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Smart Dubai Office celebrates the first anniversary of its ‘Happiness Agenda’

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) celebrated the first anniversary of its Happiness Agenda, adopted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in May 2016.

The SDO is the entity officially responsible for managing the Happiness Agenda and overseeing its implementation, and aims to use cutting-edge technologies to facilitate smart solutions towards Dubai's transformation into the smartest and happiest city on earth.

The Happiness Agenda, meanwhile, is a unique science-based and psychological approach that gauges the happiness of individuals in the city and works to establish an environment that promotes happiness and positivity.

It supports the SDO's mission of turning Dubai into the smartest city on earth, using an internationally benchmarked change agenda framework organized in 4 strategic portfolios - Discover, Measure, Change and Educate.

In essence, the Agenda aims to anticipate and address people's needs in order to promote happiness in the short and long terms. These include the affective and emotional needs that enable people to live delightful moments; basic needs that are met through providing seamless and efficient access to city services; cognitive needs that give people a sense of satisfaction and positivity towards their life domains; deeper needs that help people have more meaningful lives with more sustainable happiness; and finally, the internal and external enabling needs that help achieve people's happiness.

The Smart Dubai Office has already made great strides towards implementing the Happiness Agenda. It has launched the Corporate Happiness Framework, which is now in its pilot phase in both the Smart Dubai Government Establishment and Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).

The framework is a tool designed to measure and improve happiness at a corporate level - for public and private organisations. Moreover, Smart Dubai has organised the Happiness Hack Dubai hackathon, recruiting more than 43 'Happiness Champions' from government and private institutions.

The SDO also collaborated with Rochester Institute of Technology and the Gallup Organisation, to establish the Corporate Happiness Professional Diploma. The Diploma promotes the use of scientific and pragmatic principles to achieve happiness in a professional environment. The 'Happiness Champions' were offered 20 free seats to study for the Diploma in association with Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Furthermore, Smart Dubai developed the Happiness Algorithm, a smart way to scientifically measure happiness in the city, using existing city data. These algorithms can be included in the 'leadership dashboards' prepared for decision-makers to help them shape policies based on verifiable data, which contribute to public happiness.

Human resource officials can also make use of these algorithms to forecast or gauge the level of employee happiness, in addition to forecasting expected levels of happiness in Dubai.

"Our goal is to spread happiness throughout Dubai and among all segments of society. We strive to make people feel content with their experience in Dubai whether they are citizens, residents, or visitors," said Her Excellency, Dr. Aisha Bin Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office.

"The Happiness Meter is a great testament to the Dubai Smart Office's commitment to prioritising people's happiness and satisfaction. Guided by the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we, at Smart Dubai, work to catalyse and support our city's transformation into a world-leading smart city. We follow a thorough scientific approach to measure people's happiness across the city and work to develop and sustain it," H.E. Dr. Aisha added. "The goal of the Happiness Agenda is to increase the happiness score in Dubai from 89% to 95% by 2021."