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Dubai progresses on the road to happiness

Among the best performing organisations were Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Dubai Customs

Dubai is on a roadmap to make it the happiest city in the world
Dubai is on a roadmap to make it the happiest city in the world

The citizens of Dubai are 90 per cent happy with their interactions with the government and private sector organisations, according to the result of Smart Dubai’s Happiness Index 2018. Smart Dubai is on a quest to make the emirate the smartest and happiest city in the world.


Happiness meters have been deployed at bricks and mortar customer centres in the city as well as on online platforms. They ask citizens to rate whether they felt happy, neutral or unhappy (via three faces) about their experience. Eight million votes were collected from 172 institutions in 2018.


Two separate metrics are used to calculate the Happiness Index score, namely: rate of interactions with the happiness meters, which account for 30 per cent of the total score, and customer votes at service centres, which account for 70 per cent.


Which entities came out on top?


The organisations with the highest happiest levels under the large government entities category were Dubai Electricity and Water Authority with 94.87 per cent, Dubai Police with 87.16 per cent, and Roads and Transport Authority & Dubai Municipality with 84 per cent.


In the medium-sized government entities category with more than 20,000 votes, Dubai Customs came in first with 97.49 per cent, followed by the Dubai Land Department and Dubai Courts with 81.65 per cent and 76.99 per cent, respectively.


Meanwhile, in the medium-sized government entities with less than 20,000 votes category, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority came in first with 91.70 per cent, the General Civil Aviation Authority came in second with 88.83 per cent, and the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation came in third with 82.72 per cent.


In the private sector category, Al Masraf Arab Bank for Investment & Foreign Trade came out on top, followed by RAK Bank and Joyalukkas Exchange in second and third place, respectively.


“The Happiness Index is an essential instrument that provides access to feedback from Dubai’s residents and visitors about happiness levels when conducting experiences across the city,” said Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai.

“These efforts helped raise awareness of smart services and their importance in people’s lives”

“We are committed to continuously developing and improving Government services, in an effort to further improve Dubai’s Happiness Index score. Our ultimate goal is to raise our happiness levels to 95 per cent by 2021, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai.”


She added: “Furthermore, these efforts helped raise awareness of smart services and their importance in people’s lives, reaffirming the effectiveness of our plans and strategies in accelerating the emirate’s transformation into a full-fledged smart city.”


Creating a happiness framework


To further boost its aim to become the world’s happiest city, Smart Dubai and Arup Middle East have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in exploring how the built environment can contribute to enhancing community happiness and wellbeing in the technological age.


The 20-week agreement will see both sides share knowledge and expertise. Arup has conducted extensive research on how to improve happiness and community wellbeing through multi-disciplinary city planning and design. The findings and outcomes of the collaboration will be shared with the public in 2019.


“While we are indeed on a mission to transform Dubai into a world leader in smart cities and advanced technologies, Smart Dubai has never regarded technology as an end in itself, but rather a means to make life easier and more enjoyable for the citizens, residents and visitors of the emirate, and to spread happiness among them,” said Dr Bint Butti Bin Bishr.


The main objective of the collaboration is to jointly develop a happiness framework and related assessment tool options, which combine both design and operational aspects of happiness and wellbeing within the built and smart environment.


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