, Dijamant, Lidl, Mercata, IBM, Oracle, Bridgestone, Honeywell, Lufthansa, Pepsico, etc. Since the launching of their operations in Serbia in 2017, CTP has initiated numerous projects and currently has eight facilities in its portfolio, covering an area of 180,000 m2. Other projects are either under construction or in the planning stage. They all together cover a total of 600,000 m2, which makes this company a leader in the industrial real estate in Serbia, with over 65% of market share and a space occupancy rate of 98%.

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CTPARK BELGRADE NORTH With the intention of building one of the largest industrial parks in Serbia, CTP Invest bought 15.3 hectares of land in 2019, which became known as the CTPark Belgrade North. The construction of the first facility in this industrial park was completed in December 2020, when Tehnomanija, the first leaseholder who rented the whole facility, moved in. At the end of 2020, CTP took over the Eyemaxx Beta building of 30,000 m2 size, together with an additional 34,000 m2 plot with a potential for building 15,000 m2 on it. At this moment, CTP is completing the construction of the NBC3 facility, which will immediately upon its completion offer an additional 25,000 m2 of class A supreme quality space. According to the plan, the NBC3 facility should be completed in August 2022, when it should be handed over to the first two leaseholders, Galerija Podova and Intereuropa. Apart from the quality, the main attribute of the CTPark Belgrade North is an outstanding position. The Park is strategically located between the two largest cities in Serbia, Belgrade and Novi Sad, and along the A1 highway (E75). Its loca-

tion near the Novi Banovci crossroad provides easy access to the highways, which is very important for future investors. Another important advantage is its excellent connections with Novi Sad, Belgrade, and Niš, as well as with Zagreb, Budapest, Timisoara, Thessaloniki, Sofia, and other cities. Modern space design and the excellent location of the CTPark Belgrade North are convenient for the first mile logistics (delivery of goods to retailers and distributors) and manufacturing. The distance from Belgrade is just 20 km and the vicinity of Novi Sad, Inđija, Batajnica, Stara Pazova and surrounding towns is another advantage due to the readily available workforce. An area that covers a population of 2.5 million people can easily be toured within a 40-minute drive.

ŠIMANOVCI AND KRAGUJEVAC Apart from the CTPark North, CTP Invest has built a facility of 14,000 m2 (SIM1) in July 2019, as an addition within the CTPark Belgrade West in Šimanovci. The development project of 5 million euros has been completed within the shortest possible schedule, and the entire facility has been rented to two clients, SIKA and Emmezeta. There is another facility within the CTPark Belgrade West owned by CTP (SIM2) which is operated by the renowned company Phoenix Pharma. In September 2022, CTP will be completing another two facilities in the CTPark Belgrade West – SIM4 and SIM5 – whose total space is 35.000 m2, of which 20.000 m2 will be used by Bosch. Apart from Belgrade, CTP is currently active in some other towns in Serbia. In 2019, this company built a facility of 25,000 m2 called KRG1, which is a part of CTPark Kragujevac, located north of Kragujevac on the main north–south route connecting Serbia with northern Europe. The construction and delivery of this facility were completed within the shortest possible schedule. The plot was purchased in January 2019, while the leaseholder, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, took over their premises and initiated the manufacturing process in November of the same year. Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is a global leader in automotive interior production. The Kragujevac

CTPark Kragujevac KRG1

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CTPark Kragujevac KRG2

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CTPark Belgrade West SIM1 i SIM2

THERE ARE 2,500 EMPLOYEES WORKING IN THE CTPARKS AT THIS MOMENT, AND THE NUMBER IS EXPECTED TO REACH 5,000 UPON COMPLETION OF THE ONGOING PROJECTS factory is their first in Serbia and is intended for 800 employees. Apart from the Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, another Yanfeng department – Yanfeng Safety Systems – is renting a space of 5,000 m2 within the same facility. In July 2020, CTP has initiated the construction of a 30,000 m2 facility (KRG2) in the CTPark Kragujevac for the Yanfeng Seating company. In May 2021 the factory engaged 300 workers. Furthermore, at the end of 2021, the company acquisitioned another 5 hectares of land with a potential to extend the existing Park to cover a total of 80,000 m2.

CTPARK BELGRADE CITY In January 2021, CTP bought 27.5 hectares of the land with the intention of developing CTPark Belgrade City, an area of 130,000 m2, which is envisioned to be the largest logistical and technological facility in Serbia. The new CTPark will be strategically located 6 km away from Belgrade, 2 km away from Novi Sad, 2 km from New Belgrade and 5 km from the Belgrade Airport. Tehnomanija, a leading consumer electronics retailer and e-commerce market leader and CTP’s leaseholder for many years, has made reservations in advance for a 60,000 m2 space in the new park. CTP will start with construction next year, and the handover is scheduled for the third quarter of 2023.

NOVI SAD In Novi Sad, which is considered to be one of the major research and educational hubs in Central and Eastern Europe, CTP has successfully completed the construction of its first facility within the

BREEAM CERTIFICATE At this moment, CTP is the only company in Serbia and Central and Eastern Europe whose entire project portfolio is certified by BREEAM, with high energy efficiency grades, and it is their intention to

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CTPark Novi Sad – NVS1. It is one of the most modern factories in Serbia. In 2020, the first leaseholder, BMTS Technology (Bosch Mahle Turbo Systems), took over the premises and initiated their manufacturing process. BMTS Technology is a leading global exhaust turbocharger manufacturer. Apart from BMTS, another globally renowned company, Continental, moved into the NVS1 facility in April 2021. Continental will be developing advanced electronics for the automotive industry, actively engaging numerous engineers in this facility. By autumn this year, CTP will hand over a manufacturing facility covering 25,000 m2 with an option to extend to a total of 60,000 m2 to the Japanese giant, Nidec Corporation. Additionally, they will start building another 40,000 m2 for the Elesys company, a member of the Nidec corporation.


CTPark Novi Sad

certify all the projects they plan to develop. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) is one of the most significant ranking systems for green buildings, introduced in Great Britain in 1990. In time, it expanded to cover other countries, and is now implemented in North and South America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and parts of Africa. BREEAM is a ranking system using acknowledged and established criteria for assessing the characteristics, design, construction, and use of buildings. The categories measured include energy, water use, internal environment, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology, and the management process. All CTP Invest facilities which applied for the BREEAM certificate were assessed for energy (energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission), management, health, and interior environment (noise, light, interior parameters affecting the quality of life), transport (carbon dioxide emission), water (its consumption and efficiency), material (effects of the construction material on the environment, carbon dioxide emission, longevity), waste (waste minimization, resource consumption efficiency during the construction process), land use, pollution (effects on the environment), and ecology (location upgrade, ecological value). The representatives of the CTP company say that their clients and leaseholders demand more efficient and sustainable facilities, especially in times of

LONGTERM PARTNERSHIPS WITH SMALL AND LARGE COMPANIES

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growing energy prices, and point out that it is CTP’s responsibility to implement programs for lower energy consumption, technological advancement, improvement of construction standards by introducing the cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies, investment in greenery in the CTParks, as well as investments in technologies enhancing facility efficiency. By doing this, CTP wants to endorse their intention to build green and ecologically sustainable facilities, which is of crucial importance for the future of both construction and the living environment.

CONTACT CTP Invest Starine Novaka 23, 11000, Beograd www.CTP.eu, jovan.dobric@ctp.eu +381 66 88 89 563

CTPark Belgrade West SIm4 and SIM5

The CTP company’s officials highlight their desire to cooperate with small and major local and foreign partners, as well as the fact that their company has long-term plans in Serbia and a strong desire to increase their investments here. “We create lasting partnerships with our clients. We don’t just build facilities; we also build partnerships, and we deliver smart business solutions that do not only serve to meet our partners’ needs but also the needs of their employees as well as the needs of local communities. Our partners’ satisfaction is best reflected in the fact that 80% of our lease agreements are with our existing clients,” they say in CTP.

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INTERVIEW

BIG IN SERBIA "Serbia is one of the main growth engines of our company and we plan on continuing the development of our projects in many more Serbian cities and towns and bringing the brand BIG closer to all Serbian people," says Lev Weiss, CEO at BIG CEE By: GORDANA KNEŽEVIĆ MONAŠEVIĆ

Photo: BIG CEE

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srael’s BIG Shopping Centers established BIG CEE in Serbia in 2008 with a vision to develop shopping centers in this region as one of the fastest growing markets in Central and Eastern Europe. 14 years later, BIG CEE grew into one of the most significant investors and developers in Serbia, proving that the vision was good. We talked to Lev Weiss, CEO at BIG CEE, about current retail projects of the company, BIG Residences – their first and so far the only residential project, as well as BIG CEE expansion plans throughout the region.

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What were the best decisions of the company and major difficulties in your development mission in Serbia during those 14 years? — BIG Shopping Centers is an Israeli company, founded by Mr. Yehuda Naftali, who moved to the USA in 1973 and moved back to Israel in 1994, when he established BIG Shopping Centers with the idea of bringing the American concept of power centers to Israel, which didn’t exist in Israel at the time. When BIG CEE was established, the retail sector in Serbia was still very much under-developed. There were almost no significant retail projects outside of Belgrade and definitely not enough international tenants. The idea was to develop and continue the success of BIG in Israel here in Serbia. BIG’s first project – which was built in 2012, BIG Novi Sad, and today it is a very successful shopping center – was a greenfield investment, developed on a plot on the outskirts of town. There were many skeptical viewers who did not believe in this idea and location, and it was very hard to secure bank financing and anchor tenants for this project at the time. Clearly, this has proven to be a good investment, as BIG Novi Sad is of cca 46,000 sqm today, 100% leased, and the results are very good and growing. I believe this starting point of developing the first project was the biggest difficulty, and also the best decision the company could have made. Today, 10 years later, we are the owners of 9 shopping centers in Serbia, with a total of more than 210,000 sqm of GLA, from Zrenjanin in the north to Kruševac in the south. We have all seen the amazing growth Serbia has been showing in the past decade, and I am happy to say we were one of the first international investors to identify its potential and believe in the country. Serbia is one of the main growth engines of our company and we plan on continuing the development of our projects in many more Serbian cities and towns and bringing the brand BIG closer to all Serbian people.

With which retail product or concept do you seek to expand?

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— Our core product, for which we are well known, is retail parks, which are basically open-air shopping centers that provide easy access, lots of parking places, and convenient, easy-going shopping. For maximum accessibility, we position our projects at the entrance to the cities and close to the main roads. We target the population that lives in the city but also the outskirts of the city and surrounding villages. Our plots are at a minimum size of 30,000 sqm with 10.000 sqm of retail GLA, usually bigger, depending on the area and its potential based on our detailed analysis. This retail scheme is very beneficial for both the tenants in the retail park and the customers, as it provides easy access to all the basic necessities such as supermarkets, pharmacies, cosmetics, DIY, furniture, electronics, services, and, of course, a fair number of fashion stores. We also always make sure to have cafes and restaurants to complete the experience. This concept allows lower rental costs and maintenance fees, which makes it very attractive for tenants.

