Ohoud bint Khalfan Al Roumi, the UAE’s Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, has hailed the country’s 20th position in the World Happiness Report 2018.
She said the ranking is a great achievement, and the result of the country’s forward-thinking vision to achieve happiness and wellbeing in the society.
“The concerted efforts and achievements made by federal and local government entities in the UAE to incorporate a culture of happiness and wellbeing in their environments and make it an important objective in their daily work was a key catalyst to rank the UAE as the 20th happiest country in the World Happiness Report,” she added in comments published by state news agency WAM.
Globally, Finland took the top spot as the happiest country as measured by surveys undertaken by Gallup International from 2015-2017.
Rounding out the rest of the top 10 in order of overall happiness were Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.
The report, published by the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, also ranked Emiratis as the 11th happiest nationality.
This year, the report has seen the addition of new indicators to measure and compare the level of happiness among expatriate populations in host countries, due to the rise in the number of people residing outside of their home countries.
In the 2018 report, which ranks happiness of the world’s foreign-born population during the period 2005–2017, the UAE ranked 19th among the happiest expat population, ahead of countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore, France and Belgium.
The report draws on the results of the Gallup World Poll in 160 countries, covering more than 100 indicators based on seven themes to assess and measure different aspects of respondents’ daily lives.
The UAE achieved advanced results and ranked among the top seven in the world in 19 indicators adopted by the world poll, which is conducted annually to measure levels of people’s satisfaction and happiness.
The UAE ranked first globally in six indicators – convenience of city for people from different countries to live in, percentage of full-time employed population, satisfaction with efforts to preserve the environment, being healthy to perform daily activities, satisfaction with roads and highways, and availability of mobile phone for personal calls.
The country also came in second place in ranking satisfaction with the availability of quality healthcare, and belief that children in the country are treated with respect.
The World Happiness Report 2018 ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.