Happiness in the UAE has become an Approach Reflected by the Government Policies
Image : Every thing in Dubai scatters the happiness
Federal and local organizations: Making the community happy is the aim of the Leadership and the door to innovation is open.
Happiness in the UAE has become an Approach Reflected by the Government Policies
When the world decided to celebrate happiness on March 20 of every year, the UAE was found – as its habit – to set new records in this area; as happiness is really the most important function of the government and the first task on its priority list.
This function lies mainly in creating an environment in which people can realize their happiness. Hence, as pointed out by His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the function of governments is to realize happiness, through indicators, programs and studies.
His Highness added that, "The happiness of individuals, families and employees in their work, persons in their lives, their optimism about their future and their psychological, professional and social satisfaction need programs and initiatives in each and every government sector. There need be a minister to follow all that up with all sectors and government authorities."
"When we say that the aim of the government is to realize happiness, we mean just that. We are going to apply it to the letter and we will pursue to realize it, in line with our people's ambitions and aspirations as well as our traditions and culture". This glimpse of His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's vision of happiness makes us even happier, as we feel the leadership's insistence on realizing what is best for us.
In this context, Al Bayan observed happiness indices and its initiatives in the different ministries, establishments as well as federal and local authorities.
Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education is currently developing and implementing initiatives and programs to realize happiness for teachers and students' prosperity through turning these initiatives into standards that are going to be the future of education in the coming period, to be implemented through UAE schools. Assistant undersecretary for school operations in the Ministry of Education, Fawzia Gharib, stated that the ministry gives teachers great care, as teachers are the center of any educational system, as they are considered one of the effective and influential elements in realizing the goals of education. She also pointed out that the ministry is currently studying 29 quality initiatives to enhance a safe social environment for students as a step on the way to developing a national strategy for the prosperity of school students to realize their safety, security and welfare in schools.
Ministry of Interior
The Ministry of Interior is working according to the directions of the Police leadership on serving all sectors of the community by means of up-to-date as well as easy-to-use technologies. The Ministry aspired to turn the Slogan "Our services are in your hands and your satisfaction is our goal" to a tangible reality in attaining electronic services in a safe way. This confirms the State's approach in making citizens, residents and visitors of all nationalities happy.
During the last period, the Ministry of Justice approved a number of initiatives to realize the goals included in the national agenda, among which is enhancing transforming all judicial services in a way to cope with smart systems for providing distinguished legal services that satisfy the ambitions of customers and raise the level of their satisfaction and contentment with the services provided to them. These smart applications that the Ministry provide include "Case Regulator for lawyers". The Ministry of Justice launched two years ago the "Electronic Marriage" service, which is the first of its kind in the region and in the country.
As regards the Ministry of Education, Higher Education Affairs, the Ministry launched an electronic portal for students on scholarships. This application allows students to follow up their procedures since applying for scholarships until the scholarship application is approved. The portal provides more than 40 interactive services concerning scholarships, such as academic, financial, information services and support.
In its endeavor to enhance the satisfaction and happiness of all community sectors, the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowment developed a package of smart and easy to use applications and programs to communicate with the largest number of people possible, such as Fatwa services, the project to transform mosques to provide smart services, unified call to prayer and the smart programs for pilgrimage services. Dr. Mohammed Mattar Al Kaabi, Head of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowment advised that the last report issued by the UN concerning the happiest countries in the world, which gave the UAE the first place among Arab and regional countries - preceding many advanced countries - on the happiness index 2016, is the best proof that the UAE and its prudent leadership have exerted enormous efforts to realize sustainable development and provide the requirements of a decent life for its citizens and residents.
The Happy Customer
The Ministry of Community Development launched a number of programs and plans that aim at elevating the level of customers' satisfaction and happiness. The Happy Customer Experiment Lab is considered one of the important steps towards consecrating this approach as a method of work, as it aims to develop the services provided to customers and finding innovative ideas to implement them in a way that facilitate and simplify the services provided to customers. The Ministry was also keen to support ideas as well as motivate employees and customers to participate in developing services and performance, through the suggestions system within the "Something on Your Mind" program, in addition to developing the services and smart applications so as to improve all that is offered to customers.
