Smart Dubai Organises 1st ‘Happy Cities Forum’ in UAE

Sunday 07 April 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Smart Dubai has organised the inaugural “Happy Cities Forum”, the first of its kind in the UAE, at Al Habtoor city in Dubai, which was attended by Director Generals, CEOs from Dubai Government entities, the Happiness Champions, and other stakeholders from more than 30 government and non-governmental entities.

The Forum adds to the efforts to implement the Dubai Happiness Agenda, launched in May 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai. The event explored best practices from government and semi-government entities that succeeded in spreading happiness among people in Dubai. It presented a platform for showcasing Smart Dubai’s initiatives and progress in achieving the objectives of the Dubai Happiness Agenda, promoting happiness and sustainability, measuring their impact on Dubai’s residents and visitors, embracing technology to meet people’s requirements, and promoting Dubai as a global benchmark for happiness in cities.

The “Happy Cities Forum” provides an integrated platform for sharing expertise and best practices locally, regionally and globally. It also highlights Happiness Champions’s experiences in their annual training programmes that Smart Dubai organised under the Happiness Agenda’s “education” portfolio. Recent training program, titled “Designing Cities”, took place in Denmark in November 2018 with 30 Happiness Champions representing more than 25 government and non-government organisations in Dubai. Meanwhile, the “Quality of Service” programme was held in 2017 at the Disney Institute in Florida, exploring various mechanisms to design services that prioritise making people happy.

Smart Dubai’s Director General Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, said: “Promoting happiness and positivity in the community is a key component of Smart Dubai’s strategies; it embodies the leadership’s vision to make Dubai the happiest city in the world by prioritising people’s wellbeing and providing a fully integrated ecosystem for delivering smart government services, saving people’s time and effort to ensure outstanding experiences.”

“Happiness has become a strategic approach for us in Dubai,” H.E. Dr Aisha added; “we consistently seek out and embrace advanced technologies as a means to innovate and meet people’s needs, promoting happiness among both residents and visitors. This, in turn, supports our mission to transform Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world, and establish it as a global role model in that regard.”

The entities presented in the Forum included The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai; Dubai Courts;; Dubai Police; Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA); Dubai Municipality; Roads and Transport Authority (RTA); Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority; and Etisalat. The participants collectively launched 8 initiatives to promote happiness in Dubai.

A committee formed of a number Happiness Champions which evaluated and shortlisted the initiatives using the “Smart Happiness Project Assessment Tool”, which was launched by Smart Dubai in collaboration with the University of Oxford to outline a roadmap for enhancing the quality and efficiency of smart services offered in Dubai.

Smart Dubai also announced that new training program would be organised to explore prospects for creating a positive working environment at participating entities using the “FuelBox” tool, Smart Dubai in close collaboration with FuelBox company, designed a tailor-made boxes to fit  Dubai’s culture by adding new set of question to embrace happiness and tolerance values. The tool stimulates brainstorming, urging participants to find innovative solutions by working as a team. It was one of main key take aways from the “Designing Cities” training program that the Happiness Champions joined in Denmark.

In addition, Smart Dubai announced it has received the intellectual property rights for the Happiness Agenda, which is a unique and practical approach to promoting happiness and sustainability, and measuring their impact on Dubai’s residents and visitors.

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