The United Arab Emirates Call to Action on Happiness

Ohood Al Roumi has been appointed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as Minister of State for Happiness. Remaining responsible as DG of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The 2015 World Happiness Report ranked it No. 20, above Britain and below Belgium. Switzerland was No. 1, and the United States was No. 15.

Israel, at No. 11, was the happiest country in the Middle East, but the United Arab Emirates still beat all other Arab countries. Egypt, with widespread poverty and a growing jihadist insurgency, was ranked No. 135; Syria, torn apart by civil war, was No. 156, third from the bottom.

The creation of a minister to promote happiness recalled Bhutan’s adoption in 1972 of its Gross National Happiness measure, an alternative to gross national product.

“It is the beginning of a new journey of achievement and giving to the people, and we ask God to help us serve and take care of them,” Sheikh Mohammed said in one post in Arabic.