United Arab Emirates appoints world's first Minister for Happiness


Georgina Mitchell

Happiness and tolerance can be two things hard to come by.

The United Arab Emirates has tried to change this with a shake-up of its cabinet, where two women were appointed to oversee happiness and tolerance in the nation of more than 9 million people.

Ohood Al Roumi, currently the director-general of the Prime Minister's office, was given the new role of the Minister for Happiness – believed to be the first ministry of its kind in the world – while Lubna bint Khalid al Qasimi will oversee tolerance, a role that will operate "locally and regionally".

The appointments were announced on Twitter by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.


He said he hoped the new roles would "align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction".

Several other women were given expanded roles in the cabinet shake-up, including 22-year-old Shamma AlMazrui, who was appointed Minister of State for Youth Affairs; Najla Al Awar, who became Minister of Community Development; and Jameela Salem Al Muhairi, appointed Minister of State for General Education.

The United Arab Emirates ranked 20th of 158 countries in last year's World Happiness Report, ahead of the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy and China.

The Optimist