Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, highlighted on the second day of the Arab Media Forum (AMF), the main features of the national programme for happiness.
Speaking at the main session of the AMF, Al Roumi said that happiness is not a philosophy but an important reference framework controlled by hard work in government and all sectors of the community.
She added, "The UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and followed up by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has adopted a strategy that leads to happiness through a number of initiatives and policies, some of which were outlined by the founding fathers of the Union."
The minister quoted the UAE President as saying, "Happiness is a top priority and a sustainable objective."
She added that this was echoed by the Vice President who said, "Our goal is that happiness is a way of life in the UAE society and an ultimate goal and target of government work."
The session titled, "Happiness as we see it," was moderated by Faisal bin Hariz of the Sky News Arabia channel.
Al Roumi reviewed government plans to spread happiness and positive thinking among the UAE's citizens, expatriates, and visitors.
She said, "Our region is badly in need of spreading positive thinking that motivates a sense of happiness amid challenges of conflict that have taken root, thanks to the proliferation of strange values in our societies, such as intolerance, which is shown by the Report of the World Happiness in 2015. It confirmed that Arab youth under the age group of 18 feel more tension and anxiety than those from any other region in the world."
Al Roumi stressed that these disturbing phenomena represent a motivation to change reality and to prepare for the future by establishing and building a new philosophy in government work that adopts a happy approach through concerted efforts of the government and private agencies.
The UAE minister said the work to achieve these plans involves a government team of about 50 agencies with more than 90, 000 employees and a federal budget exceeding AED48.5 billion to achieve sustainable happiness and contribute to improving various spheres of life. She noted that a happy person lives longer and enjoys better health that saves billions allocated for health and therapeutic sectors.