Endorsing the Principles, Enablers and Initiatives to Enhance Happiness in the UAE
National Wellbeing Strategy 2031
Introduces a New Approach for Government Work
- 90 supporting initiatives to be implemented by government entities over the coming 10 years
- National Wellbeing Observatory to track and follow up on the country’s performance along global wellbeing indicators
- Future Generations Wellbeing Academy to train and upskill government employees
- National Wellbeing Council to coordinate and manage the implementation of the national strategy for wellbeing and ensure alignment among sectors and entities
- Community Design for Wellbeing Centers to enable communities to design policies and initiatives in the topics related to wellbeing
- School of Life: first government school in the world focusing on individual wellbeing and raising awareness around good life skills
- National Lab for Behavioral Sciences to develop a scientific and practical approach to influence wellbeing behaviors in policies and programs
Dubai, June 12th, 2019 – The National Wellbeing Strategy 2031, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers in its last meeting chaired by the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, constitutes a new chapter in the journey of the UAE, and a valuable addition to the efforts that establish a new approach for government work embodying a comprehensive concept for wellbeing.
The UAE will focus in its directions on wellbeing as a practical tool to achieve Happiness, which is the ultimate outcome of the government work, and a common shared responsibility by all ministries, federal and local entities, along an overall approach focusing on enhancing the wellbeing of individuals throughout their life stages.
The approval of the National Wellbeing Strategy which includes 90 initiatives implemented by various government entities over the next ten years, constitutes a purposeful step to enhance the concept of the overall wellbeing in the UAE which aims at enhancing the key sectors which touch the life the citizens and raising their outcome based on the future, in a way that reflects positively on the individuals and the society, in the areas of physical and mental health, social relationships, education, and other areas related to the life style, and the efficiency of government services, and other areas.
Ohood Al-Roumi: New Government Approach Focusing on Wellbeing
HE Ohood bint Khalfan Al-Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing and Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the National Wellbeing Strategy 2031 reflects a new government approach focusing on individuals in the UAE and make them the focus of policy development and key partners in designing initiatives and services that enhance wellbeing and promote Happiness. She also added that the Strategy aims to achieve balance and readiness towards potential future challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its effects on wellbeing.
HE Al-Roumi mentioned that the Strategy constitutes a valuable addition to the efforts in institutionalizing the thought leadership of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his future vision which embodies a comprehension notion of wellbeing, which is based on a government that prioritizes the wellbeing of individuals and communities as a basis for development, and also reflects the directions of HH to all government entities for wellbeing to be a collective endeavor and a shared responsibility, and for it to be at the core of their agendas to ensure cohesive, healthy and happy communities.
HE Al-Roumi also emphasized that the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing will play a supporting role for the efforts of the entities in enhancing Wellbeing status in various sectors in addition to coordinating and aligning the efforts to achieve the objectives and directions of the National Wellbeing Strategy. This Strategy sets clear roles and responsibilities for implementation across all government entities, and aims to achieve collaboration with the private sector.
HE noted that the Strategy includes a number of tools and enablers to establish a new approach, which places wellbeing at the heart of Government work, through a number of practical tools. These tools focus on enhancing the positioning of the UAE and its leadership along global comprehensive wellbeing indicators including an integrated monitoring of wellbeing in the UAE, empowering government employees and other individuals through wellbeing concepts and practices, and establishing a government model as a unified platform, which consolidates the roles of the various entities in enhancing overall wellbeing. In addition, the tools focus on the development of a scientific and practical approach to manage behaviors that enable government policies and programs that promote wellbeing.
HE Al-Roumi added that the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing has laid over the past three years and under the guidance and instructions of the Leadership, the new foundations for government work along three dimensions including measurement, capability building, and programs and initiatives so that the UAE becomes a global reference for Wellbeing, referencing the study on the happiness in the workplace which indicated an increase of employee satisfaction by 24% between 2016-2018, in addition to the happiness indicator which included more than 5 Million assessments from customers, in addition to the national survey for happiness and wellbeing which covered more than 16,000 people covering all segments of society. In addition to that, the program has developed more than 10 comprehensive manuals for wellbeing in government work and has trained, and empowered more than 20,000 government employees and members of society.
