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28 February 2024

Sheikh Mohammed announces creation of first World Happiness Council


Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has stressed that the world today is in desperate need to adopt a new approach to achieve human happiness, based on co-operation and the integration of efforts, through identifying commonality and by searching for points of agreement to strengthen positive values.

This statement came during His Highness’s announcement of the establishment of the first World Happiness Council, in time for the global celebration of International Happiness Day on 20th March every year, to send a positive message from the UAE to the world.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum noted, "The increased challenges, and the acceleration of international transformations and changes, requires decision makers to adopt policies and approaches that open the windows of hope to people, and perhaps the United Nations celebration of International Happiness Day will be transformed into a message to the world to search for new ways to achieve goodness for people."

His Highness added, "The UAE, under the leadership of my brother, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, believes that the role of governments is to achieve happiness for their people, by enabling them to choose the tools and means and by providing an environment that accommodates the hopes, ambitions and dreams of the people, which supports them in their search for what makes them happy, because we are aware that the role of governments will be deeper and more effective when the achievement of happiness becomes a higher goal.

"Happiness is a good contagion, and we want the peoples of the world to be affected by it, to enjoy its goodness. This requires a tangible change in the culture of government work. We want an actual translation of the goals of international organisations that all share a general goal, represented in strengthening positivity, and maintaining a more sustainable world, and achieving goodness for the human," His Highness said.

His Highness also stressed that "our initiative in launching the World Happiness Council comes from our values and convictions, with the necessity of achieving happiness for the people so they can enjoy goodness, and for the positive values to spread among them, as our country was based on the principles of goodness, happiness, development, building, and positive openness for civilisations, cultures and peoples. It succeeded in making happiness and positivity a lifestyle and a social culture, and we want to share the continuing efforts to make the world a better place with the international community."

The World Happiness Council will be headed by Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who is joined by 12 other members.

The council will launch a yearly Global Happiness Report during the World Government Summit. It will receive an administrative support from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and will convene twice every year.

The first meeting will be held during the Global Dialogue for Happiness as part of the World Government Summit while the second will be held during the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.


Six sub-councils will fall under the umbrella of the council:

1.The Council of Happiness and Health, to be chaired by Professor Lord Richard Layard

2.The Council of Happiness and Education, to be chaired Professor Dr Martin Seligman

3.The Council of Personal Happiness, to be chaired by Professor Edward Diener

4.The Council of Happiness in Work Environment, to be chaired by Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve

5. The Council of Happiness Measurement, to be chaired by Martine Durand

6.The Council of Happy cities, to be chaired by Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr