Smile, the UAE has a Minister of Happiness.

On Monday night HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced a restructure in the government.

One of the major changes? The creation of a role called The Minister of Happiness, who, as Sheikh Mohammed wrote last night, will “channel policies and plans to achieve a happier society.”

He added that “the Minister of State for Happiness will align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction.”

It has just been announced that the new Minister of Happiness for the UAE is H.E. Ohood Al Roumi.

oboudPhoto: Twitter/Dubai Media Office. 

Al Roumi was recently the Director-General of the Prime Minister Office, where she worked on reform, innovation, service improvement, leadership development and bringing about new government initiatives.

She is also the first Arab member of the Global Entrepreneurship Council (GEC).

She was once Head of Economic Policy at The Executive Office HH Sheikh Mohammed, and before that she was the Manager of the Business Research at Dubai Chamber of Commerce. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor’s in Economics.

The happiness announcement was made over Twitter as Sheikh Mohammed live tweeted to his 5.58 million followers. The theme was changes to the UAE government and it was part of the World Government Summit, which is being held in Dubai this week.

*IN PICS: Sheikh Mohammed’s 21 greatest Instagram moments*

Last year the government announced its Smart Dubai initiative – and asked us what we wanted from Dubai – this was all part of an agenda to make Dubai one of the 10 happiest cities in the world in the next 10 years.


During his Twitter talk Sheikh Mohammed also discussed how they will privatise some government services, creating less ministries.

“I would like to announce that the UAE President has approved the biggest structural changes in the history of the federal government,” he said on Twitter.

They will also appoint a Minister of Tolerance to promote tolerance as a fundamental value of the UAE, a country filled with a diverse range of faiths and ethnicities.

Another cool announcement was the fact there will be a new UAE Youth National Council that will be led by a 22-year-old Emirati woman.

The Minister of Happiness move is reminiscent of Bhutan, a small nation famous for valuing its Gross Happiness Index as much as its economic success. The Happiness Index was a term coined in the Asian kingdom in 1972.

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Photos: Getty