Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happiness Level in the UAE

The Khaleej Times reported in the April 8, 2012 edition the happiness level by the residents of the UAE is at a satisfactory level and plans to continue as such is a top priority for the government. This determination is based on the results of the nation's first ever happiness and satisfaction survey which ranked the UAE as 17th worldwide in happiness and topped the list of all Arab countries. As a result of the positive ranking and response from its citizens, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, pledged to press ahead with the country's plans to invest all resources to achieve comfort and happiness for its citizens, according to the staff report of the Khaleej Times.

I cannot say that I am surprised by this result nor by the Shaikh's pledge to continue to provide happiness to the country's people. The country's Founding Father, Shaikh Zayed---referred to as the Father of the Country---was determined to provide a means of prosperity and happiness to all citizens. When he assumed leadership in the early 60's, there were no schools, no hospitals, no roads, no airport---no infrastructure. When the country became prosperous from the rich oil fields, he vowed to give the people of his country what they rightfully deserved----good health, good education, and a means to live a good life. And he made certain this happened. The Emirati lived a difficult and meager lifestyle up to this point. Most were uneducated. Zayed had a vision for his country and followed through. His sons have made sure his vision has been carried out---maybe even far beyond what he initially imagined.

You've heard the old saying "money cannot buy happiness." I believe this to be true. However, in this case, money definitely provided the pathway to this country's happiness. The leaders of this country feel it is the government's duty to provide decent living standards and prosperity to its citizens. Unlike so many Arab countries, the rulers do not hoard everything for themselves and leave the country falling apart and the residents destitute. Hence, the satisfaction of the residents (and I mean the National Residents--not the expatriates). The Arab Spring has not fallen on this country because they take care of their people in a respectful, and I would even say, loving way. They loved their Father Zayed and want to see his dream for their country come to fruition.

"This requires rallying efforts, formulating right policies and laws, ensuring security, justice and safety to the community, tending to the underprivileged segments, and continuously developing infrastructure. It also requires clear plans, capable terms and optimum use of available resources," said Shaikh Mohammad. "We are pressing ahead with our plans to invest our resources to achieve comfort and happiness to all."

The government's ultimate goal is to become the best nation in the world by 2021. They have a serious plan to achieve this goal and will make every effort to make it happen. I believe they are well on their way. The national pride in this nation is outstanding. The Emirati men and women are dedicated to keeping traditions alive i.e. wearing the national dress. With all the western influence over the last twenty years, the national residents could easily have conformed to western ways. I think it is admirable they have shunned some of the western ways and tried hard to keep some of the old traditions alive. The Shaikh encouraged the citizens working in the government sector ( where the large majority of the nationals work) to maintain excellent performance standards. He said he expected nothing but the best from them and declared them to be champions who will help achieve the vision.

"What we have achieved so far is just an initial milestone that will be followed up by harder work and more accomplishments so we can become the world's best," the Shaikh added. I also believe this to be true. I think the world has just begun to learn about the UAE and what it represents. They want to be biggest and the best in the world in all they do.

I believe they just might achieve this ideal.

The Khaleej Times, Prosperity Top Priority: Mohammed, April 8, 2012 edition, Staff Report

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