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 Wellbeing (formerly: National Programme for Happiness and Positivity) presented by Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and Future.
The programme sets government policies, programmes and services that can 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 wellbeing 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 wellbeing 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 wellbeing at all government bodies
- Establishing councils for happiness and wellbeing at federal entities
- Allocating time for happiness-related programmes and activities at the federal government
- Establishing offices for happiness and wellbeing
- 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 wellbeing at all government bodies.
Appointing CEOs for happiness
The competent minister or the board chairman will appoint CEOs of happiness and wellbeing, with a view to enhance the culture of happiness and wellbeing. The CEO will coordinate with the Ministry of Community Development to implement initiatives of the National Programme of Happiness and wellbeing in government entities.
The CEO will also manage and coordinate initiatives and projects to promote happiness and wellbeing 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 wellbeing at federal entities
The council for happiness and wellbeing 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 wellbeing.
Allocating time in federal entities for happiness-related programmes and activities
These activities aim at instilling happiness and wellbeing culture inside the federal government entity or outside to ensure community happiness.
Customer Happiness Formula
On 10 May 2016, Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi 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 wellbeing. 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 wellbeing Officers
In July 2016, the UAE Government announced that 60 Chief Happiness and wellbeing 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 wellbeing
- 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 wellbeing Officers will design and implement projects to promote happiness and wellbeing in government departments and society.
Friends of Happiness Platform
On April 2017, the National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing 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 wellbeing.
The initiative seeks to spread awareness about the importance of happiness and wellbeing, 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 wellbeing 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 wellbeing 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.
Learn about more initiatives launched by National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing.