Don’t worry, be happy, encourage Dubai Police

Dubai: A social experiment under way at Dubai’s largest annual technology exhibition to help people achieve a greater sense of well-being is gaining momentum, said its organisers.

In keeping with efforts to help the emirate’s residents enjoy a higher quality of life, Dubai Police said they are taking the “Happy City” initiative further by exploring some of the reasons respondents in a new happiness survey said that they were unhappy.

Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Dubai Police Chief, said that soon after Gitex Technology Week is over, police will — in a sample random follow-up effort — call unhappy respondents and ask not only what is upsetting them, but work toward solutions if respondents don’t mind sharing.

“If the matter is under our jurisdiction, we will help them with it, but if it has to do with another government entity we will forward the issue to the concerned department,” he said.

However, if it is a personal issue, the police cannot help.

On Wednesday morning, the index recorded 80 per cent happy Dubai residents.

The number of surveyed respondents was not available on Wednesday.

There were more than 200,000 responses within the first 24 hours of the initiative, in which 84 per cent said they were happy, six per cent were neutral and 10 per cent were unhappy.

The initiative was launched on Sunday — the first day of Gitex Technology Week — by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, at the Dubai Police stand.

Dubai Police sent out SMS messages to Dubai residents to measure their happiness, as part of their initiative which is in line with the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The message included a link to a website, where users were asked to choose between three icons indicating whether they are happy, neutral or unhappy, in order to draw a happiness index for Dubai.

The message read: "Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is interested in your opinion, kindly click to answer".

Links to the website have also been circulating on social media.

Earlier this year, the UAE was ranked the happiest Arab country in the UN’s third World Happiness Report released on April 24.

The UAE, ranked 20th globally, was followed by Oman on 22, Qatar 28, Saudi Arabia 35, Kuwait 39 and Bahrain 49.

The report said the Swiss are the happiest followed by Icelanders and Danes, with Norway, Finland and Sweden also near the top.

The report made a special mention of the UAE in part for the extent to which happiness and well-being have been made central tenets of the design and delivery of the National Agenda “… to be the happiest of all nations.”