UAE Has Its Own Happiness Minister And It Is No Joke!
Promoting happiness and a positive attitude in the country, Ohood Al Roumi position is the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed-bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai
Photo Credit : Photo Credit : Courtesy: mocaf.gov.ae,
Yes, you heard it right! A happiness minister and it's no joke.
The post created in 2016, last year, Minister of Happiness is a Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates Cabinet, which oversees the UAE plans, programs and policies to achieve a happier society. We introduce to you the youngest minister in the world, Ohood Al Roumi, the Minister of Happiness, UAE.
Promoting happiness and a positive attitude in the country, Roumi position is the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed-bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai.
With a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's in public administration, she joined the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2012 she made the list of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders under 40.
Roumi Tweets, "Happiness in our nation is not a wish… but there will be plans, projects and programs and indicators…and it will be part of the work of all our ministries…and a part of our way of life".
From Government services related complaints to the marriage issue, Roumi is out there to help all. She was contacted by at least 70 people via WhatsApp or calls to her office.
Roumi says it's a serious business for the government, "What is the purpose of government if it does not work toward the happiness of the people? It's the duty and role of the government to create the right conditions for people to choose to be happy", she shared in an interview at an event in Dubai.
So what falls under the criteria of UAE's happiness? Roumi shared, creating an environment in which people feel empowered, and providing sound infrastructure, opportunities for a good education, jobs and healthcare, and ensuring that people feel safe and secure.
Let's have a look at her initiatives-Maybe India can take a cue?
1. The national program for Happiness and Positivity in the private sector was launched in collaboration with the Wharton school. Aim? To provide private sector employees with intuitive and practical skills necessary for driving the happiness and positivity in the organisation.
2. "100 days of positivity" campaign, in which students, teachers and administrators take a pledge to practice positive behaviour.
3. A "Happiness Patrol" in Abu Dhabi- No traffic tickets, but gift vouchers and cellphones credit for abiding the law.
4. She introduced online "happiness meters" in city offices, where people can record their satisfaction by clicking on emojis, including a national happiness survey, the results of which are under review.
5. She organised a global dialogue on happiness as part of the annual World Government Summit in Dubai.
6. She encourages local media to tell more positive stories because "happiness is contagious."
The UAE isn't the only country with such initiative. Madhya Pradesh to has its very own Department of Happiness - the first of its kind in India, helmed by the state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Other than that, Venezuela also has its very own Social Happiness Ministry. Bhutan instituted a "Gross National Happiness Index" that surveys the level of happiness in the country with Thailand, the United Kingdom trying out similar happiness projects.
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