UAE to Find Out Happiness and Positivity of Residents
The UAE will launch its first National Survey for Happiness and Positivity to measure people’s happiness in all aspects of life, it was announced on 4 December 2016.
During an intimate media gathering on Sunday, Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, the Minister of State for Happiness in the new UAE Cabinet, said the initiative aims to use results, in collaboration with other ministries, to develop with programs and initiatives to be implemented in the country’s policies to grant a better life for people in the UAE.
As part of the ministry’s National Programme for Happiness and Positivity, the survey will measure happiness of all segments of the society.
The household survey, through which the ministry of happiness is planning to cover a sample of 14,000, will include adults above 15, UAE nationals, foreigners, children (10-14 years old), tourists and labourers.
It will include 100 main questions with 270 sub-questions that will measure people’s happiness and positivity in eight domains of life.
The domains are: people’s life evaluation, happiness and positivity; their experience in education, health, society and culture, government services, work, living standards and environment and infrastructure.
The survey, which asks customized questions to different society segments, will be conducted in collaboration with Dubai Statistics Center, Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, and Statistics Center.
More than 300 researchers will be involved in gathering and analyzing information through field visits in different areas across the seven emirates starting from 15 December 2016 and will continue for a month until 15 January 2017.
“It will not be an online survey. Researchers will support participants who may have inquiries regarding the survey questions to ensure highest levels of accuracy and transparency,” said Al Roumi.
The survey will be available in English and Arabic with researchers who are Urdu, Hindi and Filipino speakers who can communicate with non-English and non-Arab speakers, according to Al Roumi.
“UAE was founded on the concept of happiness 45 years ago. It was the intention of the founders: happiness of the country and its residents.”
She added, “Happiness is our rulers’ priority and goal. And our rulers believe that it is the government’s job is to achieve happiness.”
Setting standards is the goal
The government’s National Programme for Happiness and Positivity revolves around three aspects of measuring happiness and positivity in the workplace, measuring happiness and making it a lifestyle for all society members.
While the ministry has implemented happiness and positivity strategies in the workplace, such as the happiness meter provided to measure customer satisfaction in government entities, Al Roumi said authorities are currently working in measuring happiness and positivity of around 90,000 government employees.
Now, the ministry will also focus of measuring happiness and positivity among society members.
Al Roumi noted that UAE will be the second country after Bhutan to introduce a system that measures happiness and positivity.
While Bhutan’s measurement takes up to eight hours, Al Roumi said UAE’s national survey is condensed to two hours with questions customized to fit the country’s different populations.
“We want to develop a system that could also be used in other countries to measure happiness and positivity,” she said.
The survey is expected to give generic framework of happiness factors and levels through calculating levels of happiness and positivity among UAE population, provide the happiness average of every segment of the society, inform authorities on the sources of happiness of each society segment.
Results will be released as happiness and positivity indicators in UAE in different sectors.
Al Roumi urged society members to take part of the survey that will help the government implement the right strategies and policies to contribute to people’s happiness and welfare.
“We, as a government, want to hear people and measure their happiness and positivity. Happiness is science that can be measure and integrated within our system. It is a goal,” she said.
The eight domains covered
1. Life evaluation, happiness and positivity: will measure happiness in general and in UAE, effective questions and definition of life’s purpose to help direct the government’s efforts to the right social activities.
2. Health: will measure participants’ mental, physical health, ability to carry out their activities, satisfaction of quality and cost of services.
3. Education: will measure happiness with quality and cost of services, and accessibility among other factors.
4. Culture and society: will measure personal and family, safety, gender balance, safety and volunteering opportunities.
5. Work experience: will measure work-life balance, motivation and private and public sector preference.
6. Government services: to calculate customer satisfaction.
7. Environment and infrastructure: will calculate satisfaction of quality of water, electricity and traffic.
8. Living Standards: will measure debts, financial difficulties, cost of living and family situation.
Sample sizes across the emirates
In Dubai: 3,200 families, 350 tourists, 350 labourers
In Abu Dhabi: 79 researchers, 1,760 areas, 3200 family members, 350 tourists, 350 labourers