National Programme for Happiness and Positivity
On 7 March 2016, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai reviewed National Programme for Happiness and Positivity presented by Sheikha Ohood.
The programme sets government policies, programmes and services that could promote virtues of positive lifestyle in the community and a plan for the development of a happiness index to measure people's satisfaction.
The programme covers three areas:
- inclusion of happiness in the policies, programmes and services of all government bodies and at work
- promotion of positivity and happiness as a lifestyle in the community
- development of benchmarks and tools to measure happiness.
The programme will include Emiratis as well as expatriate residents and visitors. It seeks to encourage government and private sectors to launch, recommend and adopt initiatives in that regard.
The plan will also include initiatives for publishing scientific and cultural contents, books on happiness, and encouragement of reading about the importance of positivity and happiness as a way of an integrated lifestyle.
National Charter for Happiness
On 20 March 2016, Sheikh Mohammed approved National Programme for Happiness which will serve as National Charter for Happiness. He also approved several initiatives that aim to create happy and productive work environment at federal government offices.
Some of the initiatives are:
- Appointing CEOs for happiness and positivity at all government bodies
- Establishing councils for happiness and positivity at federal entities
- Allocating time for happiness-related programmes and activities at the federal government
- Establishing offices for happiness and positivity
- Transforming customer service centres into customer happiness centres
- Including annual indexes, surveys and reports to measure happiness in all community segments
- Adoption of a standard form for corporate happiness and positivity at all government bodies.
Appointing CEOs for happiness
The competent minister or the board chairman will appoint CEOs of happiness and positivity, with a view to enhance the culture of happiness and positivity. The CEO will coordinate with the Office of the Secretary of Ministry of State for Happiness to implement initiatives of the National Programme of Happiness and Positivity in government entities.
The CEO will also manage and coordinate initiatives and projects to promote happiness and positivity among staff and customers, as well as launching programs to classify the work environment in the public and private sectors according to their levels of happiness.
Establishing councils for happiness and positivity at federal entities
The council for happiness and positivity will include representatives of various sectors and areas. It aims to ensure that all plans and services follow a unified approach to realise happiness and positivity.
Allocating time in federal entities for happiness-related programmes and activities
These activities aim at instilling happiness and positivity culture inside the federal government entity or outside to ensure community happiness.
Customer Happiness Formula
On 10 May 2016, Sheikha Ohood unveiled Customer Happiness Formula. The formula aims to provide an effective tool for government employees to achieve the happiness goals under National Programme for Happiness and Positivity. The launch of the Customer Happiness Formula highlights the government's commitment to provide services that achieve customer happiness and ensure the happiness of the entire community.
The formula consists of three main components:
- Employees who take pride in providing excellent government services
- Government entities that are dedicated to making customers happy
- Positive and proactive customers who are willing to provide suggestions and contribute to the development of innovative services that creates happiness.
Training for Chief Happiness and Positivity Officers
In July 2016, the UAE Government announced that 60 Chief Happiness and Positivity Officers from federal and local government entities will undergo training to understand the 'science of happiness' and implement it. The training programme consists of five pillars which are:
- the science of happiness and positivity
- leading a happy team
- happiness and policies in government work
- measuring happiness.
The programme includes lectures, seminars, educational benchmarking visits to see the best global practices and experiences in the field and a set of applications and workshops. The programme will be implemented from September 2016 to January 2017. The Chief Happiness and Positivity Officers will design and implement projects to promote happiness and positivity in government departments and society.
Friends of Happiness Platform
On April 2017, the National Happiness and Positivity Programme launched the ‘Friends of Happiness’ platform, an electronic portal that seeks to encourage public involvement in the programme’s initiatives and to rally support for the government’s efforts to promote happiness and positivity.
The initiative seeks to spread awareness about the importance of happiness and positivity, as well as to establish partnerships between the government and the community, individuals and organisations that endorse happiness as a practice in all sectors and support the government’s projects during the ’ Year of Giving.’
Happiness Research Institute
On March 2017, The UAE University (UAEU) in collaboration with the National Programme for Happiness and Positivity established Emirates Center for Happiness Research, the first of its kind in the UAE and the Middle East.
The Center aims to realise the objectives of the National Programme for Happiness and Positivity and conduct specialised scientific studies related to the science of happiness, and measuring and assessing happiness indices. It also aims to enhance the UAE’s contribution to enriching the scientific content of happiness at the global level.
The UAE as per World Happiness Report
UN World Happiness report 2018
According to UN World Happiness Report 2018, the UAE came first in the Arab world for the fourth consecutive year and ranked 20th among 156 countries globally, advancing one rank from last year. Measuring the happiness index of UAE nationals only, the UAE ranked 11th globally , while for the happiness of expatriate residents in 117 countries, the UAE ranked 19th.
UN World Happiness report 2017
According to UN World Happiness Report 2017, the UAE came first in the Arab world for the third consecutive year and ranked 21st as the happiest globally, advancing eight ranks.
The UAE would, however, rank 12th globally if only UAE nationals were taken into account, as the 2017 report included a separate table of results for nationals and non-nationals in some Gulf countries with varying scores.
UAE also ranked first globally regarding the satisfaction of residents from other countries.
World Happiness report 2016
As per World Happiness Report 2016, published by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations, the UAE was ranked 28th globally and 1st amongst Arab countries.
It was placed ahead of some of other advanced countries like France (at 32nd rank), Spain (at 37th rank) and Italy (at 50th rank). The report recognises that the UAE is amongst the four countries in the world that have a Minister of Happiness in their Cabinet.
The UAE has maintained its leading position in the Arab World since the report was launched four years ago; thus, realising its remarkable achievements in the political, economic, social, educational, health, tourism and environmental fields.