Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid chairs the First Wellbeing Council Meeting 2022, conducted remotely by the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, UAE Minister of Community Development, stated that the UAE’s wise leadership focuses on future projects that promote social stability and support wellbeing and sustainability of all the members of the community, following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to consider social wellbeing as the top priority of the UAE government.

Buhumaid made these observations while chairing the first Wellbeing Council Meeting 2022, conducted by the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing, which remotely discussed the most prominent initiatives that promote wellbeing in accordance with the aspirations of the UAE leadership and the directives of the UAE government. The meeting was attended by members of the Wellbeing Council, undersecretaries of ministries, officials of government authorities and executive councils all over the UAE.

Six themes

During their first meeting, members of the Wellbeing Council discussed the updates of the ‘National Wellbeing Survey 2022’ under the theme ‘Knowledge for Prosperity, which included six themes: Wellbeing of individuals, connected community, advanced country, cities and residential communities, sustainability, culture and arts.

The meeting also discussed the idea of hosting ‘Wellbeing International Dialogue’ to learn about inspiring experiences in the field of wellbeing that serve human beings and have an impact on the future, strengthen global partnerships, share pioneering experiences, review the world’s achievements in Expo 2020 Dubai, and highlight the UAE advanced role in wellbeing.

Buhumaid said: “Wellbeing is the supporting foundation, safe and stimulating cornerstone for sustainable development in the UAE due to its importance in our daily and professional lives. I encourage all the members of the Wellbeing Council to select creative initiatives and qualitative ideas that keep pace with the promises and requirements of individuals and the community in social, health, educational, security and economic fields in light of the recovery phase and return to normal life.”

UAE among top ten competitive countries

She spoke about the UAE’s competitive ranking to provide the best Initiatives and achievements in support of the comprehensive development process. For the fourth year in row, the UAE is leading the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020, which puts the UAE at ninth place among the most competitive countries in the world. The UAE maintained its position among the top ten competitive countries in the world in 2020, to be the only Arab country that succeeded in asserting itself in the competitiveness yearbook,

Meeting new
Speakers and participants at the first Wellbeing Council Meeting 2022. Image Credit: Supplied

Buhumaid added that the UAE performance excellence was achieved in four major indicators: Third globally in government efficiency, fourth in economic performance, seventh in business efficiency, 28th in infrastructure. Moreover, there is continuous improvement in a number of indicators and the country is among global leaders in a large number of sub-indicators.

The first meeting of the Wellbeing Council this year reviewed government efforts, highlighted pioneering models and targeted wellbeing initiatives, shared experiences and benefits from the expertise at both federal and local levels.

Saeed Al Nazari, the Director-General of the Federal Youth Authority, emphasised that we studied the privileges provided for young Emiratis and residents to enhance their wellbeing, such as the launch of a report that monitors the privileges of UAE youth and a survey to monitor the opinion of young residents about their wellbeing in UAE, as well as short videos documenting the privileges of UAE youth in various languages.

Mental and social health

Al Nazari noted that the UAE youth are privileged to have free education, health insurance and free health-care services, housing allowance, marriage grants, services provided by youth centres, membership in the boards of directors of federal institutions, as well as visa-free travel entitlement to more than 118 countries around the world.

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During the meeting, Dr Aisha Al Muheiri, Director of the Wellbeing Office at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, spoke about the Health Wellbeing Strategy Plan 2026, based on the National Wellbeing Strategy 2031, as well as health programmes, initiatives and projects related to physical, mental and social health.

Dr Heba Shehadeh, Leader of Foresight team in Dubai Future Foundation, spoke about future opportunities as a source of thought and inspiration to determine the prospects for growth, prosperity and happiness in different sectors over the next 50 years. These opportunities relate to future innovations, human relationship to technology, health, community empowerment, nature and sustainability.