When and where will you open the jubilee 10th center? — The opening of Center number 10 in Serbia has already been announced to be by the end of Q1 2023, right between Stara and Nova Pazova, and we are very excited about it. The first phase will consist of almost 16,000 m2 and will have all the main tenants on the market. We are actively working on extending almost all of our existing projects, to which we will add almost 25,000 m2 all together in 2023. Additionally, we have already secured plots in a few more cities and are currently in the planning and design phase. We also have additional expansion plans throughout the region. We intend to be the biggest player in the field of retail parks and very dominant in the field of shopping centers and general commercial real estate. Not only in Serbia and Monte-

BIG Fashion Belgrade

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negro, we are aiming towards developing and acquiring a significant portfolio of projects throughout Albania, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Poland. What makes your retail projects so special? What makes you different compared to your competitors? — I believe that it is our unique philosophy and the fact that we don’t see ourselves as just developers or investors; we are shopping center operators who are handson with our projects day in and day out. We have no intention of selling any of our projects, and we have a unique approach towards our tenants. Our tenants know that they have a reliable and realistic partner who understands their needs and will support them closely in every scenario. Therefore, they know they can trust us. The success of the tenant is our number one prior-

WE INTEND TO BE THE BIGGEST PLAYER IN THE FIELD OF RETAIL PARKS AND VERY DOMINANT IN THE FIELD OF SHOPPING CENTERS AND GENERAL COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ity, and we make sure they are making money. If they don’t make enough, we support them with rent reductions as much as needed based on the sales. This was always our practice, and especially in hard times such as the COVID Crisis. The level of maintenance is at the highest possible level. We basically live in our projects, with a dedicated team taking care of every detail, making sure every public area is well maintained, clean, and safe. We are also constantly investing in marketing, increasing brand awareness and creating interesting events. This comes with heavy investment from our side, which is mostly not covered by the marketing fees paid by the tenants. We do this because we see ourselves as marathon runners, and we are creating additional value every day. By taking over 66% of AFI Group Properties, BIG has becom even “bigger“. What exactly is the connection between the companies? — BIG Shopping Centers, which is a public company on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange, is the owner of BIG CEE, and fairly recently, also became the majority shareholder of AFI Properties. AFI is a great company with very good and strong management. Both companies are independently managed with separate management teams. The biggest connection be-

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tween them is that they have the same chairman of the board, Eitan Bar Zeev. BIG Residences is another big project of your company, with 1,000 new apartments to be on offer on the market very soon. What encouraged you in your decision to turn to residential construction in Belgrade? — BIG Residences is indeed an exciting project, which we are very proud of. Generally speaking, BIG CEE is focused on its core product, retail parks, and not so active in the residential sector. This is our only residential project. We believe this project is continuing the positive change we have brought to this area of the city, and since we have a big plot right next to our projects – BIG Fashion Mall and Park – it made perfect sense to additionally develop this area, and continue creating an attractive destination. Sales of the project are going very well, and we are in the midst of construction of the first phase, with 3 buildings that have 186 apartments. We expect to start the second phase of construction towards the end of this year, which will add an additional 350 units. In the future, we will also build an office building on this location, which will complete the mixed-use purpose of this project. BIG CEE recently became the 100% owner of Del-


ta City shopping mall in Podgorica. You said that this acquisition was your entry ticket to Montenegro and only the beginning of your support and investment in this country. So, what are your plans for Montenegro? — Delta City Podgorica is a great shopping mall, and we have great expectations for it. It is basically the only modern shopping mall in Montenegro, and although it is a small country, we believe there is room for more. We are focused on retail projects, mainly retail parks in dominant cities, and this is the plan for Montenegro as well. We see it as a natural extension to our activities in Serbia, as most of the tenants are the same in both countries, and many of the Montenegrin visitors are aware of and love our brand. BIG Shopping Centers Group made an important step forward last year by sealing its first deal in the energy branch with wind turbines in Romania. Are you planning to enter the energy sector in Serbia too? — Recently, BIG has started operating in the energy sector as well, by creating a branch in the company that is solely focused on this sector. The project in Romania is still under development, and BIG has great expectations for it. The team responsible for this sector is very familiar with Serbia and is definitely interested in investing in attractive projects in Serbia as well. Covid-19 is behind us, hopefully, but we have another crisis – the war in Ukraine – which has a great impact on construction industry globally. How much will this crisis affect current BIG CEE building projects? — The results of the current crisis are still unfolding. This is impacted by the war in Ukraine but also by the

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growing interest rates, inflation and, of course, the supply chain issues which are a result of the events of the last two years. This has indeed brought about rising construction prices as well. We in BIG are remaining optimistic while taking cautious measures and following the events on a daily basis. BIG is a financially stable company, with a solid business strategy. Therefore, I believe we will overcome the current events.

BIG Novi Sad

BIG CEE also recognized the opportunity of investing in logistic centers in Serbia. So far, you have two, in Ugrinovci and Šimanovci. What would be your next step in this sector? — We are tracking this sector closely and analyzing it as time goes by. Naturally, we see it as an attractive opportunity, especially in Serbia, as it is geographically located on very important transit roads and has very good infrastructure, which we see improving every day. This is a very dynamic sector of real estate which we believe in, and we do have some interesting plans for development, but it is still too early to discuss them at this moment. You have been in this position in BIG CEE for almost a year. What was your previous experience and how did you adapt to living and working in Serbia? — I have been working in BIG Shopping Centers since 2015, holding a few different positions in Israel. Since the beginning of 2019, I have moved to Serbia to take on the position of Chief Operations Officer, until my appointment as CEO last September. Adapting to life and work in Serbia was fairly easy for me, since Serbia and the Serbian people are very easy-going, friendly, and warm. Belgrade is a wonderful, vibrant city, which I absolutely love.

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REAL ESTATE

GOOD FACILITY MANAGEMENT CONSIDERABLY LOWERS COSTS AND SAVES ENERGY What is the range of FM services, to which extent is this multidisciplinary occupation developed in our market and how it can be upgraded, all this is explained to us by Vladimir Baić, Managing Director of IREP&WEST Facility Management sector for Serbia By: PETRA VASILJEVIĆ

Photo: IREP&WEST

Vladimir Baić, Managing Director of IREP&WEST Facility Management sector for Serbia

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t is of crucial importance for every commercial, public or industrial facility to be regularly maintained so that the work space used by employees can function smoothly. At the same time, the owner must always take into consideration the cost optimization. Both these aspects fall under Facility Management services (FM). Although FM services are finding their way to our market, many facility owners are still not aware of all advantages of a professional FM and latest FM solutions which have been implemented across the world for some time now.

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IREP&WEST’s Belgrade office has recently made new FM solutions available in Serbia. The partner firm was

of the facilities, equipment, and all necessary types of maintenance. Locally, FM is still regarded in the same way as before - as nothing more than maintenance, in terms of sanitation and technical maintenance. Only recently, both in Serbia and the region, we are witnessing a growing awareness of the difference between the two concepts – the role of maintenance is to make sure that everything in a facility functions perfectly, while the Facility Management implies a broad concept of managing a facility on a long-term basis. The management and FM function optimization processes are interlinked, improving the quality of services, with continuous focus on cost rationalization, while keeping in mind the energy efficiency and sustainable development.

created by merging the International Real Estate Partners (IREP) company which has been present in the real estate and FM market of 50 countries on 6 contitnents, with the Serbian West Properties (WP), a leader among the local real estate brokerage agencies. By joining their forces and experience, IREP with its global coverage, and WP as an expert for the local and regional market, they will offer a complete portfolio of services in the Balkans real estate sector, with a particular focus on the strategical development of FM services in Serbia. We are discussing the importance of FM services with Vladimir Baić, Managing Director of IREP&WEST Facility Management sector for Serbia, as well as the level of the FM services currently available in our market and novel solutions offered by their company.

UPON COMPLETION OF THE FACILITY ORGANISATION ANALYSIS, WE OFFER A SUGGESTION FOR AN IMPROVED FACILITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, WHICH GUARANTEES REDUCTION OF FACILITY COSTS UP TO 25 % How would you define the Facility Management concept used today around the world and here locally? How is FM different from what was for decades locally referred to as the „maintenance services“? — We can define Facility Management as a process of delivering all necessary services to the users of a facility or a real estate, with an aim to fulfill their diverse needs. A more formal definition is offered by IFMA (International Facility Management Association) - “a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.” Of course, this primarily implies the management

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According to European standards FM allegedly covers as many as 80 services and processes. What are these? — Services offered and provided by Facility Managers cover all services which may be needed by the user of the facility. The first thing that comes to mind are cleaning services, technical maintenance and security services. However, since the development of the Facility Management concept, types and the range of the services are continuously expanding to cover new areas. Main functions of the Facility Management are: • Operational management of the building – implies activities necessary for the functioning and maintenance of the facility. Some of these are maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and electric equipment, watersupply system and the building management system. • Grounds management – lanes, pathways, lighting, greenery and grass areas. • Planning – means longterm planning in the context of the Facility Management in order to save the appearance of the facility and improve its functionality. • Sustainability – stands for creating and preserving conditions which provide the balance between economic, social and environmental requirements of present and future generations. • Project Management – implies initiating, planning, controlling and completing team works with an aim to achieve specific goals and predefined criteria. • Space planning – ensures an optimal and most efficient arrangement and use of space. • Workplace strategy – harmonizes FM processes with the working environment to enable the achievement of goals. • Real estate management – managing rel estate acquisition, sale, lease and development. If we were to analyse each of the above categories in details, I’m sure we would exceed 100 and not just 80 activities formally covered by the Facility Management field.

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By implementing CAFM software, we can reduce facility management costs of up to 25%

To which extent is FM as a multidisciplinary approach present in our market? Do the owners of industrial, public and commercial facilities have an awareness of its significance, and what is the level of the FM services provided in Serbia today? — When it comes to market coverage with basic FM services the situation here is relatively satisfactory. However, many owners of industrial, public and commercial facilities are often not aware of the importance of the FM multidisciplinary approach, which provides IREP&WEST with an opportunity to up-

Who are your potential customers and how does your FM solution save time, energy and money for the real estate owners? — Every potential user of FM services is our prospective client. We offer solutions tailored according to specific needs of our clients, continuously carrying out activities directed at cost saving, but ensuring that they do not result in diminishing the quality of services provided. These savings can be significant, which is exactly what prompted a very succesful expansion of IREP at the global level. When it comes to specific estimations of cost savings, according to IREP’s experience, they may amount to 10 – 25 % compared to previous facility costs. What provides an additional advantage is that, upon completion of the facility organisation analysis, IREP offers a suggestion for an improved facility management system, which guarantees reduction of facility costs, while taking on the risks of these cost reductions. In practice this means that the facility owner pays reduced amounts for the costs from the very beginning, regardless whether IREP&WEST was successful at cost reduction or not. Still, I would like to emphasise that to date, IREP has always been successful in providing or even significantly surpassing agreed cost savings.

grade the quality of FM services in the local market. As a part of the global IREP network, we are in a position to bring added value to our clients’ businesses by applying the latest FM solutions. That is why we aim to make our clients familiar with them, because by applying novel solutions they can considerably improve working efficiency and rationalise their costs.

