A little nugget of cuteness to help get you through the rest of Sunday afternoon…

Dubai school kids had a VIP visitor today when H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, stopped by to meet them.

Sheikh Hamdan met young Eva Hardie from Jumeirah English Speaking School in Arabian Ranches who has lived in Dubai her whole life. The pair talked about what makes them happy about life in the UAE:

“I enjoyed meeting seven-year-old Eva Hardie from the the UK today,” Sheikh Hamdan wrote as he shared this adorable snap.

“She has lived in Dubai her whole life. Eva shared her thoughts about happiness and positivity in the UAE. She drew a picture about how the desert makes her happy, and we talked about our shared passion for nature.”

The super-cute picture Eva drew to show Sheikh Hamdan showed a typical dune scene with her family, a palm tree, a UAE flag and even an Emirates plane flying overhead.

*Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Mohammed tour London by tube*
*21 Instagrams that prove Sheikh Hamdan is the world’s most athletic royal*
*Sheikh Hamdan’s fishy BFF*


Sheikh Hamdan tagged Happy UAE in the Instagram post, which is an account that chronicles the day-to-day workings of the UAE National Happiness and Positivity Programme. This programme is overseen by the UAE’s Minister of Happiness Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi.

“Happiness can’t be mandated, demanded, or enforced. It must be encouraged and nurtured,” explained Al Roumi of her mission to make the UAE a happy place to live in (and her goal to make the government a customer-service-led organisation).


ohoud al roumi

– She points out that being able to monitor and measure happiness – and figuring out ways to do so – is a key part of her initial plan.

– Al Roumi points out that “we live in a tough neighbourhood” as far as happiness goes. “The Middle East is usually not associated with happiness; at times, the bad news from our region seems to drown out the good. And yet we are all bound by the desire to see ourselves and our loved ones thrive and be the best we can be. That spirit is within us all, and by celebrating it and strengthening it, we can aspire to offer peace, security, tolerance, positivity, and respect.”

– She says the government needs “to encourage the private sector to join us” on its happiness mission. Adding, “we must ensure that… our country’s entrepreneurs act on the basis of enlightened self-interest… Just as GDP is not the only benchmark to define a country’s success, profit alone cannot define a company’s success. In our connected and social world, where opinion, news, and information travel at the speed of light, happiness is a competitive advantage; indeed, it is central to a company’s brand.”

– She notes that a key element is “defining new approaches to services and service delivery”, meaning the public service need to create structures to continue to think customer first with all of their services.

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