Sheikh Mohammed meets with the Minister of Happiness
How is the Minister of Happiness getting on? Sheikh Mohammed visited her offices yesterday to find out…
Yesterday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, stopped by to meet with Ohood Al Roumi, the UAE’s Minister of Happiness, as well as 60 of the UAE’s Chief Happiness and Positivity Officers. These are the people that work at various federal and local entities across the emirates to make sure that the National Happiness and Positivity Programme is implemented.
“We, in the UAE, believe that people’s happiness is a renewable and sustainable asset and an indicator for a positive and coherent society,” Sheikh Mohammed said to them. “We also believe that the job of any government is to level the ground for building human capital, enabling people to adapt to rapid changes and to come up with solutions to all challenges.”
So what is the National Happiness and Positivity Programme? Its initial phase involves three elements.
The first is to promote happiness via government policies, programmes and services. All government service centres will have a “culture change”, and will have staff dedicated to ensuring its clients (aka, us) are happy with their services. In fact, there has already been a marked improvement in the customer service of many government entities. For instance, disconnecting DEWA today is a far easier process than it was a few years ago.
The second element is the promotion of happiness and positivity in the community via lifestyle initiatives. The third is the development of effective ways to measure happiness in the community (because we can’t all get happier until we actually know what that is, right?).
“Each person possesses a positive energy and, the real leader is the one who can provide the right environment for that energy,” explained Sheikh Mohammed to the happiness officers yesterday.
“Your responsibility is to utilise the tacit knowledge of your teams and to strengthen positive interactions for all to engage in, spreading happiness and positivity. Your government is relying on you to contribute in making the Emiratis the happiest people in the world.”
Sheikh Mohammed also met with children from schools across Dubai to talk to them about what makes them happy. Sheikh Hamdan, the Crown Prince of Dubai, was also there (head here to see a super-cute snap of him chatting to one of the school kids).
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) September 25, 2016
“Every day, we grow more proud of the UAE children, who give us hope for a brighter future,” said Sheikh Mohammed. “Happier and more positive children are capable of making a better future for their countries.”
Sheikh Mohammed also mentioned how the stability of life here was key to the country’s happiness – which is particularly pertinent in a conflict-ridden region.
As Minister of Happines Al Roumi explained in an open letter earlier this year, “Happiness is knowing that you and your family are safe; that there is opportunity open to you and your children; and that you can depend on a high degree of care, dignity, and fairness in your society,” she writes.
We’ll keep you updated when more elements of the National Happiness Programme become public.