Where in the world is your FM software applied? — International Real Estate Partners is doing business in more than 50 countries all over the world, and this number is growing. All our clients have the opportunity to make use of the significant advantages provided by our CAFM software, in line with their needs and desires. We have satisfied customers all over the world and on different continents, which is yet another evidence that our business model is successful.

What are the advantages of FM solutions brought by IREP&WEST, and what does their practical implementation look like? — Along with the Open Book Policy we consistently apply in our business practices and client approach, we start with an analysis of FM needs and the functioning of the existing FM services of our future clients. Our aim is to identify the opportunities for the optimization and upgrading, as well as saving opportunities, whether related to the organisational process or the energy efficiency. In practice, this strategy leads to building trust between IREP&WEST and the client because the model applied firmly connects the goals of the FM function and those of the facility owner. We always work openly and transparently, and it is in our interest to ensure optimal savings and efficiency to our clients, because it implies that we are doing our business successfully.

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Due to the complexity of this discipline, there are very few companies in our market who avail of inhouse FM services. Instead, they hire outsourced teams for this purpose. Do we have enough professional FM teams in the market? — In the local FM market there is a shortage of the quality personel to join the FM teams. This creates another opportunity for the IREP&WEST company to play a significant role in the local and regional market, because our workforce of over 1,500 experienced employees all over the world represents an invaluable source of expert and innovative knowledge in the Facility Management field. This allows us to recruit and train a high quality FM team with an advanced client approach in every new market we enter.


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BUSINESS

DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM ENHANCING EFFICIENCY OF REAL ESTATE PROPERTY SALES If you are in residential and commercial development business, but still have not found the way to move on from Excel tables, Realpad software can help you with smoother and faster running of your complete sales documentation and project management, increasing your profits Uroš Djaković, Realpad Balkans Regional Director

By: PETAR DOBROSAVLJEVIĆ

Photo: VLADIMIR ŽIVOJINOVIĆ

ompanies dealing with one of everybody’s burning issue in life – having a roof over their head – are still using Excel tables and e-mails as their main tools, although they are running businesses worth hundreds of millions of Euros. Globally, this market was worth 10.5 trillion USD two years ago, in comparison to 9.6 trillion in 2019. The digitalisation of the “brick and mortar” industry is inevitable, and this is where the Realpad company sees its opportunity for global launch of its product portfolio. This company has recently entered our market and its services are already being used by some of the major real estate investors in Serbia. We are discussing the inevitability of the real estate industry digitalisation and advantages of the Realpad software with Uroš Djaković, Realpad Regional Director for Balkans who gained his experience in this field as the founder of a PropTech startup supported by Delta Holding through Delta Business Incubator programme.

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Realpad software is one of the latest PropTech platforms supporting the rapid digitalisation of the real estate market. Who is the Realpad intended for? — The real estate market and the overall construction business make together one of the largest industries in Serbia. Still, their digitalisation is at a low level. The overall transformation of this sector is a must, and it needs to be digitalised as soon as possible. User habits and the speed of information search have radically changed in the past few years. It is absolutely necessary to harmonize them with the wide range of activities related to this market. This primarily means with planning, sales, rental, building, design, and management of the residential and commercial property. This is exactly what Realpad offers. Our services are targeting investors who are primarily focused on building residential and commercial property. We provide a digital ecosystem covering main areas of sales and project management and which encompasses CRM in cloud, sales tablet application, user portal and defect management software for construction.


How does the software work? — CRM module is the heart and the brain of the ecosystem. It retains and manages all queries, contacts, stocks, transactions, and contracts in one single place. It supports and manages the sales team. Another impact of our applications is that it makes Excel files obsolete, allowing the user to fully digitalise their business. The tablet application is Front-End interface. It enables the sales teams to present their projects in a well organised, modern, and aesthetically appealing manner. The application is connected to CRM and allows the sales agents to automatically generate and send offers to potential clients while on the move. User portal is the user interface, where the client can find all the necessary information related to the purchase, including payments, contracts, and other documentation. The user interface is also used by investors as a communication tool serving to inform their clients about the news in construction, delivery processes, etc. Defect management module is linked to the user portal and enables investors to have a full control over referred defects, from the moment they are identified and reported by the customer, until they have been resolved by the contractor.

has as of lately become available in our country thanks to their partnership with you. Who between you two was the first to recognize this opportunity? — Every local real estate market has its own rules and regulations which need adapting to. My managed to achieve success with our innovative solution in our PropTech sturtup. That is what drew Realpad’s attention, and as a result, they initiated our partnership. Together we embarked on this mission to digitalise the real estate sector in the Balkans. We are currently working on a strategy how to expand our business outside Europe, where we expect to face major competition from the global PropTech companies, and we are really looking forward to this challenge.

LARGE INVESTMENT COMPANIES HAVE RECOGNISED ADVANTAGES OF OUR SOLUTION, SUCH AS AFI EUROPE, SEBRE AND UDI, WHICH WE ARE HONOURED TO COOPERATE WITH

What is the greatest advantage of this software? — The Realpad product portfolio is particularly adapted to the real estate investors. It supports them in their daily schedule thanks to its systematisation from the beginning to the end, automatisation and digitalisation of the sales process as well as after sale. As a result, the Realpad users save 20% of their time on average. The software also minimises potential mistakes, because it maintains order in project and user data. Does the Realpad software also improve and advance the experience of end users, i.e. – customers? — Exactly, that is an additional benefit which the investor using our software offers to their clients. Let’s take an example of e-trade, where one trades with items of considerably lower price than that of the real estate. As a customer, you have the opportunity to trail in a transparent manner every single step and activity related to your order. User portal is the user interface, where the client can find all the necessary information related to the purchase, including payments, contracts, and other documentation. Realpad has very quickly found its way to more than 100 investors in 12 European countries, and

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Which real estate companies in our market are already using the RealPad software? — Large investment companies have recognised advantages of our solution, such as AFI Europe, SEBRE and UDI, which we are honoured to cooperate with. Our goal is to become European leader in technological solutions and products intended for real estate business. We are now negotiating with other Balkan and international corporations. The Balkan market is very progressive, and we are witnessing a continual improvement in this matter, meaning that the companies want to digitalise their working processes and facilitate smoother running of their business.

Realpad software saves time and minimises potential mistakes

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DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

CUSTOMERTAILORED INFORMATION SYSTEMS Market competition in any sector today is unthinkable without solutions based on digital technology that provide companies with advanced business capabilities. That is why it is important to have a reliable managed service provider as a partner who will offer you the most modern ITC solution for the needs of your business, such as Yunet International By: PETAR DOBROSAVLJEVIĆ

Photo: NEBOJŠA BABIĆ

nce the first commercial Internet provider in Serbia, today’s managed service provider, Yunet, has been setting high standards in providing information and telecommunications services in our market for more than 25 years. A wide range of services includes practically everything—from internet services, cloud and hosting, to data protection from cyber attacks, the introduction of optical infrastructure, customer-tailored business solutions, and an IoT platform for business system integration. “Yunet’s strategy is based on creating personalized solutions, tailored to customers’ business. Whether it’s just connecting to the Internet or a complex request for the implementation of ICT solutions, customers will get the ideal partner in each of these phases in Yunet ,” says Zlatko Trhulj, CEO of Yunet International, who has many years of managerial experience in Telekom Srbija and MTEL Montenegro. In addition to basic Internet services, which include television and Internet packages and VPN (connecting business locations to one private computer network), Yunet can provide each company with cloud services, hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, and telehousing (setting up your server in one of two Yunet Data Centers). Since online security has never been more important, Yunet also offers data protection services and solutions that will raise the quality and security of your network operations to the highest level. When it comes to security, Yunet can offer and implement the most optimal

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Zlatko Trhulj, CEO, Yunet International

video surveillance solution so you can protect your assets or monitor your workflow. Within its portfolio, it also provides consulting services, development of conceptual solutions and projects, both for network infrastructure and for integrated solutions of information systems. Yunet is also able to offer you a unique IoT platform based on the Nova Vector solution, which is the most modern technology necessary for the development of business solutions in the future. “IoT is a secure, modern, and scalable platform that supports the connection of modern IoT sensors via several wireless protocols. This enables the creation of specific solutions that are maximally functional and, at the same time, enables the introduction of advanced real-time reporting. The IoT platform also includes a module for machine learning and artificial intelligence, in order to gain a better understanding of business processes, all in order to optimize production processes and achieve better use of existing resources,” explains Trhulj, adding that this platform can be used by companies from all industries. Yunet is also highly qualified to provide services for the planning, design, and construction of telecommunication networks based on optical cables. The team of engineers will offer you the most modern technical solutions for the construction of optical infrastructure, including the design of main and local optical routes; the design of access networks and TK sewer routes; as well as the design of FTTx networks.


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REAL ESTATE

BELGRADE MARKET IS GETTING EVER MORE EXCLUSIVE In the world of real estate, Brian Lack & Co stands for luxurious residential buildings with exclusive interiors. They have been recognised as leaders in this field in Europe for decades but also in Belgrade, where they opened a branch of their London office ten years ago By: JOVANA NIKOLIĆ

Photo: BRIAN LACK & CO

Sanja Mitrović, Director of the Brian Lack & Co agency, specialised for dealing in luxurious real estate on prestigious locations. Brian Lack & Co was opened in Belgrade ten years ago as branch office of its London headquarters. What do you consider to have been your greatest achievement during the fist decade of presence on the Serbian market? — Although we have not been present in Belgrade for more than ten years, we can boast good results. Apart from residential buildings in exclusive areas of our capital, we are particularly proud of the Avala House project which has been nominated for the prestigious EU award for contemporary architecture – „Mies van der Rohe Award 2022“. It is a luxurious building of an authentic design combining modern elements with natural surroundings. This building is also unique in the construction method which was applied. It was built by using the cutting edge effusion technology, without vibrations, which allowed to create concrete elements in one piece.

