The UAE’s ambitious approach to becoming one of the world’s most innovative countries has made it a global leader in the development of positive social and economic policies
A study published by the Paris-based Positive Economy Institute has ranked the UAE among the world’s top 10 most positive countries in its debut appearance in the report, which has been published every year since 2013.
The Positivity Index of Nations report is an annual global study that measures “the positive behaviour of countries towards future generations’ interests and wellbeing, as well their positive impact on the global arena”, and is based on 30 key indicators.
The UAE received an overall score of 61% in the 2018 study, ranking it eighth overall, after it was included as a non-OECD country for the first time for the purpose of assessment by the institute.
The country outperformed 27 of the 34 OECD member countries ranked in the report, including the UK, US, France and Australia.
In praising the country’s efforts to improve living standards and the overall wellbeing of residents, the report’s authors noted that the country’s leaders had “engaged in several projects on happiness, positivity and well-being”.
“The UAE created in 2016 the Ministries of Happiness, Tolerance and Youth (50% of the population is under 30), these Ministries being placed under the responsibility of women,” the report noted. “The UAE [is] also the host country of the annual World Government Summit and works in close partnership with OECD on innovation in the field of public policies.
“The UAE also supports global climate change efforts and the development of sustainable energy solutions and stands as the world’s largest donor of official development assistance. All this contributed to outperforming many OECD member countries in indicators of the index,” the report added.
Dubai has been a leader in driving social cohesion and encouraging and measuring happiness among its residents. The Dubai government's Ministry of Happiness has a mandate to develop programmes and policies to improve the happiness of the city’s population.
At the time of the programme’s launch in 2016, a government survey revealed that 83% of Dubai’s residents considered themselves happy, while 95% of respondents predicted they would be happy five years into the future.
Since then, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has adopted the Happiness Agenda by Smart Dubai. The Happiness Agenda is a globally unique, science-based approach to measuring and impacting people’s happiness, fuelling the city’s transformation.
Dubai Culture stepped in to support Smart Dubai in leading a culture shift in the city through projects designed to build awareness and influence individuals, businesses and city leadership to prioritise happiness.
"In Dubai, we believe that happiness can be achieved; that happiness can be measured, and that we can aid our leadership to positively impact happiness for the city, through science and technology," commented Smart Dubai Director General Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr.
"The Happiness Snapshot study collects valuable data on the beliefs and motivations of Dubai residents towards happiness in the city. In the near future, this data will be used by city leaders to guide decision-making on new projects and positively influence the happiness of people in Dubai," she added.
Last month, Smart Dubai hosted the 'Happy Cities Forum', a first of its kind event staged in the UAE, at Al Habtoor City in Dubai. The event was designed to showcase Dubai’s efforts to promote itself as a global benchmark for happiness in cities.
"Promoting happiness and positivity in the community is a key component of Smart Dubai’s strategies,” said Dr Aisha.
“It embodies the leadership’s vision to make Dubai the happiest city in the world by prioritising people’s wellbeing and providing a fully integrated ecosystem for delivering smart government services, saving people’s time and efforts to ensure outstanding experiences."
Top 10 countries by ranking in the 2018 Positivity Index of Nations
- New Zealand
Source: Positive Economy Institute