Ohood Al Roumi, UAE State Minister for Happiness signs an agreement with International Expert Mike Waking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute in Denmark Image Credit:

Dubai: Federal and local public sector employees will now begin attending happiness and positivity educational seminars as part of a new initiative launched by the UAE Minister of Happiness to instill happiness and positivity in the work culture.

Uhoud Khalfan Al Roumi, UAE State Minister for Happiness, launched the series of seminars for government employees as part of the broader National Happiness and Positivity Programme.

Around 350 employees attended the inaugural event titled “Happiness”, which took place recently at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai. International expert Mike Waking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute in Denmark — ranked as the happiest country in the world in 2016 — spoke at the event.

The seminars aim to educate public sector employees about the National Happiness and Positivity Programme and its goal of establishing a happy society in the UAE.

They are crucial to the success of the National Happiness and Positivity Programme, which revolves around three main pillars: Happiness and Positivity in Government Work; Happiness and Positivity as a Lifestyle; and, last but certainly not least, Measuring Happiness and Positivity, which will involve establishing mechanisms and indices to record the progress made in that area.

“His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, stresses that it is the government’s job to instill positivity as a key trait in society,” said Al Roumi, insisting on the importance of attending these seminars.

She added that “the National Happiness and Positivity Programme adheres to HH’s directions in a bid to turn the UAE into a role model for the region and the world”.

During the inaugural session, Waking, who is also a contributing researcher for the World Database of Happiness and a member of the Latin American Network for Luxury and Quality of Life, praised the UAE leadership, its efforts and initiatives to raise the level of happiness and satisfaction for all residents in the emirates.

The initiatives, projects and creative programmes launched by the UAE government, he noted, serve to establish a positive social environment and spread happiness and satisfaction among all segments of society. Waking went on to examine the very concept of happiness and its importance on a global scale, as well as the challenges that stand in the way of achieving it.

To that end, Al Roumi signed a memorandum of understanding with Waking, which underlines the importance of collaboration between the two parties and the sharing of knowledge and expertise with regards to happiness, as well as the need to establish procedures to train and educate government personnel and make happiness a part of the government’s work culture.