Sanja Mitrović, Director of Brian Lack & Co

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uxurious apartments market is a part of the most attractive offer of every metropolis, and Belgrade is in this sense not different than any of them. What is it that Belgrade and other cities in Serbia have to offer to clients looking for apartments designed in line with the highest world standards, how important is to have connections with the global market in real estate brokering and what is it the clients are primarily looking for – these are the questions we asked

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How did your clients benefit from your connections with the western European market and what would you highlight as your company’s most important asset? — More than anything else, it’s our experience in the global real estate market. Thanks to our ten years long presence, we have established an incredible database, as well as excellent cooperation with renowned investors. These qualities have been recognised by our clients, both local and foreign, including embassies and foreign representative offices. We


are happy to see that clients in Serbia recognise our aspirations and that foreign clients view our agency as a reliable company capable of providing right information, quality services and, above all, security – at any moment. To which extent does the Belgrade and Serbia’s real estate market offer fits into Brian Lack’s exclusive concept? — In the past few years, Belgrade has grown into a true metropolis and it is slowly acquiring a prestigious image globally. Newly built office and residential buildings have contributed to this image with their modern architecture and luxurious interiors comparable to any similar buildings all over the world. The best example of this concept is Belgrade Waterfront, which is by its size the second largest complex of this type in Europe, right behind the Minsk Mir project. What would you highlight as the most attractive offers in Belgrade? — Serbia’s real estate market is still young, but it’s growing incredibly quickly. This primarily applies to its capital. Of Belgrade’s 17 municipalities, Vračar gets most attention, being a very attractive location because of the Saint Sava Church, theatres and museums located there. New Belgrade, the business centre of the capital, has also developed residentially, offering its inhabitants comfortable life close to the rivers, large parks, but also major traffic roads providing easy communication with other parts of the city. Clients are also interested in Savski venac and its main city streets and residential zones in Senjak and Dedinje but also Dorćol, considered by many to be „the heart of the city”. What about the offer in other Serbian towns? — When it comes to other places in Serbia, apart from Novi Sad and Niš, Kragujevac and Aranđelovac have come under the spotlight recently, as the markets where the same good business practice already in place in other Serbian towns is now implemented. One of the favourite locations in Kragujevac is its centre, where we want to draw your attention to the Tesla Palace project. It spreads over 32,000 sqm and is located in the immediate vicinity of the University, Stem Cells Institute and the Palace of Justice. The project which consists of 218 apartments and 14 outlets is expected to be completed in the second half of next year. According to the Republic Geodetic Authority, Kragujevac recorded the highest increase in housing market turnover as a result of an increase in

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the number of factories, higher incomes, improved infrastructure, and because it has become a place where it is easy to get a job. Also, Kragujevac has a University and excellent traffic connections with the rest of Serbia. I would also like to mention the exclusive residential and office area which is to be built in the very centre of Aranđelovac. With its 28 apartments, business premisses and garages, it will offer its residents the comfort level and luxury equal to that of the capital’s residential buildings. That will be the first condominium type development in this town. All apartments are designed to provide maximum functionality and optimal correlation between the number of bedrooms and square footage. Particular importance was given to quality materials and spacious terraces overlooking the mountains Bukulja and Venčac, Banjski park and historical locations which make the Heart of Šumadija and Aranđelovac famous. As to additional elements, this residential area will have a playground, open swimming pool, gym and spa areas, family gathering areas, a common terrace with lounge furniture, as well as 24h technical service.

Avala House: an authentic design combining modern elements with natural surroundings

The current situation has seriously shaken the real estate market, prices, including rental, are constantly rising, as well as the demand for all types of apartments. What is most demanded by your clients?

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Tesla Palace project in Kragujevac includes 218 apartments and 14 outlets

Recreation and relaxation space in the Tesla Palace complex

— Despite the pandemia that the whole world struggled with last year, there was no stagnation of demand on the real estate market. On the contrary! The demand is increasing, especially for new apartments. Partly because the life style is changing. We are gradually moving away from our old habits when it comes to home living and towards „open spaces“ that we can shape accourding to our own wishes.

Apartments in the Tesla Palace complex will provide tenants with a new standard of comfort and prestige

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Which type of real estate are you specialised in, so the clients know they should ask for your agency’s services? — Brian Lack & Co focuses on luxurious real estate. These are residential buildings built according to the highest global standards, both in their interior and exterior solutions. This means they were built with the best quality material and interior is equipped with luxurious furnishings. Often they offer additional elements, such as security guards, swimming pools, playgrounds for the youngest residents. We also have rich experience in renting and selling office space and other commercial buildings.

Which services you offer to your clients, apart from the real estate brokerage? — We adopted good practices of developed markets which implies the complete property management services. This means, that apart from the real estate brokerage, we will take care of rent collection, running costs, property maintenance etc. Also, we offer 3D design solutions, and our team of lawyers who are at our clients’ disposal for legal issues. Several large, global real estate agencies are already present on our real estate market. How do you view your position on the Serbian market and what would you point out as your competitive advantage in your field? — What makes us stand out is our business concept based on European models. Professionality, dedication and individual approach to every client is the basis of the Brian Lack & Co business style and our intention is to preserve these values. At the same time, we will make every effort to encourage foreign investments in construction business in Serbia.


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REAL ESTATE MARKET

Villa in Djuraševići in Luštica

MONTENEGRO’S LUXURY PROPERTIES INCREASED IN VALUE The current crisis has significantly affected the real estate market in Montenegro. According to Niko Laković, partner and executive director of Montenegro Sotheby's International Realty, the new circumstances will bring some new clients to Montenegro but also force investors to adopt new sales strategies By: PETRA VASILJEVIĆ

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Photo: MONTENEGRO SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY


ast year was very successful for the real estate industry in Montenegro. This is backed up by the fact that foreigners invested more than 250 million euros in real estate in this country in 2021, the largest yearly amount since 2008. Russian citizens invested the most (50 million euros), followed by Serbian citizens (33 million). In the new circumstances caused by the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by Montenegro on Russia, the situation in the real estate market has changed significantly and is slowly taking on new trends, which we discuss with Niko Laković, partner and executive director of Montenegro Sotheby’s International Realty.

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How did the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine affect the real estate market in Montenegro? — All of this is, sadly, a really bad time for both nations, Russians and Ukrainians. Both continue to visit Montenegro, but there are now many more Ukrainians. There are currently around 20,000 of them, according to some estimates. Russians are also coming, but primarily as tourists; there are far fewer who want to buy properties. The Central Bank has limited the amount they can have in their bank account, and since Montenegro is in the SWIFT system, they cannot make payments to Montenegro. Are Ukrainians buying more property in Montenegro now? — They are primarily seeking rental properties. Both Russians and Ukrainians arrive with cash and request the lease of various types of real estate, causing rental costs to rise, particularly in some areas of Budva and Tivat. In practice, demand was so great that you

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could rent a beautiful two-bedroom flat in Porto Montenegro for 50,000 euros per year. How did the situation affect real estate prices, and who, in your opinion, will be the primary buyers of properties in Montenegro this year? — Real estate prices are stable, with the exception of top-luxury real estate, which has increased by 10 to 20%. I expect that the sale of real estate will remain at a high level this year as well, given the fact that the citizens of Serbia and the region will probably invest the most in real estate in Montenegro. Sure, this situation will hit a certain niche of the real estate industry, but the demand is still high. People

Niko Laković, partner and executive director of Montenegro Sotheby’s International Realty

Villa in Djuraševići won BIG SEE award for architecture and design in 2020

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are getting rid of money because they are afraid of inflation and everyone wants to buy real estate. Investors have adjusted their strategies in response to the scenario. Resorts that can afford it allow foreigners, such as Serbian citizens, to pay 30 or 40% of the property’s value and move in immediately, then repay the rest in 36-month installments without taking out a bank loan.

A luxury villa overlooking the bay in Prčanj

How much does the crisis in construction materials affect the construction of new projects? — All are recalculated and limit the validity of apartment prices. The price is valid for one month. And construction doesn’t stop. The luxury hotel SIRO Boka Place, which will be open next summer, is be-

A renovated 17th century villa in Perast

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ing actively built in Porto Montenegro. A hotel from the Marriott chain near the Old Town of Kotor, the Intercontinental Hotel in Čanj, the Radisson Blu in Bar and Galeb in Ulcinj are also under construction. In Kolašin, on the ski slope itself, the Swissôtel is opening, while the Westin hotel is still under construction. As part of the Luštica Bay project, new hotels and an 18-hole golf course are being built. The unique selling point is that players will have a view of the sea from every point on the course. The next big project that is expected is the beginning of the construction of the Four Seasons Hotel on Plavi horizonti. Bigova Bay in Kotor is a large project on 300 hectares. There will be several world-famous brands and operators.


Your portfolio consists of luxury real estate that you find for prestigious clients from all over the world. Do you have any new pearls on offer? — We currently offer a designer apartment of 600 square meters within the Nikki Beach resort near La Perla in Kaludjerovina, across from Porto Montenegro. The owners of the apartment are art collectors, and they have spectacularly decorated it. There are several residential complexes above Sveti Stefan, each with four to five luxury villas with swimming pools. The value of such a complex is over 10 million euros. We also have historic properties, such as the 17th century Mrša Palace in Perast. We also offer several properties that have won awards for architecture. These are residences on the water itself,

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with access to the sea, whose value ranges from 7 to 14 million euros. How satisfied are you with doing business in Montenegro as a branch of the world-famous agency? — We had a very successful last year. We are intensively developing the system. We have opened an office in Budva, in addition to the main office in Porto Montenegro. We invest a lot in marketing and new technologies to be at the level of London or Paris. We have a strategic partnership with Sotheby’s branch in Croatia and now with a newly opened office in Belgrade. Together, we cover the entire former Yugoslavia, expecting to be the leading force for luxury real estate in the region.

A luxurious penthouse in the Nikki Beach resort

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TRAVEL

TOP FIVE UNDERWATER HOTELS A vacation at a luxury resort in an exotic destination is the gold standard, but if that resort still includes an underwater hotel—and there aren't many in the world—it's a bonus that promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we'll try to convey to you By: ANA KRALJ

THE MURAKA, MALDIVES The Muraka is a Hilton underwater hotel, which is part of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. It was designed by New York based architect Yuji Yamazaki and local architect Ahmed Saleem. Submerged five meters below sea level, this two-level villa has a master bedroom and a bathroom, both featuring floorto-ceiling glass walls to take in the Indian Ocean’s marine life. At sea level, guests can enjoy two bedrooms and a bathroom, an outdoor deck with an

infinity pool, 24-hour butler service, and access to a private chef. The suite sleeps up to nine people, and prices start at $50,000 per night. You can arrive at Muraka via a private seaplane or travel from Conrad Maldives Rangali on a speedboat, which you can keep for the duration of your stay. Access to private jet skis is also available. The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island opened its first undersea restaurant a decade ago. The Ithaa restaurant, also located 16 feet below sea level, is surrounded by coral gardens. The Muraka, Maldives

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Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

ATLANTIS, THE PALM, DUBAI With names like Neptune and Poseidon, the underwater suites at the Atlantis The Palm in Dubai beckon you to experience luxurious accommodations set amid the marine life of the Persian Gulf. The palatial Atlantis sits on a man-made, palm-tree-shaped island and is lauded as one of Dubai’s most impressive ho-

RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA, SINGAPORE Resorts World is located on the island of Sentosa in Singapore. Key attractions here include one of Singapore’s two casinos and an one of the largest worlds aquarium with more than 100,000 marine animals. This magnificent sea empire can be in the palm of your hand if you stay in one of the 11 underwater suites offered by this hotel. The apartments are on two levels. On the upper level, above sea level, there is a living room with an outdoor jacuzzi, and below sea level

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tels, in part for its architecture and aquatic wonderland. The Atlantis underwater room looks onto the resort’s aquarium that houses 65,000 creatures, including rays and sharks. If you want, you can dive in this aquarium. Each room costs around $7,000 per night and comes with in-room dining, a 30-minute personal training session, and free airport transfers.

there are bedrooms, also with a jacuzzi, with a spectacular view through the glass walls of underwater life of as many as 800 species. Interestingly, these apartments are significantly cheaper than similar ones in other underwater hotels in the world, which makes this amazing adventure more affordable. The price of $1,500 per night includes the service of a personal butler and all the luxury of a five-star hotel. Guests of the resort can also use the Aqua Gastronomy Experience restaurant, which is semi-underwater.

Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore


INTERCONTINENTAL SHANGHAI WONDERLAND, CHINA This luxury hotel from the Hilton chain was built in 2018 in a deep pit of a former quarry in southwest Shanghai, and of the 18 floors it has, as many as 16 are underground. But, what is most important to us is that, out of 16 underground floors, two are under water. The Under-

The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Tanzania

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water apartments have a bedroom overlooking the water surface, while the living room is in an aquarium with sea water, from which you can watch the enchanting show of light and water prepared by the hotel every night. There is also an underwater restaurant within the hotel, which has fantastic seafood specialties on the menu. The price of the underwater apartment is $15,000 per night.

THE MANTA RESORT, PEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA Located off the east coast of Tanzania, Pemba Island belongs to the Zanzibar archipelago, featuring some of the finest beaches and the most beautiful azure waters. In 2013, The Manta Resort unveiled its exclusive Underwater Room, a three-level floating suite offering crystal-clear views of the reef from its submerged bedroom in the Indian Ocean. This

Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, China

all-inclusive villa, perfect for a honeymoon, can be accessed by a quick wooden boat ride from the beach. It’s close enough to the beach, but provides the ultimate seclusion and has a living room, bathroom, and a sundeck crafted from local hardwood. At night, this underwater hotel lights up on the sides to shed light on the sea turtles and reef sharks swimming alongside you as you rest. Prices start at $900 per night.

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PROMO

HOW TO ACQUIRE A LUXURIOUS PROPERTY IN TURKYE If your dream is to become the owner of a comfortable apartment or a villa with a sea view in Alanya, Antalya, or maybe in Istanbul, a professional team of experts of the Dom u Turskoj agency will help you choose a property that best meets your needs By: JOVANA NIKOLIĆ

Photo: DOM U TURSKOJ

he Dom u Turskoj agency, with an office in Alanya, has been successfully selling properties in Turkye’s real estate market since 2015. The Agency’s team is made up of experts from our region with rich experience in the tourism and real property sectors, who have been living in Alanya for a number of years. “Thanks to a unique combination of life experience, thorough knowledge of Turkye and Slavic mentality, we can tell with precision what it is that potential buyers want. We can identify exclusive offers for the diverse needs of our clients: luxurious coast villas in the Antalya region; affordable apartments in residential complexes; functional apartments in business cities; remote houses in picturesque bays; and many other offers. Our advantage is professional cooperation with the best of the construction companies in the region, as well as a comprehensive catalogue of exclusive buildings, which you can find on our social media pages, “says Nana Karaveli, the agency’s General Manager.

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What is the procedure for buying real estate in Turkey for foreigners? — Apart from a valid passport, you do not need any other document to buy property in

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Nana Karavelić, General Manager at the Dom u Truskoj agency

Turkye. The purchasing process is really simple. The most important thing is to come here and pick the property that you want. Having collected all the necessary documentation, which is a process our agency will lead you through, you have to apply for an appointment in the cadaster office to take over your ownership certificate. Once you get this document, the property will belong to you. According to the legal procedure, a translator speaking your language must be present during your appointment in the cadaster office. What additional expenses will the client pay? — The only costs not included in the price are the ownership transfer costs, which the customer pays upon the state commission’s evaluation and which amount to 4% of the property’s estimated value. After that, the utilities will be transferred to your name. Electricity and water bills are paid according to consumption. There are maintenance costs to be paid in every residential complex, depending on amenities offered and the number of apartments in the residence. They usually range between 15 and 50 euros per month, which is an amount that allows you to use all the amenities and services, common premises,


rooms, parking, etc. Houses and villas are more expensive than apartments. They are usually located on the outskirts of town and have lovely sea views. We offer apartments still under construction, to be bought directly from the building companies, and also completed or used apartments. For apartments under construction, there is an option to pay in instalments – half of the sum is paid right away, and the other half can be paid in three or four monthly instalments, without interest, upon completion of the project. Do your clients buy the property for vacation purposes or with the intention of living in Turkye? — Before, it was mostly for vacation or rental purposes. Our agency also offers these services. Clients can, if interested, use our agency’s services to rent their property. As of late, we are seeing an increasing number of people relocating here, which is not surprising, considering lower living costs and the fact that Alanya avails of 322 sunny days per year and that the bathing season lasts all year around.

The purchase of apartments under construction is also possible in installments without interest

as well as the maintenance and cleaning services, video surveillance, etc. And the last cost on this list is the annual property tax, which amounts to 0.3% of the property’s estimated value. What are the advantages of buying a property in Turkye? — One of the major advantages is the price. Property in Turkye is considerably cheaper than in other countries in the region – Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, or Spain. You will need much more money to become the owner of an apartment at the seaside or with a sea view in other countries than you will need in Turkye. Also, the process of purchasing and the transfer of ownership is much simpler and quicker here than it is elsewhere. It only takes two to three weeks to have your property transferred to you. The cost of living is also significantly lower, and the climate is perfect. Alanya, in particular, is an air health resort for patients of all types, a place where mountain air meets sea breeze. Turks are hospitable people who will make you feel at home. Simply put, life in Turkey is so much more relaxed, with less stress. What types of property do you have on offer? — We have apartments, houses, and villas on offer. These are mostly modern complexes with additional facilities, such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hammams, saunas, gyms, children’s play-

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CONTACT Turkey Kestel mahallesi İsa Küçülmez caddesi, No:39/A www.domuturskoj.com · info@domuturskoj.com Office Alanya: +905550608556, +90 552 039 63 90, +90 549 518 13 20, +905318854267, +90 536 408 46 61, Office Mersin: +90 552 766 22 07, +905017109502 JUNE 2022

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PROMO

YACHT HOUSE BELGRADE: INNOVATIVE HOME ON THE WATER CONCEPT If you have always dreamed of living or staying on the river enjoying nature, Cunami House will deliver you, in just two months, a dream house of superior quality and an unusual design that combines the advantages of a villa, raft, and yacht By: PETAR DOBROSAVLJEVIĆ

Photo: CUNAMI HOUSE

here are many different houses on the river, each with its own charm, because it is a priceless escape to an oasis of peace, away from the stress of city life. However, prefabricated houses made by Cunami House, which has been operating for ten years, are an unusual solution for the ideal concept of life and home on the water – with innovative and striking design and top-quality craftsmanship. All elements of this house are reliable and stable – thanks to the steel construction with protective coatings – and above all, eco-friendly, because they are intended

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for use in the natural environment. Space in nature does not necessarily mean the absence of comfort. Tsunami House prefabricated houses can be customized to your preferences and furnished with comfortable and luxurious furnishings. Roof, wall, and floor thermal panels, as well as snow guards built into the complete construction, guarantee that your stay in these houses will be comfortable throughout the year. The Yacht Home Belgrade is a raft house model that can range in size from 40 to 80 square meters, depending on the order, and can be delivered turn-


key in two months! All you have to do is pick a design and amount of equipment, which spans from the most basic to luxury packages with a rooftop pool, jacuzzi, and high-end amenities. “The Yacht House project is based on a number of different conceptual ideas and previous experiences. Excellent expertise in the fields of nautical, traffic, mechanical, and civil engineering contributed to its design and construction. First and foremost, there is MK Metal, which specializes in metal construction; Goran Jovanović, a robotics specialist; Professor Dr. Petar Mirosavljević, an expert in air transport safety; and Ilija Kecman, an aeronautical and product engineer,” explains project owner Aleksandar Zubac. The basis of the house on the water is a catamaran hull manufactured in the Belgrade Shipyard. Since the pontoons are made of sheet metal 5 mm thick, they are statically stable and can accept a load of as much as 60 tons! The catamaran bed (pontoon) measures 16x8 meters, has a shallow draught and is suitable for sailing on a river or lake. Of the total area, 60 m2 is indoor space, while the roof terrace covers an area of as much as 90 m2, and can accommodate various recreational facilities, such as a swimming pool or jacuzzi tub. The Yacht House is built entirely in a workshop, ensuring that the final product is of the highest possible quality. Prefabrication and montage techniques are applied during the procedure itself. The construction is made of steel, and the exterior carpentry is high-quality aluminum. The structure is so stable that a helicopter can land on a raft. “Some of the most common questions from our cus-

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tomers are how the Yacht House is supplied with electricity and water and what the heating and cooling system is. Power is supplied by lithium batteries and solar panels. When there is no sunlight, the Yacht House has its own diesel generator that recharges the battery. In about two hours of operation, the generator charges the batteries to last four days of average energy consumption. We get water from a tank located on a pontoon with a capacity of two tons. Water supply is also possible from the river, and through its technical and chemical treatment with built-in filters,” explains Zubac, and adds that the thermoregulation of the space is solved by the electric underfloor heating system. Also, the house is equipped with a gas fireplace. For heating and cooling, it is possible to install an air conditioner that is powered by generators or batteries. The standard Yacht House package is 250,000 euros. It is significantly less expensive and with a shorter delivery time than equivalent boats available on the domestic and European markets. A total of 13 yachts have been ordered in addition to the prototype. According to Aleksandar Zubac, sales are focused on countries with an established waterway system, such as Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands, as well as Balkan countries.

CONTACT CUNAMI HOUSE Novi Beograd, Savski kej BB www.cunamihouse.com cunamihousebg@gmail.com 066 19 55 55

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PROMO

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT CUSTOMERS ARE SATISFIED According to Slobodan Stojković, Director of the agency Premija nekretnine, many factors impact the quality of a real estate agency's services – from a professional brokerage and legal team to good cooperation with banks and investors By: PETRA VASILJEVIĆ

Photo: PREMIJA NEKRETNINE

remija nekretnine agency consists of a team of licensed agents with years of experience in the real estate market, as well as a team of lawyers whose task is to ensure the legal and financial security of clients. Thanks to the combined knowledge and experience, Premija nekretnine has been operating successfully for 22 years, points out its director, Slobodan Stojković.

Currently, there are very attractive apartments in a new construction in the municipality of Vračar.

What distinguishes you from other agencies, and how did you earn your clients’ trust? — Premija nekretnine successfully deals with mediation in the sale and lease of all types of real estate, as well as locations for the construction of new buildings. We are distinguished by our commitment to the client and his needs, desires, and possibilities to find or sell his real estate with legal and financial security and discretion.

What is most important for the successful operation of an agency like yours? — The most important are: the selection and recommendation of real estate for the client; good knowledge of the market; legal security; communication with banks; insight into interest rates and lending conditions. Cooperation with investors is also important, but also correctness, because the agreements must be respected to the end to the satisfaction of all parties. Premija nekretnine is made up of recommendations from satisfied clients.

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Slobodan Stojković, director

What type of real estate do you specialize in, and what would you single out from the offers? — We specialize in all types of real estate in Belgrade, and a large part of our offer consists of exclusive real estate. We also have several contracts with investors for new construction.

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What services do you provide to clients and who makes up your team? — Our team consists of exsperienced agents and a team of lawyers specializing in property and legal relations. Our services start with marketing and communication with clients, in order to make the highest quality selection of apartments for the buyer. This includes review of documentation, organization of legal work from pre-contract to contract, organization of solemnization with notaries, payments, and introduction into possession. In short, whether it is the purchase, lease, or sale of real estate, the client receives complete logistics.

