Residents celebrate happiness with Dubai Canal parade

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Residents celebrate happiness with Dubai Canal parade
Visitors having a happy moment during The Happiness Jounrey which was conducted at Dubai Canal on March 18.

Dubai - The Happiness Journey saw the participation of hundreds of residents and public figures marching in a parade.


Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Sun 19 Mar 2017, 12:58 PM

On UAE's first 'Happiness Journey,' the world's first minister of happiness shared with delegates and members of the public what it takes to be in high spirits.
"Happiness is a choice that requires a personal commitment and I hope today's journey helps you make this choice," Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, told the public on Saturday.
The Happiness Journey, which marks the International Day of Happiness that falls on March 20 every year, saw the participation of hundreds of residents and public figures marching in a parade from Dubai Water Canal to BoxPark and back.
Visitors then took part in awareness sessions on happiness and positivity, presented by local and international scientists and experts.
"Today, we celebrate happiness and today's walk is a sample of our path towards happiness and positivity as a lifestyle in the UAE. Happiness is a journey not a destination, hence the name of our event today is the happiness journey," said Al Roumi.
She noted that the Happiness Journey marks the beginning of an annual celebration and is the first of a series of society community initiatives as part of the National Happiness and Positivity Programme to make happiness a lifestyle for UAE residents.
Social media influencers, charity organizations and school students were among the participants of the event, which saw variety of colorful banners and smiley faces on balloons, charts and flags. A 'Happiness ambulance'  was seen on sight, while people broke out in cheers during their 2km journey that started around 9am.
The event focused on five main values of happiness: Giving, Positivity, Gratitude, Relationships and Meaning, with each value having its own stand.
Al Roumi, who was appointed as a happiness minister last year, said positivity is a perspective. "Positivity is the pair of glasses through which you view the world. If the glasses are dark, you see the world as full of disasters and evil, but with positive outlook, we see the world as full of positivity, achievements and happiness. you'll even see challenges as opportunities."
She noted that developing honest and authentic relationships with loved ones, knowing the purpose in life, and finding meaning in our role in society are the main elements of any individual's pursuit of happiness.
"Being able to experience life for another day is a gift we need to be grateful for," she said.
Educational activities on happiness and promoting positive values was also provided for children and families, in addition to entertainment and activities.

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