HE mentioned that National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing has launched a number of initiatives supporting the concepts of Wellbeing in the various sectors. These includes the Happiness and Positivity Medal, the School of Life initiative which is an academy to enhance good life skills, the community design initiative which was organized in partnership with 20 government and private entities to enhance partnerships between government, private sector and community in designing purposeful initiatives to promote wellbeing in the UAE. Other initiatives include the Happiness and Wellbeing course in partnership with Zayed University, the Well Schools Network in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Well-Community initiative in partnership with Sheikh Zayed Housing Program, and the Child Digital Safety in partnership with the Ministry of Interior, in addition to “Let’s Talk” which covers student support groups to enhance student wellbeing in the UAE schools.
Comprehensive Vision for Wellbeing
The National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing laid the foundation of the National Wellbeing Strategy 2031 based on the Emirati understanding of Wellbeing in addition to a number of directions which are based on wellbeing as a key measure of sustainable development in society, in addition to the adoption of a government approach linking various sectors to enhance wellbeing with clear roles and responsibilities for government, private sector, and citizens in order to react to the various potential future changes that affect wellbeing.
The National Wellbeing Strategy includes 90 supporting initiatives which will be undertaken by various government entities over the coming 10 years, and is based on the National Framework for Wellbeing which includes three main levels which are the Nation, the Community, and the Individuals, along 14 dimensions and 9 strategic objectives focusing on the livability, attractiveness and sustainability of cities and regions, connected communities, positive and purposeful digital communities, embracing wellbeing in places of work and study, in addition to the values of giving and an altruistic society. The objectives also underscore the importance of living an active and healthy lifestyle, promoting good mental health, encouraging positive thinking and building good life skills.
Four Enablers for a Comprehensive Wellbeing
The National Wellbeing Strategy 2031 assigns clear roles and responsibilities to various entities. It further develops a business model that places wellbeing at the center of government work in the UAE depending on four main enablers. The first enabler is around an integrated monitoring of wellbeing through the National Wellbeing Observatory, which monitors the performance of the UAE on wellbeing indicators, develops an annual report on wellbeing status in the UAE and submits it to the UAE Cabinet on an annual basis, and prepares preemptive studies on the concept of wellbeing as perceived by community members and groups to support the government policies-making initiatives and projects that aim to improve wellbeing.
The second enabler is empowering government employees and society members, in addition to spreading the culture of wellbeing and capacity building through the Wellbeing Academy for Future Generations. The Academy will train government employees on wellbeing principles and the means to promote them using government policies and programs. It also includes launching the School of Life, which is the first government school worldwide to focus on individuals’ wellbeing, raise awareness on the important life skills, and achieve a positive impact on citizens’ lives.
The third enabler entails creating a dedicated platform to enhance the role of the Government through partnerships and collaboration with the private sector and the society to enhance wellbeing through the National Wellbeing Council, which will coordinate and manage the National Strategy for Wellbeing and enhance integration between the various entities and sectors. This will further boosts strategic partnerships with the private sector and enables individuals to design their own wellbeing model by establishing community wellbeing centers that supports community design of policies and initiatives on various topics related to wellbeing.
The fourth enabler focuses on developing a practical scientific methodology to influence behaviors through government wellbeing programs and policies leveraging UAE Behavioral Sciences Lab, and using future foresight and behavioral experimentation tools to promote policy-making using a deep understanding of individual behavior that motivates community members to adopt wellbeing concepts.
14 Main Dimensions
The National Wellbeing Strategy builds on 14 main dimensions covered by the three levels. The first level includes a Flourishing Nation, focusing on five dimensions, namely prosperous economy; efficient and effective government in the fields of education, health, social services, security, safety and the rule of law; government work flexibility, reliability, efficiency and transparency; building vibrant livable cities and communities; establishing a sustainable lifestyle that preserves national resources; supporting a vibrant and diverse national culture by organizing cultural and recreational activities; maintaining the national identity and cultural diversity, and fostering a connected community.
The second level, Connected Community, covers five dimensions including cohesive and stable families with strong positive relations and robust values; cooperative community characterized by strong ties and positive values; and promoting Emirati culture and identity. It also aims to create positive harmonious environments for work and education, empowering individuals and providing them with opportunities for growth and development, and focusing on building secure, meaningful, positive digital communities.
The third level, Individuals’ Wellbeing, includes four dimensions: active and healthy lifestyle that promote physical health, healthy lifestyle and nutrition options, good mental health, positive thinking, and good life skills.