CONTACT: Jaše Prodanovića 10/3 11000 Beograd 011 7151 999 · 011 7151 990 · 066 855 8889 www.premijanekretnine.com · premijanekretnine@gmail.com


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NEWS

LONDON EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO ZAHA HADID

oca London Gallery is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and with it, launches a special exhibition of works by its author, the great Zaha Hadid and Zaha Hadid Architects. The show, “Everything Flows“, which opened in May and will run to the end of 2022, honours the legacy of the British-Iraqi architect’s work before her untimely death in 2016, and the studio’s designs and development beyond. The exhibits include products shown in the UK for the first time, such as a new furniture range made in collaboration with Japanese brand Karimoku and jewellery designed for Tateossian. The Roca Gallery itself is a building of unique, fluid design, created by the prominent architect, and has been on the map of popular places for architecture and design lovers since its beginnings.

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NEW COLLECTIONS BY DOLCE & GABBANA CASA uring Milan Design Week 2022, Dolce & Gabbana Casa presented its rich collections of furniture and accessories, including home textiles, Murano glassware, and Sicilian ceramics. “With Dolce & Gabbana Casa we wanted to create a unique lifestyle,“ say Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who together launched their fashion brand in the 1980s, adding the Casa line in 2021. The home furnishings and accessories debut in Milan comprises four distinctive collections, each embodying a different Italian spirit – Blu Mediterraneo, featuring sensual motifs in the colour of the sea, Carretto with unique Sicilian aesthetics, and Zebra and Leopardo with animal prints.

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AN ULTRA-LUXURY YACHT CLUB ON THE RED SEA

audi developer The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) revealed the design for its ultra-luxury Triple Bay Yacht Club on the Red Sea, which it says can berth yachts twice as long as the prestigious Monaco Yacht Club can hold. The 7,900-sqm facility was designed by HKS architects. The yacht club will have 120 berths for craft up to 130 m in length and a lift straight from the water’s edge to an elegant private sky lounge. The club’s public realm will have shops, restaurants and an amphitheatre for shows and a sun deck with an infinity pool giving the illusion of flowing into the sea. The yacht club anchors the Triple Bay resort, which is being built as part of the Amaala megaproject to develop luxury tourism on the Red Sea. The yacht club’s construction will be completed in 2024.

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ABBA ARENA: WORLD’S LARGEST DEMOUNTABLE VENUE he long-announced virtual concert of the legendary ABBA group was finally held at the end of May in the so-called ABBA Arena, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. After the concert, the largest demountable temporary venue remained in London for the next five years. The intriguing, hexagonal building, 25.5 meters high, with a capacity of 3,000 seats, is made of steel and wood, and the author of the project is London and Hong Kong-based studio Stufish. As the authors point out, the arena is designed to set new standards for future shows where the physical and the digital fuse. After its five-year tenure in London, te arena will be demontaded and relocated to another site.

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DESIGN

SALONE DEL MOBILE MILAN: DESIGNING SUSTAINABILITY At the Salone del Mobile Milan, which was held for the 60th time this June, we were able to see the ultimate and adorable upcoming trends in interior design and furniture By: ANA KRALJ

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Photo: SALONE DEL MOBILE. MILANO


Armani Casa

Fratelli Boffi

he Salone del Mobile Milan, the world’s most prominent event in the interior design and furniture industry, took place for the 60th time this year from June 7 to 12. After a year and a half of delay, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and last year’s September edition, organized in a much smaller format due to pandemic precautions, this year’s Salone del Mobile was an event that all furniture manufacturers and designers, but also all trend-followers in interior design, eagerly awaited. As announced, the number of exhibitors and visitors at the Salone del Mobile this year returned to pre-epidemic levels, making the entire event a top design holiday in which we were able to observe absolutely all of upcoming interior design and furniture trends. The fair gathered more than 2,000 exhibitors from all over the world, including 600 designers under the age of 35, who had the opportunity to show maximum creative freedom through their solutions.

Roche Bobois

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Bisazza, Studio KO

Tom Dixon

Boca do Lobo

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The theme of this year’s Salone del Mobile was sustainability in furniture design and manufacture, with the message that the further development of this industry must nurture an ecological approach and awareness of environmental responsibility. Despite the fact that all of the exhibitors attempted to respond to the theme with their ideas, the overall sense is that design has reasserted itself as an untouchable category that is unaffected by any crisis or scenario. It turned out, on the contrary, that it could only ennoble it. That is why this year, in the eyes of all visitors and observers of the Milan Furniture Fair, only the beauty remained, a part of which, the one with the most prestigious luxury brand signatures, we present to you. Of course, the Fiera Milano center was not the only site where we could view what designers and manufacturers had to offer for decorating bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, terraces, courtyards, and offices. This year, like many times before, during the Furniture Fair, Fuorisalone was traditionally held, which includes a wide range of events in various areas of Milan, in honor of interior design and furniture. Throughout Milan, there were numerous exhibitions, presentations, concerts, and performances, the most popular of which, as expected, were those arranged by well-known brands.

Essential Home

Paolo Castelli

Bugatti Home

Armani Casa

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Maison Valentina


Roberto Cavalli Home

Covet House

Fendi Casa

Dior, Philippe Starck

Cassina

Boca do Lobo

Versace Home

Covet House

Swarovski & Rosenthal

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Versace Home

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DESIGN

SUBVERSIVE, ETHICAL, ECOLOGICAL One of the most successful designers of today, Philippe Starck, gained world fame with his unusual design of everyday objects, which he confirmed once again at this year's Salone del Mobile in Milan, where he was one of the stars with the Miss Dior chair By: TAMARA DJOKIĆ

rich career with more than 10,000 creations, tireless inventiveness, and creativity in design, which characterize both aesthetics and practicality, are just some of the reasons why Philippe Starck is one of the most distinguished designers of the second half of the 20th century and is considered one of the cornerstones of modern design history. “Subversive, ethical, ecological, political, humorous… this is how I see my duty as a designer,” says

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Louis Ghost chair for Kartell

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Kartell

Starck, who has followed these ideals in design since 1968, when he launched his first company in Paris. Although his first business did not have much commercial success (he was engaged in inflatable furniture made of balloons), it helped him draw attention to himself and stand out as a new, young hope in the design scene at that time. It may not be a coincidence that Starck made his debut in the famous ’68 years, and that traces of rebellion and revolutionarism continued to accompany his work throughout his career.

Miss Dior chair


Flos

Alessi

That is why we would not be wrong if, when asked what his limits are, we answered that he simply does not have them. He proved this when he was hired by a private space research company, Axiom, to design the interior of the world’s first commercial space station and to decorate the interior of the spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch in 2024. Starck found the inspiration for this design in the position that astronauts occupy in zero gravity, which he associated with the position of the fetus in the womb. That is why it is not surprising that the interior of the spacecraft resembles the shape of an egg, with soft walls and oval windows, and the whole experience of floating in space is completed by LED lamps. But let’s go back to Earth, where we also have no less impressive Starck projects. In the mid-1970s, Starck worked intensively on the interior design of numerous clubs, restaurants, and cafes, among which the most memorable were the other Parisian clubs, La Main Bleue and Les Baines Douches. Since the 1980s, his career has entered a new phase, when he started designing for hotels and when his large-scale projects for which the whole world knows him today, such as New York’s Royalton and Paramount hotels,

Chairs as Starck’s design passion

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Axor

were born. However, he reached the peak of his fame with a project that connected him with French President Francois Mitterrand, for whom he designed an apartment on the Champs Elysees in 1982. Collaborations with renowned brands such as Alessi, Kartell, Microsoft, and Puma abound in his portfolio. His countless creative and poetic creations, ranging from traditional sofas and chairs to toothbrushes and various gadgets aimed to make life easier, demonstrate that the French designer is equally successful in making items, not just in interior design. Thus, we will equally remember Philippe Starck for the Louis Ghost chair, completely transparent, made of polycarbonate, which experts in the world of design rated as one of the best designed chairs of all time, but also for the first A.I. chair in the world, designed with the help of artificial intelligence, which Starck, in collaboration with Cartell and Autodesk, presented at the Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2019. Thus, Starck proved once again that the goal of his work is the “democratization of design”, a philosophy that seeks to demonstrate that design should be subordinated to man and help as many people as possible, regardless of social class.

Spacecraft interior design

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LIGHTING

SOPHISTICATED AESTHETICS OF CONTEMPORARY DESIGN The wide assortment of the BB Link sales chain offers more than 2,000 products in the category of lighting, LED lighting, ventilation and electrical materials, among which the Lumé and Dawn brands stand out, with modern, practical and elegant lighting solutions for home and office Text and photo: BB LINK

Belore collection

Sophistication and innovation are the words that best convey the Lumé brand’s mission, as well as a commitment to customers’ visions when it comes to choosing the perfect lighting for their home or business space. Lumé models exude elegance and represent modern interior lighting solutions that will contribute to a unique aesthetic and fit perfectly into the lifestyle of each client. In addition to Belore collection

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The Dawn Light brand offers a variety of industrial and commercial lighting models in its wide portfolio of products. The focus is on lighting that, in the first place, provides quality light that lasts and whose performance provides safety and saves electricity. Dawn Light lighting includes modern magnetic, rail, line, outdoor, surface, recessed lighting, and LED control, as well as practical lighting solutions for office, sales, and storage space. More information about the brand and models can be found at www.dawnlight.rs.

Luna collection

LED linear lighting

LED magnetic light

Belore collection

impeccable Italian design and artistic expression, Lumé has paid special attention to materials as well as lighting technology. The models are made of the finest materials and are characterized by premium quality. More information about the exclusive Lumé brand and new collections can be found at www.lume.rs, or in the Lumé showroom, located in TC West 65, on the first floor, where a professional team of architects and designers will help you find the ideal Lumé lighting solution for your space.

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LED outdoor lighting

+381 63 490 565 +381 11 22 71 651 +381 63 490 632 www.bblink.rs · office@bblink.rs · maloprodaja@bblink.rs

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INTERIOR

HOME RENOVATION IDEAS Summer is the ideal time to renovate your apartment or house. Even the smallest change will refresh the whole space and make it more pleasant for all the residents to stay. When choosing a redesign style, rely mostly on your sensibility, and we suggest a few current trends By: ANA KRALJ

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BOLD WALLPAPER

SPA BATHROOM

The quickest and easiest way to freshen up your home and make it unique and exciting, with the least amount of investment, is to choose wallpaper in striking colors or patterns. Wallpapers have been a popular option for interior design in recent years, and the range of patterns and colors on offer is fascinating. Now it is allowed to put the boldest design from the imagination

A warm bath with loads of scented salts and aromatic oils is the best way to relieve stress after a long day. So, if space permits, replacing the shower with a bathtub would be a smart idea. And why not a stand-alone? Freestanding bathtubs have never gone out of style for admirers of luxurious bathrooms with style, and they are currently definitely trendy. With

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on the wall – unless you have already done it because you like it that way. Which is fine, because your personal experience is most important. The advantage of wallpaper is that gluing it is much simpler than painting the walls. At the same time, they easily fit into bathrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, so all you have to do is choose the wall!

carefully selected colors of soothing shades, shelves made of natural materials such as stone or wood, with enough space for soft towels and scented candles, and, of course, a carefully selected bathtub to fit into the bathroom interior, you can make a personal spa for complete relaxation of mind and body. This ambience will be perfectly complemented by a plant.

