In its quest to realize this, the town within the sand is measuring folks’s happiness via interactive touchpoints round Dubai, referred to as Happiness Meters.

There are three emojis on every meter — a contented face, a impartial face and a tragic face — which individuals use to rank their satisfaction with on a regular basis providers. Outcomes from the meters feed right into a Happiness Index; the variety of smiley faces tapped determines the town’s “happiness rating.”

The meters are the work of Smart Dubai — a authorities entity tasked with remodeling Dubai right into a “sensible metropolis” — which believes that individuals will lead happier lives if their day-to-day experiences are seamless and environment friendly.

“With a view to develop into the happiest metropolis, we knew we would want a option to take heed to everybody within the metropolis, and perceive their present ranges of happiness with metropolis providers,” Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, director common of Sensible Dubai, instructed CNN over e-mail.

Dubai’s ‘happiness rating’

The present “happiness rating” for Dubai, measured by over 6 million votes from Happiness Meters, sits at 90 p.c, in keeping with Bishr.

“Our purpose is to extend Dubai’s happiness index stage to 95 p.c by 2021,” she added.

In an try and streamline public providers, Sensible Dubai has put in sensors in rubbish bins to ship alerts after they want emptying. It has additionally developed DubaiNow — an app for residents to pay their payments, fines and full over 55 metropolis providers.

Sensible Dubai’s imaginative and prescient is for Dubai to be each the happiest metropolis and probably the most technologically superior metropolis on this planet. Its subsequent step is to gauge deeper feelings via vocal emotions technology that analyzes tone of voice and different vocal properties.

However happiness isn’t any laughing matter, and the UAE has invested quite a lot of time and sources into its folks’s subjective well-being.

Methods to make folks blissful

The primary Minister of State for Happiness within the UAE, Ohood Al Roumi, was sworn in last year, adopted by 60 Happiness CEOs throughout authorities departments.

The Ministry of Happiness’ position is to advertise and prioritize happiness in authorities and on a regular basis life.

CEOs of Happiness admire art at SIKKA Art FairCEOs of Happiness admire art at SIKKA Art Fair

That is all a part of a much bigger plan, specified by the UAE Vision 2021, to place the United Arab Emirates’ well-being on the forefront of presidency selections. By means of doing so the UAE hopes to develop into the “happiest of all nations” in keeping with this system.

In Dubai there was a plethora of happiness themed occasions organized by authorities together with a “happiness park” to advertise train, a “happiness journey” on Worldwide Happiness Day, and varied happiness festivals together with actions like laughter meditation.

Ought to governments regulate happiness?

However not everyone seems to be pleased with the UAE’s Happiness Agenda.

A researcher from Human Rights Watch has labeled the Ministry of Happiness “Orwellian,” whereas some have questioned how inclusive Dubai’s “happiness renaissance” can be.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have highlighted human rights considerations within the UAE, comparable to limiting rights to freedom of expression and affiliation and arbitrarily detaining and prosecuting those that criticize the federal government.

Smart Dubai's Dr. Aisha bin BishrSmart Dubai's Dr. Aisha bin Bishr

In response to this, Bishr instructed CNN that any motion or choice taken by a authorities entity is to make sure higher requirements of dwelling and happier lives for his or her folks.

CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark, Meik Wiking, agrees that happiness have to be on the core of public coverage.

“Happiness ought to be the overarching purpose of governments,” he instructed CNN.

Measuring a subjective feeling

The World Happiness Report 2017 ranked the UAE in 21st place. The report makes use of folks’s personal life analysis scores to measure subjective well-being.

“Persons are the very best judges of whether or not they’re blissful or not,” mentioned Wiking.

The happiness rankings are then defined by taking a look at six key variables — GDP per capita, social assist, wholesome life expectancy, social freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.

In response to Wiking, these six components are essential indicators for why some nations rank larger than others.

“This can be very formidable to be one of many 5 happiest nations by 2021,” Wiking mentioned, commenting on the UAE’s need to develop into one of many happiest nations on this planet.

“Norway simply pushed Denmark out of first place this 12 months. You are right down to the second decimal now that separates primary from quantity two,” he added.

Wiking has each confidence that Dubai is taking the suitable steps towards attaining its personal purpose. He has signed a memorandum of understanding with the UAE authorities, promising to share experience and information.

“I have never seen many different governments as formidable,” he mentioned.

“They’ve an express ambition of the place they need to be, so that’s one thing tangible and measurable.”

In case you’re blissful and you recognize it

Whereas the World Happiness Report ranks nations’ happiness, it would not do the identical for particular person cities. This makes it tough for Dubai to asses the place it stands.

Nonetheless, Bishr mentioned Sensible Dubai is engaged on methods to check ranges of happiness in Dubai with different cities on this planet.

“When a metropolis commits itself to folks’s happiness, it’s not solely the person who will profit,” defined Bishr.

“When persons are happier the town advantages, which in flip feeds advantages immediately again to the person and so forth in a optimistic cycle.”