Abu Dhabi: Members of the Polish community in the capital have praised the multicultural environment and the freedom which the UAE government has granted to expatriates.

"Multicultural environment and opportunity to travel around the world from here have made us more friendly and informal than people back home," said Monica Craj, a recently migrated Polish engineer told Gulf News. "I was also surprised at the freedom granted to expatriate communities by the government, contrary to my expectations about a Muslim country."

She was even surprised to see that her compatriots in the UAE do not address each other by Mr or Ms, unlike back home.

She spoke to Gulf News on the sidelines of a reception hosted by the Embassy of Poland as part of its 90th independence day celebrations on Thursday evening in Abu Dhabi.

"National Day is here," pointing his fingers at heart, said Henry Barcicki, a businessman who reached Abu Dhabi 20 years ago.

Tired Polish globetrotters who reach here on a one year contract find the country an oasis, and stay longer, said Jacek Jan Drozd, Chairman of Polish Business Group in Abu Dhabi, who has been living here for 20 years. "This is a window to another world", said Drozd who is also an avid desert driver. "But I miss the green forests back home and my favourite wild pickled mushroom."

The 2,000-member strong community in the UAE is the largest Polish community in Arab World, Roman Chalaczkiewicz, Ambassador of Poland told Gulf News.