uncaptioned image from entry
May 10, 2016
Ohood Al-Roumi, the United Arab Emirates’ Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office and recently-appointed Minister of Happiness, has penned a piece explaining how her new post fits into the country’s national development strategy.
Since 2011, the UN has called for the inclusion of happiness and well-being among the measures of social and economic development. To that end, the UAE created a new ministerial post in February 2016 devoted exclusively to happiness. Successful governance, it was stressed, includes not only adequate public services and economic opportunities, but also going beyond statistics and addressing the hopes, fears, and dreams of citizenry. Happiness is not only central to the national agenda, but also to private sector culture. As one of the most diverse labor markets in the region, and given the speed at which information can spread, “happiness is a competitive advantage; indeed, it is central to a company’s brand.”
Al-Roumi cedes that happiness is not within a state’s power to grant, but well within its power to enable. Though the office is still new, the UAE has already drawn up a 100-day plan, begun developing benchmarks and metrics for happiness, and is working towards coordinating across levels of government.
The full article is available here.