UAE can go further in happiness rating

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UAE can go further in happiness rating

AJMAN — The UAE tops other GCC countries in global happiness rating and takes 17th place worldwide, yet it can still explore more into propelling it further by measuring the happiness of expatriates in the UAE through a common approach.

By Lily B. Libo-on

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Published: Tue 19 Mar 2013, 11:40 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:27 AM

It was stated by Prof John Helliwell of Columbia University, co-author of the World Happiness Report, who spoke to 250 UAE senior officials and decision makers on “Geography of Happiness” on the eve of the first World Happiness Day celebration on Tuesday at the first National Conference of “Quality of Life in UAE” at Ajman Kempinski Hotel.

Shaikh Humaid honours Professor John Helliwell during the ‘Quality of Life in UAE’ conference in Ajman Kempinski Hotel on Tuesday. — KT photo by M Sajjad

He said that in the World Happiness Report, only Emiratis and the nationals of sample countries are taken and expatriates are excluded. But, he recommended the sampling of a cross section of the 200 or so nationalities working in the UAE. “This will resolve two issues related to sustaining global level, which are trust and linkages. The UAE is good at creating population linkages and has put in trust and sense of identity between Emiratis and rulers, and rulers and the people that it can easily generate cross domestic happiness.”

In the World Happiness Report, the UAE came ahead of Saudi Arabia on the 26th place, Kuwait on 29th, Qatar on 31st, and Bahrain on 61st position. Oman was not included in the survey. UAE also ranked above nations such as Britain (18) and Iceland (20). Denmark ranked first followed by Finland, Norway and the Netherlands. According to the report, women in the UAE are happier than their male counterparts.

Organised by the Ajman Executive Council in collaboration with Emirates Competitiveness Council, the “Quality of Life in UAE” conference serves to open the channels for more direct communication, develop global standards for measuring happiness across countries and present the best practices for improving quality of life.

His Highness Shaikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman, was present at the opening ceremony. Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works, presented highlights of the UAE’s efforts in preserving the rights of individuals, demonstrating the foresight of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, while ensuring security for all.

Shaikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman and Chairman of the executive council, praised the leadership of the President and His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses Rulers of the Emirates, who continue to adopt development plans designed to achieve prosperity, security and stability, and a decent life for all individuals.

Other speakers at the conference included Shaikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, Official Environment Advisor to the Ajman Government; Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Rashid Al Marri, Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai; and Dr Khalifa Ali Alsuwaidi, assistant professor at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education in UAE University.

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