Dubai: The UAE has been ranked the happiest country in the Arab world for the third consecutive year in the UN World Happiness Report 2017.

The UAE, which has been ranked 21st globally, is followed by Qatar 35, Saudi Arabia 37, Kuwait 39 and Bahrain 41. 

Commenting on the report, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted that the UAE ranked first in the Arab region and the 21st globally, advancing eight ranks.

“The UAE came first in the Arab world for the third consecutive year and the Emirati people are ranked 21st as the happiest people in the world. We are also ranked first globally regarding the satisfaction of residents from other countries,” he tweeted. 

“According to the report, the UAE ranks first globally in terms of its people’s good health and is the second globally in terms of satisfaction with economy and fourth globally in terms of comfort. It also comes in the second place globally in terms of trust in the future of its economy and fourth globally in terms of satisfaction with living standards” Shaikh Mohammad said.

“We have happy people, satisfied expats, promising economy and a leadership which is keen on completing the mission. We pray to Allah Almighty to bless our country and our people with sustainable happiness”, he said.

The survey measures happiness levels using factors such as per capita income and standard of living as well as satisfaction with life.

Core mission

The UAE’s ranking on the top of the list of happiest countries in the Arab world is the result of various initiatives taken by Shaikh Mohammad, to make UAE the happiest country in the world. The UAE has become the happiest country in the Arab world due to the positive outcome of the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021 launched by Shaikh Mohammad.

The national agenda indexes were introduced to measure the achievements made by the UAE and the steps it has taken to realise the goals of the national agenda and the UAE vision. The initiative aims at increasing happiness rates, enhancing family cohesion, social solidarity and feeling proud of national identity as well as deepening allegiance and loyalty to the nation and its leadership, and doubling sports achievements.

Shaikh Mohammad also recently wrote an open letter to all federal government employees reminding them of their core mission: providing world class services to the people of UAE with the goal of contributing to their happiness. His open letter is a testament to the strong commitment demonstrated by the UAE leadership towards making happiness a national policy goal, the report said.

The UAE also became the first country in the world to appoint happiness minister early last year. Uhoud Bint Khalfan Al Roumi was given the title of the UAE Minister of State for Happiness to implement the happiness indexes across the country.

The UAE also launched several initiatives across the country including happiness ambassadors, happiness counters in government entities and happiness indexes to facilitate and make people happy.

The latest initiative was the launching of the World Happiness Council on March 19

The council was announced by Shaikh Mohammad to mark the International Day of Happiness, which falls on March 20 every year.