To the cynical mind of the average Briton, a state-sponsored National Programme for Happiness and Positivity 1 might conjure up an image that sits somewhere between Yes Minister and Soviet-era propaganda.
Yet this initiative in the UAE, led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and supported by an appointed Minister of State for Happiness and teams of Happiness and Positivity Officers has the laudable aim of making residents of the Emirates the ‘happiest people in the world’. As Sheikh Mohammed is reported as saying:
"We, in the UAE, believe that people’s happiness is a renewable and sustainable asset and an indicator for a positive and coherent society”2
Driven by the public sector via a raft of policies, programmes and services, but also expected to be developed amongst the private sector, the impact of this strategy will be measured by a new happiness index.
This initiative is one of many strings to the UAE’s vision20213 programme. Whether it achieves its goal of knocking the Scandinavians off the top of the global happiness index remains to be seen but isn’t there something refreshingly simple about a government aspiring to make its residents happy?
When we start hearing reports of happy lawyers, we will know they’re onto something!
With a great social scene, high-quality work, lucrative tax-free salaries and smaller more personal teams, there is already plenty to make ex-pat lawyers in the UAE happy. Jason Horobin is Head of International at Origin Legal and has been helping lawyers to make international career moves for over sixteen years. If you are interested in discussing a move to the UAE or elsewhere please get in touch at [email protected]