UAE Happiness Charter approved on International Day of Happiness

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum chairs Cabinet meeting (Wam)

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has said happiness, a positive lifestyle, the government's commitment and a real spirit unite the UAE community.

He added that the government work system has been evolving to achieve the ends sought by each individual, notably, happiness for him and his family. This came during a cabinet meeting held today at the Presidential Palace in the presence of Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The cabinet approved a package of positive initiatives and institutional happiness at the federal government.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, "We are at the beginning of a path along which we learn everyday to achieve prosperity and happiness of human beings, and our wishes for the happiness of all peoples and nations." The cabinet also endorsed the National Charter for Happiness and Positivity, which stipulates the commitment of the government of the United Arab Emirates through its policies, plans, projects and services of all government agencies to create an appropriate environment for the happiness of an individual, family and community, and inculcate positivity as an essential value in them so that they can achieve their dreams and aspirations.

A package of initiatives to create a happy and productive work environment at federal government bodies was also approved during meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammad.

The move coincides with the International Day of Happiness, which is celebrated through the world on March 20 every year. The day was founded on June 28, 2012, by the United Nations General Assembly.

The national programme features policies, initiatives and services to create the world’s happiest government work environment, as well as initiatives tailored specifically to motivate and urge the private sector to establish a happy work environment for its employees.

The newly approved programme will serve as a national charter that provides for the Cabinet’s commitment through its higher policies, plans, projects and services at all government agencies to establish positivity as a key value to ensure the happiness and well-being of individuals, families and society.

The cabinet also approved a range of initiatives and projects, submitted by Ohoud Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, as part of the national happiness programme.
The programme includes appointment of a CEO for happiness and positivity at all government bodies, and the establishment of councils for happiness and positivity at federal entities.

Certain hours will be allocated for happiness-related programmes and activities at the federal government and establishing offices for happiness and positivity as well. Customer service centres will be transformed into customer happiness centres. Special programmes are tailored to change government employees’ culture from serving customers to making them happy.

The programme also includes annual indexes, surveys and reports to measure happiness in all community segments. The National Programme for happiness and positivity was approved by Sheikh Mohammad earlier this month. The programme features a host of initiatives in three major areas, the first of which is the inclusion of happiness in the policies, programmes and services of all government bodies as well as the work environment.

The second area will be consolidating the values of positivity and happiness as a lifestyle in the UAE community and, finally, developing tools and indexes to gauge happiness levels.

The national happiness and positivity charter aims to establish the concept of happiness and positivity from the Emirati government’s perspective under which the UAE is committed to achieving happiness and positivity in society. All government bodies will have to work according to the charter in order to achieve this in a perfect manner.

The cabinet also approved financing of federal universities and colleges as per performance, based on a special study to develop a funding mechanism in accordance with the best international practices and through the development of a package of performance that relies on more than one input to achieve the best compatibility between higher education and the needs in line with the national priorities of the labour market. The move comes within the government policies, initiatives and recommendations in this respect.

It endorsed the guide of unified financial procedures of the federal government for year 2016. It aims at upgrading the efficiency of government financial practices.

It also endorsed the country's joining of consultancy centre on World Trade Centre law. It provides consultative legal services and training to over 42 member states.

The cabinet approved the air transport services agreement between the UAE with the governments of Togo, Lithuania, Chad, Sri Leone, South Sudan and Nicaragua. Meanwhile, it endorsed the agreement with Nigeria on security and criminal issues.