Dubai's Swedes open up on their new home away from home .

Bo-Erik Dahlstrom,
President and Country Manager, Ericsson Middle East
I grew up in a small town in the northern part of Sweden called Vilhelmina. I moved to Stockholm to pursue my studies at the Royal Institute of Technology from where I graduated with a master's degree in engineering physics. I have worked with Ericsson since I graduated in 1985.

I visited the UAE for the first time in 2001 and moved here with my family (my wife, two daughters and a cat) in August 2005. I like the UAE because it is such a dynamic and secure place in the Middle East.

It's also a very tolerant society that welcomes different nationalities and cultures. I think it is impressive to see the vision of the leaders of this country being realised.

The flipside of all the development taking place is that in a city like Abu Dhabi, the spiralling cost of living including increasing house rent may cause the UAE to lose its attractiveness. Sweden is known for its high taxes but in the UAE you don't pay taxes, you pay rent. Short-term greed may destroy the long-term vision for the UAE. Traffic discipline can also do with some improvements.

As work keeps me busy most of the time, I like to spent time with family whenever possible. I also like riding my Harley Davidson bike together with friends every weekend here in the UAE. Having grown up in the northern part of Sweden, I miss the late spring in the mountains with sun and white snow.

I also think there is nothing that beats Stockholm and Sweden during summer. During summers, we spend time at our homes on the Gotland Island or in Ornskoldsvik up north.

We have no imminent plans to return to Sweden. It all depends on my family and work.

Wilhelm Liden,
Managing director, VIIT design

Home for me is a small town called Viken just outside of Helsingborg in Sweden. When I was two, my family and I moved to Dubai. This was in 1979. I studied in Dubai until I was 15 and then returned to Sweden and studied just outside of Stockholm for three years. I also completed my mandatory army service. I then went to university in Paris for a year to pursue my artistic interests and then moved to New York for three years to complete my BFA (in product/industrial design). After university, I worked in New York as a product designer for three more years.

I now have my own company in Dubai Media City. It's a product and graphic design consultancy and we design anything from corporate branding to packaging and furniture.

Dubai's weather is great. The air quality, however, is questionable. The year-round sunshine is very important for me considering I have grown up with it most of my life. It is something I seek comfort in. In Dubai you can hear interesting languages, dialects and opinions all around you.

I like to relax by playing golf, riding motorcycles through the desert or being with my family and friends.

My wife and I plan to stay in the UAE for many years unless something changes and we have to head back
to Europe.

Mattias Nilsson,
Sales Manager, Swede Dreams

I am 37 years old and come from a small city in Sweden called Koping. I moved to Abu Dhabi in 2005 and run a company called Swede Dreams with my local partner, Rashid Al Mazroui. We manufacture and supply mattresses to hotels and companies such as The One in the UAE.

The thing that I love most about the UAE is the sunshine, though summers are a bit harsh at times.

Moving to Abu Dhabi and setting up the business was a challenge initially but things have changed.

I like the people here and am also fond of Arabic food, although I do miss Swedish food. I travel a lot within the UAE.I also play golf, exercise in the gym and go for a run regularly.

There are few things that I don't like about the UAE. The traffic is a problem, as is the wait to get licences and visas for entry. We need people in the sector and it takes too much time to get them in.

Gunilla Allansson,
Director, Swedish Business Council

I have been in the UAE for eight months. I moved here with my husband and two children. I currently work with the Swedish Business Council in Abu Dhabi. I was also with the business council in Malaysia when we were there in 1998 to 2001.

There's also a lot of potential for business opportunities in the UAE.

I am enjoying learning more about the culture in the UAE and I am overwhelmed by its warmth. The climate is also an advantage. My children love it here. We have also travelled within the UAE to places such as Sharjah and Fujairah and often do desert trips on weekends.

I enjoy meeting people because we are relatively new to this place.

I also try to exercise, run or play tennis whenever I can squeeze time from my schedule, which includes attending to the needs of my family and working at the Swedish Business Council.

Peter Zachrisson,
Logistics Manager, i-mate

I am from Gothenburg, which is home to Volvo and is well known for being 'the front of Sweden'. I have a bachelor's degree in international management from Brussels, Belgium.

I live in Dubai with my wife and newborn baby girl. I moved to Dubai in 1978 when I was just a few weeks old. My parents had moved to Dubai earlier in 1972. Having lived in the Gulf most of my life, I returned to Dubai in 2001 to pursue my career here.

The UAE is a fascinating country that offers diversity in geography, people and activities. There are not many places in the world that can do that, which is why I find the country so appealing. Sadly, I see a lot of disregard for the environment, which I find infuriating. Beaches, roadsides and sand parks are often littered.

I have visited all the seven Emirates and most of the Gulf countries. During my leisure time, I play sports. I am
a keen golfer, avid tennis player and a recreational diver. I love spending time with my family. We try to visit Sweden at least once a year in the summer.

Linda Jacobsson,
Managing Director, Clever Travel Consulting Ltd
I am 31 years old and was born in Kalix, in the northern part of Sweden. I have, however, lived in Jakobsberg outside Stockholm for more than 23 years. I have an MBA from Stockhom University (business and marketing) as well as a two-year leadership entrepreneur programme in travel and tourism from the Tourism Academy in Ornsköldsvik. I have also worked as a tour guide in several countries in conference and group sales in addition to hotels and tourism companies in Stockholm.

I first came to the UAE for an internship in 2006 and then moved here in the summer of 2007. I like Dubai's cosmopolitan feel and cultural mix. I love interacting with different cultures. I also like the natural diversity, especially the beautiful desert and the beaches.

I also exercise at the gym, write on my blog, try to check out new restaurants and nightspots and do some diving off the east coast when I get the chance.

I do miss Sweden sometimes. But it's not so much the country, asit is family and people living there.

I also miss some of the foods which you can't get here. I will be going home this summer and hopefully this Chrismas too.