Jeanette Marbach, Event and project manager
I grew up in a village close to Lake Zurich. I pursued studies in hospitality in Luzern, worked for five years as a chef in some of Switzerland's most well known fine dining restaurants, and then studied hotel management at Belvoir Park in Zurich. After graduating in 2002, I decided to leave Switzerland.
As a result, I met the people from Royal Mirage for an interview following which I decided to move to Dubai to work with them. At present, I work as an event and project manager with Nomad Events. I like living in the UAE. Dubai, in particular, is vibrant. The city is growing at an amazing pace and that's exciting. I like the fact you can interact with so many nationalities, which is more difficult in Switzerland.
In my free time I organise dinners or cook myself, where I invite friends and business partners to network, and we have up to nine nationalities at a table of 12. I also love visiting new restaurants and trying out new dishes considering my passion for food.
Christophe Thomet, COO, Richemont
I was born in Zurich 37 years ago and grew up in Switzerland. I studied at the University of St Gallen where I obtained an MBA and a PhD. My wife and I moved from Switzerland to Dubai ten months ago. I love the UAE for several reasons. The main one being that people, especially here in Dubai, think big. It seems nothing is impossible: the world's tallest building, the world's biggest airport or man-made islands
in the ocean.
At this point in time, Dubai is probably one of the most exciting cities on this planet. It is great there is so much sunshine in this part of the world throughout the year. Having lived and worked in colder climates, I feel waking up to blue skies and sunshine here in Dubai almost every day
The multicultural society of Dubai makes it a truly global city, attracting people from around the world who want to start a new life here. These people leave their countries to come
and work here to improve their lives and achieve their goals.
I spend my free time with my wife, relaxing at the beach or visiting malls. I also enjoy sports and love snowboarding in particular. I don't really miss Switzerland, but I do visit
to catch up with friends and family: Dubai is home for me now. However, there are some things that concern me about the UAE, notably the lack of respect for natural resources and the environment in general. While some measures are being taken, more needs to be done.
Joakim De Rham, Interior designer
I was born in Lausanne 37 years ago. I attended school there and have a degree in interior design. I worked in Sao Paolo, Brazil for a while and moved back to Switzerland where I set up an office. I first came to Dubai in 2002.
We set up an interior design office here in 2003 and have been here since then. My wife and I have grown to love Dubai. It has a unique energy and rhythm. I love the fact it is multicultural and evolving constantly.
It's interesting to see how areas are being developed here and they come alive when people move there. My wife and I have a close circle of friends here and we like hanging out at the beach or going to the theatre. We also love camping in the desert or driving through wadis in Hatta.
Doing things such as these keeps us busy and happy so we don't miss home as much as we did when we got here. I don't know how long I will stay here. We came for three months and stayed for five years, so it is hard to say what the future holds.
Ludivine Soenmez, Sales executive
I am from a small town called Fribourg. I studied at the Swiss School of Tourism in the Valais region in the south of Switzerland for three years. We also had to complete a year's internship in the tourism sector as part of the course.
So I decided to come to Dubai in January 2006 and joined the Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai as a management trainee for six months. During the latter half of the year, I joined the Park Hyatt as a sales trainee to improve my German-speaking skills.
I moved back to Dubai in July 2007, and currently work as a sales executive at the Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai. I love the fact that in Dubai you get to meet people from different cultures.
It's a great experience and will help me if I have to move to another country and work with people from diverse cultures. I have colleagues and friends who are Tunisian, German, French, Irish and Lebanese, and we have such a great time in Dubai considering there's a lot to do here.
I love shopping so I spend a lot of time in the Mall of the Emirates. I also like driving and visiting places such as Khor Fakkan. Sometimes, I organise barbecues at home with couple of friends.
However, the thing that I don't like about Dubai is the traffic. I come from a country with a lot of rules, which everybody follows. I do hope some part of this philosophy can be adopted here in the UAE. I definitely miss the fresh air of Switzerland and the security we have as citizens (insurance, retirement, transportation security).
Ester Crameri, Managing Director, Sprungli Middle East
I grew up in Zurich and finished my schooling and higher studies there. I have had a very diverse and rewarding career.
I have held different positions with Confiserie Sprüngli since I joined the company 13 years ago. I moved to Dubai this April and am now Managing Director for Sprungli Middle East in Dubai.
I have always enjoyed living in and learning about different cultures, which is easier because I speak five languages and love travelling. I adapt to new cultures easily, and I am very excited about being introduced to the Arabic culture and language. I love the hustle and bustle of Dubai.
I admire how architects are expressing their creativity in developments all over the city, and am flabbergasted at the rate at which the city is evolving. Another thing I like is the food. I have an adventurous palate and have taken to Arabic food. While the city lacks greenery, I make up for that by having breakfast on my balcony, which offers a beautiful view of the sea.
It's a great way to start the day. I am also looking forward to taking long walks by the beach and practising yoga. Living
in Dubai seems to have its challenges. For instance, I am relieved I go against the traffic when I am travelling home
and to work because it is sad to see people who drive from Sharjah into Dubai held up in jams.
Grocery shopping is also a problem because I am used to having small stores in Switzerland offering fresh vegetables and healthy food. In Dubai, I need to go to the mall and battle shoppers to get my everyday groceries and I am still trying to get used to that.
Tobias Wilhelm, Tax consultant
I am from Weinfelden, an hour away from Zurich. I have a degree in accounting and tax management consulting from Zurich. Before coming to Dubai, I worked in Zurich. I now manage the subsidiary of the company I worked for in Switzerland in Dubai. I moved to Dubai in February 2006 and work for A&F Solutions.
This company offers consultancy services mainly to European companies that want to set up operations in Dubai. I have been here for a little over two years and I love it. Dubai is a modern city and holds great business opportunities.
The speed at which the city is developing is commendable.
I find you can make friends easily here. I love eating out and trying new restaurants. I like hitting the beach on the weekend. I also like driving to places such as Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Abu Dhabi.
There's not much to complain about with the exception
of a lack of greenery and that it gets unbearably hot in the summer. I miss Switzerland sometimes but most often I am far too busy to think about home. However, I am looking forward to going back home during my summer break.