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HOME OFFICE

BLACK ACCENTS

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If you have a spare room or an unused area in your apartment, consider turning it into a home office. In the last two years, in the circumstances of the pandemic, many have been working from home, and some are still working, because the return to the offices is not so massive yet. If your employer pro-

Black accents are among the favourite home renovation trends this summer. You can easily incorporate them into any part of your house as black works well and looks good with almost everything. You could opt for a black staircase, black finishes in the bathroom or kitchen, black accent walls, whatever! If you don’t feel like ex-

vides you with a hybrid work model, this is the right time to arrange one part of your home as an office during the summer. The advantage of a home office is that you can design it completely to your liking and provide yourself with maximum comfort, which you will rarely have in a real office.

perimenting with walls or carpentry, opt for a black detail, such as an armchair, a decorative pillow, a coffee table, or a chair. Black accents are popular because they can easily make any space look contemporary and stylish without renovating a whole room. They will also enhance lighter areas of the space, making the room look bigger.


MARBLE COUNTERTOPS

CURTAINS AND BLINDS

You don’t have to invest in a marble bathroom or marble floors to bring a breath of elegance and refined luxury into your home. It would be enough to enrich some parts of the apartment or house with marble details, which would be even more striking in their beauty when placed discreetly. It can be a marble kitchen counter-

If something can instantly change the visual effect of any room in the apartment and improve your mood, it is definitely new curtains or blinds. Whether you are renovating the carpentry this summer or not, your windows will surely benefit from the change, which everyone will notice. The manufacturers offer a really large selection

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top, a marble countertop in the bathroom, or a marble-topped coffee table. The choice of stone colors depends on your personal preferences and the rest of the interior, but what you will certainly not go wrong with is classic white marble with gray or gold veins that spread through the stone and black marble that looks sleek and modern.

of these products – from elegant transparent and densely woven curtains, through draperies made of luxurious materials, to the still very popular roll and zebra blinds, and Roman blinds. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to reveal or hide your windows more and to choose a style – romantic or minimalist. Everything is in fashion.

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AUTOMOBILES

ELECTRIC VEHICLES ARE CONQUERING EUROPE Sales of low-emission vehicles are constantly growing, so it is not surprising that the electric car industry is expanding, offering better and better models that can meet even the most demanding needs. Here are some of them By: TAMARA DJOKIĆ

erbia is likewise heading toward e-mobility, as evidenced by this year’s Belgrade Car Fair, which featured a lot of hybrid and electric vehicles. Our country will also be added to the map of electric car producers, as the company Stelantis will produce the most advanced electric city car in Kragujevac, according to the announcement made during the Fair. Although the rate at which electric vehicles are breaking through in Serbia is still unsatisfactory, as evidenced by the fact that more than 5,000 new vehicles were sold in Serbia in the first three months of this year, the majority of which were gasoline-powered, hybrid vehicles are slowly finding their place in the market. Just over 1,700 of the 25,000 vehicles sold last year were hybrids, with only 300 electric vehicles sold. Given that Serbia has over 2.2 million registered vehicles, it is a drop in the ocean. The global scenario, on the other hand, paints a different picture. According to JATO Dynamics statistics from 27 European markets, plug-in hybrid and fully electric cars outsold diesels by 10 percent in March, with 244,801 registrations versus 202,113 registrations, implying that

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electric model sales increased by 10% while diesel models plummeted by 39%. With 23,013 new registrations, the Tesla Model 3 was once again the best-selling car in Europe, while the Tesla Model Y came in third (18,968). The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are this year’s World and European Car of the Year winners. The Tesla 3 remains Europe’s most popular car, and we’ve added four more models to the mix: the tiny small MY Ami Cargo; the luxury Mercedes EQS SUV; the Volkswagen ID.4, which also won the European market; and the upcoming Škoda Enyaq Coupe iV, which will be available at the end of the year.

TESLA 3 The popularity of this already well-known Tesla model is demonstrated by the fact that more than half a million copies were sold in 2021 alone. The Model 3 is a fully electric vehicle, so you’ll never need to visit a gas station again! Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive, Überturbine wheels, and Performance brakes provide complete vehicle control in all weather conditions. The Model 3 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in under 3.3 seconds thanks to a carbon fiber spoiler that aids stability at high speeds.


Tesla 3

Tesla 3

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uses the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) design to provide 800-V and ultra-fast charging of 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes.

KIA EV6 Built on Kia’s new Electric Global Modular Platform, the EV6 is the company’s first dedicated electric car (E-GMP). The EV6 has a range of up to 528 kilometers with a fully charged 77.4 kWh battery and takes less than 18 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%. The 2.6 m EV6 wheelbase offers the same amount of cabin capacity as many medium or large SUVs, despite its modest outward dimensions. This means additional cabin space for the driver and passengers, as well as seats made from recycled bottles (PET), high-quality vegan leather, or deerskin.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

KIA EV6

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HYUNDAI IONIQ 5 At the New York International Motor Show, the all-electric Ioniq 5 won the World Car Awards in all three categories in which it was nominated. This crossover is the first vehicle to be built on a dedicated and advanced all-electric E-GMP platform in the new Hyundai EV era. The Ioniq 5’s exterior design is distinguished by clear and sharp lines that give it an appealing and sophisticated appearance. This unique battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV)

My AMI Cargo

MY AMI CARGO My Ami Cargo is a practical, fully electric, incredibly compact, and cost-effective mobility solution, specifically designed for entrepreneur logistics, combining all of the benefits of AMY with optimized, modular loading space. With a load capacity of 400 L, a separate wall between the driver’s and cargo compartments, a modular top shelf that can be used as a mobile desk, and a flat floor in two levels, My Ami Cargo has an innovative interior layout. It has a range of 75 kilometers and a top speed of 45 kilometers per hour. My Ami Cargo emits no CO2, allowing professionals to access the city center, which is not accessible by car, while also providing a calm ride.


Mercedes EQS SUV

MERCEDES EQS SUV Mercedes-Benz has entered a new, totally electric era in higher market segments with the luxury EQS sedan and the EQE sports sedan. The SUV’s avant-garde, luxurious interior provides plenty of space and comfort for seven people. The EQS SUV handles any terrain with ease thanks to powerful electric motors, 4MATIC all-wheel drive, and clever off-road mode. Mercedes-Benz is taking a huge step toward zero-CO2 mobility with the EQS SUV. When connected to a DC fast charger, the EQS SUV can be charged from 10% to 80% in just 31 minutes. According to the WLTP standard, it can go more than 600 kilometers and should be able to give 300 kilometers of range in just 15 minutes of charging.

Volkswagen ID.4

Czech manufacturer’s model based on the MEB platform that is built outside of the German production plant, together with the Enyaq SUV type. It has 299 horsepower (220 kilowatts) and electric motors that allow it to reach 100 kilometers per hour in six and a half seconds and a top speed of 180 kilometers per hour. The most powerful variant, which has two engines and four-wheel drive, has a larger battery with an 82-kWh capacity that takes 36 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%. It will be the most expensive Škoda car ever when it goes on sale at the end of the year..

Škoda Enyaq Coupe IV

VOLKSWAGEN ID.4 The German car manufacturer’s first electric SUV is exceptionally comfortable and enjoyable to drive, with plenty of space and a large boot. And it does so with one of the best ranges of any electric vehicle (522 kilometers, WLTP range). It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds, with a top speed of 160 km/h. It should be noted that a rapid charger can charge lithium-ion batteries to 80% of their capacity (net 77 kWh, gross 82 kWh) in around 38 minutes. This car is also sold in the United States and China, in addition to Europe. ŠKODA ENYAQ COUPE IV This is the most prestigious model of the Czech brand and the first Škoda electric car to be produced in the RS version (Rally Sport). It is the only www.realestate-magazine.rs

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E- VEHICLES

CHARGE&GO: ACCESS THE NEAREST ELECTRIC CHARGER QUICKLY AND EASILY An ever-increasing number of electric and hybrid cars subsidized by the government for the third year in a row led to a progressively growing network of electric chargers. Digital platform Charge&GO will help you to locate quickly and easily the nearest charger and charge your car By: MILICA RADIČEVIĆ

Photo: BOJAN DŽODAN

harge&GO company has developed the first regional digital platform and mobile application which shows the network of electric car chargers. It enables drivers to approach the charging point and provides the opportunity to pay for charging ser-

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vices through the application. The companies can use the application to remotely control their network of charging points. This implies a range of services, such as charging control, charger performance monitoring, price range, limitation of use and reviewing of charging sessions.


DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AC AND DC CHARGERS Users of the Charge&GO have at the disposal AC and DC chargers. “Some of them have already been put in place and are available to the drivers of electric cars throughout Serbia, some are still in planning and installation phase, and for some chargers we are still looking for adequate locations,” says Nemanja Grubješić, Commissioning and Sales Department Manager in the Charge&GO company. Grubješić explained the difference between charging cars with the AC and DC chargers, mostly reflected in charging time duration. E-vehicles have lithium-ion batteries, which operate with direct current (DC), so their charging time is considerably shorter. “AC chargers on the other hand operate with alternating current, which is, thanks to its elements, converted into DC in the vehicle, and charges the battery. This is a longer process, so AC chargers are slower and for this reason are usually used at home or in commercial facilities, where people can take time to do it. In average, it takes four to eight hours to charge an electric vehicle with an AC charger,” explained Nemanja Grubješić. When it comes to DC chargers, the system is somewhat different. These models have an inverter which converts alternating current into direct current which automatically charges the battery, significantly increasing the charging speed. The vehicle charging speed depends on the charger’s power. Fast chargers take one to three hours for charging the car’s battery, while ultra-fast chargers can do it in less than one hour. “For the electric vehicle’s life, actually it’s battery’s longer life, it is recommended to use the AC charger, which is also the cheapest option. Owners of electric cars usually charge their batteries during the night because of the lower electricity price, and then they are ready to drive in the morning. The battery can be fully charged in four to eight hours. Charging an electric car’s battery to its full capacity costs much less money than filling a classic car’s reservoir with fuel,” explains Grubješić. CHARGE&GO INFOPEDIA: WHAT AFFECTS THE CHARGING SPEED? The speed of charging an e-vehicle with a fast and ultrafast charger mostly depends on the capacity and characteristics of the vehicle’s battery, and these factors may considerably vary between different models of cars. In other words, a car with a smaller battery capacity takes less time to charge, while the larger capacity requires longer charging time. We will illustrate this by giving you an analogy. A bottle of lower www.realestate-magazine.rs

CHARGING AN ELECTRIC CAR’S BATTERY TO ITS FULL CAPACITY COSTS MUCH LESS MONEY THAN FILLING A CLASSIC CAR’S RESERVOIR WITH FUEL volume will take less time to fill under the same waterjet than a larger bottle. Recently we carried out a small experiment. We charged two e-vehicles on the OMV Lapovo sever gas station, using the Unity 120 produced by Siemens Kostad whose outgoing power is 120 KW. The table shows the charging time for these two models. The charging was carried out under equal conditions: batteries in both vehicles were at 15% capacity before charging, and we filled them at 85% of their capacity. Model

Battery Capacity Duration of the charging session

Hyundari Kona 64 kWh

45 minutes

BMW i3

30 minutes

33 kWh

The OMV Lapovo gas station charger belongs to the Charge&GO network, and there are several ways to access this, as well as all other chargers in the same network (with the QR code or by the charger number), but downloading the application automatically gives you a lower price, provides you with direction by GPS navigation and an access to an incredible European network of 170,000 chargers in 30 countries.