Mona Ajeev Zaabi, assistant undersecretary for institutional services and support, advised that 200 employees benefitted during the previous period from the programs and courses organized by the Ministry, the aim of which is to enhance the principle of customers' happiness through improving the standards of deploying the culture of innovation and qualifying employees in an outstanding way, mobilizing their creative energies to offer positive, constructive ideas that aim to elevate the level of services provided through them, in addition to creating professional leaderships that can cope with the institutional development and elevate their performance. She added that the Ministry scored 98.2% on the smart electronic transformation index.
Integrating Community Segments
Khaled Kamda, Director General of Community Development Authority in Dubai stated that the Authority is responsible for developing Dubai's social system, hence it is responsible for a number of important segments in society. Not only is the Authority responsible for protecting and caring for these segments, but also in making them happy. Kamda added that integrating the different segments of society a real integration requires great efforts, not only by the Authority, but through the collaboration of everybody. He pointed out that the Authority's role is to develop programs and coordinate with other departments in Dubai in order to achieve happiness for the whole society.
Dubai Municipality responded in its sixth strategic plan (2016 – 2021) to the vision of by His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, May God protect him, as its core is "Making people happy".
Engineer Hussein Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality advised that: "Happiness is on the top of the government's agenda, as well as sustainability and smart transformation, as these are the trend of world governments. Dubai government is seeking to achieve leading positions on these axes on an international level and preparing for great events such as Expo 2020.
Dubai Police Force is seeking to realize the highest levels of happiness for all its employees and those who deal with it, after its success in changing the stereotype of the police force and police officers. It managed to emphasize its role in serving the community and making citizens as well as residents of all nationalities happy, through taking the necessary action towards achieving this goal.
Major General Khamis Mattar Almazeina, Commander in Chief of Dubai Police, advised that Dubai Police launched "Your Security is Our Happiness" program. It also launched the "Satisfaction index" for the services it provided through its electronic website and its smart application and smart watch, aiming at recording the impressions of the customers and how satisfied they are with the services provided on a daily basis, so as to improve services and enhance people's satisfaction with the provided services.
As regards making employees happy, Dubai Police launched in middle of last year "Pulse of Happiness" smart system, which is the first of its kind in the region.
General Ahmed Rafei, Director of Human Resources Department of Dubai Police advised that the initiative is a 'daily indicator' of the employee's satisfaction in a smart way through observing the immediate impressions of employees through many channels including smart and electronic devices.
Colonel Khaled Nasser Alrazzuqi, Head of the General Directorate of Smart Services of Dubai Police, advised that the results of happiness impressions appear on Dubai map and show the happiness levels in an interactive way on a geographic layout.
Dubai Police Force realized the dream of Sebastian Wedel, a handicapped Dutch aged 34, who used to be a driver of an ambulance before falling ill and becoming confined to a wheelchair. His dream was to see Dubai Police fancy patrol closely, climbing into them and taking photos in them.
Citizens and residents of Dubai received an SMS on their cell phones signed by Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, welcoming them then asking about the needs of the customers of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai that will make them happy. This SMS was widely welcomed by the public; especially that it included an email for sending any inquiries concerning any problems. Major General Al Marri, Director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, advised that all endeavors seek to make employees as well as customers happy and distinguished at the same time, through showing interest in making employees happy, which is the real insurance of gaining the customer's satisfaction. He also stated that "Your Happiness is Ours" initiative was launched, the aim of which is to make people happy through seeking their views and getting to know their development proposals closely.
Customs and Roads
Ahmed Mahboob Misbah, Director of Dubai Customs, stated that the "Happiness Survey" that was launched for employees last month will be turned into a daily one instead of monthly. It was launched under the name "We Care for Your Opinions". It is sent to all employees on their cell phones to measure the level of their happiness. Misbah added that the Human Resources Department is keen to adopt and launch a number of interactive initiatives for employees, which play a part in achieving the Department's strategic objectives that are part of the strategic objectives and current general trend of the State. He advised that the aim of this imitative is to make the Dubai Customs employees happy, as they are the main engine of success of the Department and its real capital that will achieve its distinguished and enhanced state, as well as participate in the realization of UAE strategy and cope with the prudent leadership that seeks constantly to realize prosperity and happiness for the UAE people, whether citizens, residents or visitors.
The Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai exerts great efforts to satisfy its employees and make them happy in a way that goes along with the vision of the Government of Dubai; that is that every government authority is to create positive, competitive and recreational climate that contributes to making employees 'happy', which will lead to achieving the highest rates of work productivity and encouraging them to actively participate in the different events. It is also keen to enhance a positive spirit among its employees in all specialties and on all levels.
Yusuf Reda, Executive Director of Corporate Administrative Support Services advised that Human Resources and Development in TRA, develop an outstanding plan beginning of each year that embodies new ideas for monthly events that enhance positive spirit among employees.
Dubai Statistics Center
The Philosophy of DSC is to consolidate and realize the happiness concept for the different concerned parties that affect DSC performance and are affected by it. It has become an integrated system and an integral part of the culture and institutional work. Since early 2014, DSC instilled the concepts and applications of job satisfaction, as it adopted a number of motivating slogans; "Our Positive Energy" and "Make the Work Family Happy".
Tariq Al Janahi, Deputy Executive Director of DSC stated that, "Our values are centered around 'Realizing happiness' and contributing to achieving contentment for the community and generations to come, through our statistical output that support planning and decision-making, as well as provide the best services for all concerned parties in a way that exceed their expectations and realize their happiness.
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority was the first government authority in Dubai to introduce the Employee Satisfaction Department at the end of 2014 and to adopt a strategy that seeks specifically to make employees happy on the institutional level, having specific strategic objectives and indicators that enables the Authority to follow up the implementation of its plan. It launched the "Satisfaction Council" which is one of the Employee Satisfaction Department's programs.
The Authority developed the Employee Satisfaction Form that include main axes and drivers that contribute to satisfying employees. It was developed according to the best practices and benchmarking concerning satisfaction studies conducted by the UN and employee satisfaction studies conducted by international firms such as Forbes, as well as studies and researches conducted in universities such as Cambridge. Accordingly, the Employee Satisfaction Index has been identified as a main index approved in the follow up of the strategic plan of employee satisfaction.
The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority launched the "Satisfaction Council", which is one of the employee satisfaction programs in the Authority aiming at providing a comfortable work environment for the employees.
The "Employee Satisfaction Department" also launched the "For Your Satisfaction" campaign to create a positive work environment that motivates making employees satisfied in all of the Authority's sectors.
Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai relied on guides to implement and achieve prosperity, through a program called "5 ways to prosperity" which are communication, activity, energy, giving and continuous learning and taking notes. It formed a specialized team to enhance and manage these axes and programs, the implementation steps and achievement rates of which they follow up and monitor. The feedback of the customers and their experiences with the Authority are compiled for continuous development, so as to maintain the quality of these programs.
Hind Al Mualla, Head of Innovation, Creativity and Happiness Department in the Authority told Al Bayan that the work environment in the Knowledge Authority is 'transparent' as there are no desks, walls or separators, so as to enhance communication and creativity.
"Are You Happy" campaign was launched to measure the happiness level of Dubai Customs customers, in response to the "Happiness Index" initiative in Dubai, launched by His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, May God protect him, to measure the level of people's happiness and satisfaction, in both the public and private sectors. It aims to conduct daily measures of the customers' happiness and satisfaction levels with the services offered to them by the Authority. This was applied in all Customs centers and outlets through the electronic website, smart devices in the customer service centers and smart phones applications through the "Happiness Index" icon.
Are You Happy?
A number of citizens and residents in Abu Dhabi considered that the unique government services provided by the different concerned authorities in the State and the great ease with which these dealing are conducted are one of the important mainstays of the happiness and satisfaction system enjoyed by the State nowadays.
Mounir Kadingal from Kerala City said that, "Everything in Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general makes one happy, optimistic and positive", while Khaled Al-Munzeri advised that realizing happiness for citizens is hard work that requires strenuous efforts from the Leadership and the government to realize it, and that's what the UAE succeeded in doing. In conclusion, Abdullah Al Ameri said that the Emirati citizen is lucky to have such a leadership that put the citizen in the forefront of its interests.