Happiness Journey uplifts, enables residents in myriad ways

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on March 20, 2018
Happiness Journey uplifts, enables residents in myriad ways
A family takes a selfie at Dubai Design District, during the Happiness event. - KT photo by Shihab

The five-day Happiness Journey was opened at The Block, a new recreational spot at d3

From creating a fragrance based on your character traits, making free calls to your loved one or being lifted up in the sky with a life coach calming you down, the Journey of Happiness gave UAE people enough reasons to smile and spread the cheer through a variety of happy experiences.

The five-day happiness event, organised by the National Programme for Happiness and Positivity from March 16-20, concluded on Tuesday evening at Dubai Design District (d3). Thousands of people attended the activities run by scientists, speakers and specialists in the happiness field from 4pm to 10pm.

The five-day Happiness Journey was held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and opened at The Block, a new recreational spot at d3. It included 15 workshops, featured about 40 speakers from the UAE and abroad, and targeted all segments of society, especially children, mothers, the elderly and People of Determination.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Othman Al Madani, director of Happiness at the National Programme for Happiness and Positivity, said: "This community initiative was a roaring success as people loved the experience. People came up to us and asked us to make it a permanent feature. To spread awareness on happiness, we gave them different experiences curated for all ages and nationalities."

Friends Vishnu, Nadeem and Alveena, who came to the event out of curiosity, said: "We came here to see how this journey can make us happy. We undertook an activity called 'Rejoice', where they gave us a blank canvas and we could paint anything we wanted on it. It was a lot of fun and gave us immense happiness. It made us feel like a child all over again, as we splashed paint on the canvas as we pleased."

A session titled 'Food Togetherness' brought together Danny McCubbin, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's team culture manager; and Dalia Dogmoch, founder of Dalia's Kitchen. "After 13 years of being professionally involved with food, I've learned that it's important to simplify things and enjoy the moment," Dogmoch said.

Sending out her statement on the International Day of Happiness, Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, Director General of the Prime Minister's Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, said: "The UAE carries on with this mission today, which prioritises our people and their happiness. We, in the UAE, believe that happiness is a continuous journey, not just a day to celebrate once a year. The UAE government, through all of its entities, continues its efforts in building national capabilities and aligning its programmes and projects to create an enabling environment to achieve this goal and help advance the UAE on the global happiness map."

Apart from colourful decorations and motivating placards that dotted the d3 block, other fun initiatives of the journey were mostly multi-sensory experiences. These included the Happiness Gym, and a 'Net Lab' which saw a small group of people having sessions with a life coach while suspended in the air.

'In the Dark' was another rich experience that emphasised the link between happiness and mental and emotional wellbeing while participants engaged in dialogues in a dark room. This helped them recognise each other's point of views without being judgmental, leading

to positive and unbiased conversations.

The last day of the journey saw a number of international speakers, both English and Arabic, motivate people to live a good, healthy and happy life. Plus true to its spirit of spreading happiness, the event saw rewarding people with loads of free gifts just to cheer them up and bring happiness in their lives.

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