16 Criteria and Indices for the Realization and Measurement of Happiness in Dubai
Image : Attandance during seminar
During his speech, General Mohamed Ahmed Al Marri, pointed out that HRH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai, may God protect him, has always asserted that happiness in our country is not just a wish, but it is plans, projects, programs, indicators and a part of our lifestyles.
He added that UAE government is seeking to consecrate happiness as a lifestyle, which is something that makes our country stand out, through the services rendered to the public, which no longer seek to satisfy them, but to make them happy.
Dr. Al Nusairat said during his speech that happiness is an aim to be achieved if the resources, capabilities and efforts are utilized for serving people and realizing their prosperity. He added that, since HRH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, may God protect him, announced the establishment of the Ministry of Happiness, the world has set its eyes on the UAE – which outperformed the developed world with its leading, unprecedented initiatives, so that the whole world is anticipating the next step that will make the UAE in general and Dubai in particular stand out.
He added that ever since the Dubai Outstanding Government Performance Program was launched, it made making people happy one of its priorities, as the Program has been working since 2000 to implement the Secret Shopper studies, measure the degree of satisfaction of the government of Dubai's customers and employees and to ensure the greatest extent of neutralism and transparency. The results of these studies are announced during the annual ceremony of the Dubai Outstanding Government Performance Program Awards.
The program also issues reports containing the results of the studies, indicating areas of improvement and the points of strength of every government entity, to help them to find out the areas that require more efforts to enhance performance, in line with the vision and objectives of the Government of Dubai.
The seminar dealt with a number of axes that aim at enhancing happiness in the UAE community and consolidating it in different work locations, which will reflect positively on both customers and employees. The first axis was called 'Corporate Happiness', about which Lieutenant-Colonel Abdullah Hassan Al-Khayat, Deputy Director General of the General Department of TQM in the Dubai Police Force talked, saying that some people claim that happiness is contagious and others believe that it is a decision One makes to be happy. People spend all their lives seeking happiness, hence corporate happiness is a governmental demand before it is a personal demand; for mature governments realize the value of citizens' happiness.
The second axis concentrated on the factors of happiness in Islamic culture. Dr. Abdullah Al-Kamali, Deputy Director of Al Maktoum Centers for Teaching the Koran, the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, stated that, "Some people believe that the elements of a happy life are not found in our Islamic culture. If we contemplated Koran and Sunnah, we'd find a lot of verses that instill in the human soul the ways and manners of leading a happy life and how to face the pressures of life and anxiety. We all know that the mainstay of the Islamic culture is how to make oneself and others happy. Among the reasons of happiness that our noble religion stated are thanking God for His blessings, clinging to God, helping others, contentment with destiny, contemplating the universe and other reasons"
The third axis of the seminar was entitled "The Importance of Happiness in Our Human Relationships". It was dealt with by Dr. Alia Al Qasimi, Deputy Executive Director of Development and Social Welfare in Community Development Authority, saying "A number of scholars in the social and psychological fields believe that the human behavior aims at fulfilling the individual's inner and social needs through their relationships with others, self-fulfillment and satisfaction with oneself, which triggers a feeling of contentment and joy, described as happiness, hence making happiness a basic need, both on the individual and societal levels."
A Governmental Experience
Tarek Al Janahi, Deputy Executive Director of Dubai Statistics Center, discussed the last axis, entitled "Making Employees Happy.. A Governmental Experience", in which he dealt with the model example of DSC in human resources management and making employees happy, especially that DSC has won first place in the Dubai Outstanding Government Performance Program Award for 4 consecutive years, achieving the best governmental results in making employees happy.
Al Janahi discussed the outcome of a study conducted by DSC on the Government of Dubai, to present it as a paper in the seminar. DSC measured the priorities of corporate happiness of the Government of Dubai's employees, measuring the gap between the current status and the happiness level and priorities that the employees of the Government of Dubai aspire to. This approach has been explained and discussed so as to achieve making employees happy, but based on a true study, not hypothetical numbers or taking a government authority as an example.
The goal is to make all government authorities benefit from it and being able to utilize the findings of the study in developing policies, approaches and processes related to human resources, after finding out the priorities of their employees and the gap between these priorities and the expectations and the reality of the government work environment.
Al Janahi pointed to the essential role played by Dubai Outstanding Government Performance Program in making government employees happy, with more than 78% in average of corporate happiness, on the level of the Government of Dubai.
An International Award
Dr. Ahmed Al Nusairat announced that the Dubai Smart Training Initiative won yesterday the award of the International Forum on Information Society, the category of Capability Building. He stated that the initiative has been selected as one of 5 initiatives worldwide, according to a global voting on the Award's website.