+381 11 715 85 99, +381 66 803 1 700 podrska@chargego.rs www.chargego.rs JUNE 2022

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SHOPPING

KARL LAGERFELD’S RETRO-FUTURISTIC MAN

arl Lagerfeld’s fall/winter men’s collection draws inspiration from retro-futuristic science fiction with elevated references to beauty and positivity. This is seen in the use of innovative textures, robot-inspired graphics, color-changing materials, as well as metallic hues, iridescent accents, and sleek, modern patterns. The collection also sees an increase in sustainable styles approaches, with a focused offering of more environmentally conscious materials and selected, transformable pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. It further celebrates the brand’s iconic, rockchic style codes as well as the House monogram.

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TRAVEL IN STYLE imowa and Porsche, two German companies known for their relentless pursuit of perfection, have jointly launched a limited series of handbags called Rimowa x Porsche Hand-Carry Case Pepita. The aluminum multi-purpose suitcase, intended for those who like to travel in style, celebrates the rich cultural heritage of both brands, which is characterized by functional design, technical innovation, and high performance. The suitcase is inspired by the first generation of the Porsche 911 while at the same time having the distinctive aesthetics of the Rimowa brand and its aluminum products. The suitcase collection is available in a limited quantity of only 911 copies.

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BULGARI LAUNCHED A NEW CAMPAIGN AND COLLECTION

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ith its new Unexpected Wonders campaign, Bulgari more than ever asserts its unique status as a Jeweler of Stars and Star of Jewelers. The campaign was shot in Rome, the city that stands as

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an eternal source of inspiration for Bulgari, and includes five extraordinary women: American actress Zendaya, BLACKPINK singer Lalisa, Chinese actress Shu Qi, American actress Anne Hathaway and Indian actress Priyanka Chopra. At the same time, the brand launched its new high-jewelry and high-end watch collection: Bulgari Eden The Garden Of Wonders. The collection consists of over 140 masterpieces, and for the first time in Bulgari history, more than 30 creations are dedicated to the magnificent emerald.

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ART OF LIVING

CHAMPAGNE VS. PROSECCO Who could resist a glass of champagne or prosecco at the end of a summer day, with a light snack and a breeze on the terrace! Do you, however, know the difference between these two sparkling wines and what is the best way to consume them? By: ANA KRALJ

et’s start with what they have in common. Both wines are sparkling and are also permitted to make rosé sparkling wines under their respective names. Both regions have also been recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites for their viticultural heritage. So, what is the difference? The first difference is the origin: champagne comes from the Champagne region in northeastern France, while prosecco is from the Veneto region in northern Italy. Champagne can be a blend or a single varietal wine made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Prosecco is made from the Glera grape variety. Another significant distinction is the way in which they are produced, specifically the way the wine is made sparkling. Champagne undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle after yeast and sugar are added. It has an impact on the wine’s texture and the development of other aromas. As carbonation develops under high pressure, champagne has fine, persistent bubbles. Fine champagnes often have an almond-like aroma, with subtle notes of orange peel and white cherry. The aging process of yeast particles often gives champagne an unusual aroma of cheese crust. However, in finer, aged champagnes, these aromas smell more like

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toast, brioche, or biscuit. Prosecco is made by fermenting wine in a tank for the second time, also after adding sugar and yeast. It helps the wine preserve its freshness and basic aromas. Prosecco has lush aromas of fruits, such as pears and apples, and flowers. It contains lighter bubbles that don’t remain long since the wine ferments in huge tanks with less pressure. Even still, the aromas are exquisite. Tropical fruits, bananas, hazelnuts, vanilla, and honeycombs are among the notes found in bottles of fine prosecco. Both wines are perfect choices as an aperitif, and when it comes to pairing with food, it is influenced by the difference in their aromas. Champagne goes well with cold seafood appetizers, caviar, cheeses, chicken and turkey, fruit salads, and especially apricots and peaches. Prosecco goes well with prosciutto, smoked salmon, strong cheeses, sushi, and Asian food in general, as well as with appetizers with olives, mushrooms, and fruit. What they also have in common is that they can be drunk from the same tulip champagne glasses – narrow and deep. Both wines are served cold. When opening, tilt the bottle at an angle of 45 degrees, and when pouring, tilt the glass at the same angle. That way, the bubbles won’t evaporate right away. Cheers!


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LIFESTYLE

AIRBNB OPENS A SECRET ROOM IN MOULIN ROUGE

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secret room in the windmill located at the top of the Moulin Rouge, the iconic Parisian nightclub, will soon be available to visitors for the first time. and for only one euro! Thanks to Airbnb, the secret room will open its doors to couples in love, who will have the opportunity to have an unforgettable experience and spend one night in it, enjoying the interior inspired by the Belle Époque period. And that’s not all! During their stay, guests will be welcomed and hosted by the show’s main dancer, Claudine Van Den Bergh, and will be able to enjoy a private tour of the location, peek behind the scenes, learn something about history and costumes, and enjoy a traditional French dinner while watching cabaret show from the best seats.

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GRACELAND AS A DESIGN PHENOMENON

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hile waiting for the world premiere of the biographical musical “Elvis”, directed by Baz Luhrmann, about the king of rock and roll, let’s go for a short tour of Elvis’ Graceland House in Memphis, Tennessee. The house was turned into a museum in 1982 and, to this day, is the second most visited house in the United States, with an average of 600,000 visitors a year. What makes Graceland unique is the incredible combination of different interior styles, typical of America in the late 50’s to late 70’s, in their purest and most authentic forms. During his 20year stay at this house, Elvis Presley dec-

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orated Graceland in the same way he created music, combining styles: from modern baroque luxury hotels to Hollywood movie sets; from exotic island bars to the comfort of a typical American ranch on the outskirts. As a result, the house abounds in illuminating themed rooms, precise color combinations, esoteric meditation zones, luxurious carpets, gold-encrusted furniture... Although Graceland is now a quiet place, it was once a family home full of life and laughter, which Elvis purchased for 102,500 dollars when he was only 22. It’s fascinating today not only as a design phenomenon, but also as a symbol of the American dream and Elvis’ spirit.

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HEALTH

WHEN YOUR HEART STARTS SKIPPING A BEAT Chronic stress can be a cause of different cardiovascular problems. One of the most common symptoms is irregular heart beat, which can be accurately diagnosed and even permanently resolved, by electrophysiological testing and catheter ablation in the Acibadem Bel Medic clinic By: PETAR DOBROSAVLJEVIĆ

lmost every person will, at some point in time during the lifetime, feel occasional heart arrhythmia – heart racing or skipping a beat – which may be caused by strenuous physical exertion, a stressful situation, excitment and alcohol, coffee or some other stimulant abuse. Usually, the heart beat goes back to normal as soon as the physical exertion or excitement are over. However, if the arrhythmia appears without any particular cause, unexpectedly, and with the heart rate jumping from the normal 70 beats per minute to 150, there is definitely a reason to see your cardiologist. Sudden palpitations, heart racing or beating irregularly - skipping beats, brief loss of consciousness, lack of breath, getting tired easily - all of these may be the symptoms of a heart disease. People with a diagnosed heart disease, especially those who suffered myocardial infarction, and with heart muscle disease or heart valve disease, should not ignore the irregular heart beats symptom,“ says dr Dejan Vukajlović, cardiologist in the Acibadem Bel Medic General Hospital. The most important sign that there is something wrong with your heart rhythm is a brief loss of consciousness, especially if it happens suddenly, without nausea, hot flashes, etc. In this case, cardiological examination is absolutely necessary, dr Vukajlović points out. In general, there are three types of cardiac arrhythmia: increased heart rate (tachycardia), slow heart rate (bradycardia) and irregular heart beating (skipping or palpitation).

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Cardiac arrhythmia can appear as a consequence of some other heart disease but it can also happen to people who do not have any other heart problems. Sometimes cardiac arrhythmia may be a symptom of a structural heart disease (coronary artery disease, myocardiopathy…). Correct diagnosis can be established by an examination (heart ultrasound, EKG, 24 hrs Holter EKG, coronarography). Cardiac electrophysiology is part of cardiology which deals with diagnosis and treating cardiac arrhythmia. Depending on the types and causes of the heart rhythm disorders, cardiologist may suggest electrophysiological diagnostics. “Special catheters are inserted under the roentgenological control into the heart through the blood vessels to measure the electrical signals coming from the interior of the heart, and to provoke abnormal heart rhythm – usually tachycardia – which allows us to locate its source and to make a correct diagnosis. Often it is possible to, within the same intervention, eliminate the source of the arrhythmia by applying various types of energy – for example, radiofrequency electricity (RF ablation), freezing (cryoablation), or, less often, by applying laser enhanced focused ultrasound, etc. This technique is called electrophysiological testing and catheter ablation,” explains dr Vukajlović. The main advantage of the catheter ablation over other treatment methods is the possibility to permanently treat the cardiac arrhythmia source, that is, actual recovery. Usually, after a successful catheter ablation, it is no longer necessary to take antiarrhythmic medicines.


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HIGH-TECH

OLED PERFECTION OF THE YEAR LED TVs have been conquering the market for some time, with the LG brand leading the way, as it has focused on the development of OLED technology for the last ten years and is the only OLED panel manufacturer to supply other brands such as Panasonic, Sony, Grundig, Philips, Loewe... LG will capitalize its OLED dominance more than ever this year, given the largest and most diverse range of OLED TVs currently available with the largest price range. That is why it is not sur-

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prising that there are several LG OLED models on the top lists of the best TVs for 2022. But which one is really the best – you will hardly understand from the numerous reviews. Simply, the technical characteristics are a little different, and the overall experience is equal to perfection, so only the price can decide which one you will choose. If price is not an issue, then you will certainly not go wrong with the LG OLED G2 – which is currently, according to some estimates, a bit more perfect than others, but also the most expensive. The price ranges from 2,500 to 6,500 euros, depending on the screen size. Interestingly, this model is only available in a wall-mounted version.

ZEN WIFI ROUTER rand ASUS has designed a tubular WiFi router as part of its Mesh WiFi System line that boasts a “zen” look, which is said to bring a sense of calmness to spaces. Named Zen WiFi, the router was designed to blend into interiors without the need to be hidden and tucked into cupboards and corners like typical WiFi routers. The router has a minimal look, and unlike standard routers, its antennas were incorporated within the body of the router to conceal and create a more unassuming look. Vents were also added along the sides of the router allowing for the circulation of airflow to its interior and heatsinks – preventing overheating and providing reliable performance.

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