Happiness for all embedded in UAE culture - GulfToday

Happiness for all embedded in UAE culture


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

In life, there are different means of gauging happiness. Some may be happy if they get money to take care of expenses for the home, such as education for the children, housing grants, among other things. Some are just happy to be with their parents or elders. Some children could be happy with something as simple as just an ice cream.

On the International Day of Happiness, being celebrated today, the UAE ticks all the boxes in the happiness ‘form.’ Despite the wide despondency gripping the world due to the coronavirus, it has managed to keep the pandemic in check even while leaving Emirati contentment unchecked.

The government’s care for the happiness of the community during this crisis was not confined to the economic, health and service aspects, but also extended to include psychosocial support through campaigns and programmes.

As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and the Ruler of Dubai, says, “The job of governments is to create the environment in which people can achieve their happiness. Yes, the government’s job is to achieve happiness.”

To illustrate the UAE’s interest in raising the bar for happiness, in May last year, The National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing, in conjunction with International Workers Day, launched a “Be Well” campaign, a community initiative aimed at promoting the health and safety of workers and supporting the national efforts to counter the pandemic.

 A highlight of the campaign was the ‘Be Well’ box for workers. Knowing full well their financial condition and the difficulty they could face in purchasing medical items to protect themselves against the virus, the authorities have stepped up to the plate to take stock of the situation and render help with this box.

The “Be Well” box contains 44 essential prevention and protection items for their safety, health and social support, such as face masks, gloves, sanitisers, and food items. What is interesting is that there is also a new SIM card given along with that.

It is just not the physical health that is of paramount concern. The regime is also concerned about the psychological impact the pandemic could have on its residents. Many who have lost their loved ones need emotional help, need counselling. The Mental Support Line constitutes a realisation of the government’s directives and efforts in handling the consequences of the virus by focusing on protecting and promoting the physical, social and mental health of citizens and residents.

That the country has set a global trend by appointing a Minister for Happiness shows how seriously it is taking matters where happiness of its residents including citizens is concerned. Ohoud Bint Khalfan Al Roumi is the country’s first Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing.

At the international level, the UAE medical and humanitarian aid that flows to all parts of the world continues to be the most prominent safety valve for the most vulnerable and impoverished groups. The UAE has maintained its first place among the Arab countries for the sixth consecutive year, according to World Happiness Report 2020.

The UAE takes care of the creature comforts and basic needs of its citizens. In May last year, the Board of Directors of the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme approved the names of 500 citizens eligible to receive housing assistance totaling Dhs486 million.

A July 2020 report says the UAE Government’s efforts to provide financial aid and other social benefits to citizens intensified in 2019.

These efforts were highlighted by the rise in aid in 2019, reaching Dhs7.46 billion.

As the well-known actress Audrey Hepburn says, “The most important thing is to enjoy your life —to be happy — it’s all that matters.”

Related articles

Other Articles