The governments of the world are supposed to serve its people. Most states provide infrastructure and support to its citizens but some nations have gone a step further. The latest nation to acknowledge the important of happiness in the psyche of the nation has been surprisingly been the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of Dubai, in a tweet said it would drive policy “to create social good and satisfaction”.
“National happiness isn’t a wish. Plans, projects, programs, indices will inform the work of our ministries to achieve happiness,” he said.
The minister of state for tolerance would promote the virtue “as a fundamental value in UAE society”, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
A new post of minister of state for tolerance was also created, “to promote tolerance as a fundamental value in UAE society” said the Sheikh. Lubna Al-Qasimi will head it and continue with her duties as the Minister of International Cooperation and Development.
The newly appointed UAE Minister of Happiness, Ohood Al-Roumi took an oath wearing a necklace with ‘Happy’ written on it during the oath-taking ceremony. She will also continue to be the General Manager of the Office of the Prime Minister.
UAE has followed in the footsteps of Bhutan and Venezuela. Bhutan in 1972, had started to use a gross national happiness (GNH) index instead of the universal GDP as a criteria for the state’s efficiency.
In 2013, Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro had created the Vice Ministry for the Supreme Social Happiness of the Venezuelan People.
Hopefully Dubai’s thousands of poor ill-treated migrant workers benefit from these ministries too.