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“The Emirate’s smart city agenda will help it rise on the ‘Happiness Index’,” said the CEO of Dubai Holding with a plan to bring Dubai to be amongst the world’s happiest cities in 10 years.

Dubai has committed itself into what is called a ‘smart city agenda’.  This is aimed to help it become one of the happiest cities in the world within the next 10 years, a senior official said during its Government Summit last Tuesday.

The CEO of the reputable conglomerate Dubai Holding, said also that he is confident the city’s drive to provide smart services will help make it into a happier place to live, work and enjoy life generally.

“Creating happiness is the final result of the smart city agenda.  Once we are able to manage and meet people’s expectations, we will be able to move up the happiness index.  It is vital because if people are not happy, they don’t stick around in the city, they leave,” he said.

The challenge is particularly pertinent to places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  These two cities like all others around the GCC are very much labour importing cities where thousands of workers who until recently live and possibly still do in very trying conditions.

Meanwhile, all agree that there is need to be innovative and each must ensure that the right talent and the right investment are attracted.  All are also aware that this will not happen if the UAE’s cities are too expensive, or if there are bureaucratic and / red tape hurdles.

It is also crucial to plan a smart city strategy right from the start and face up to the challenge of bringing all the networks together, the CEO admitted.  “Creating happiness is the final result of the smart city agenda.  Once we are able to manage and meet people’s expectations, we will be able to move up the happiness index.  It is vital because if people are not happy, they don’t stick around in the city, they leave,” he said.

“We have to spend enough time to plan and execute every aspect correctly rather than launching something which then requires to be corrected”.

Dubai Plan 2021, launched last year by its ruler Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, is currently in the process of being implemented.

It involves promotional work within 6 themes that all aim to define and take Dubai into year 2021.   These are :

  • a city of happy, creative and empowered people;
  • an inclusive and cohesive society;
  • the preferred place to live, work and visit;
  • a smart and sustainable city;
  • a pivotal hub in the global economy;
  • and a pioneering and government.

Sheikh Mohammad said at the time: “the first objective for the Dubai Plan 2021 is to achieve people’s happiness and we have full confidence in those responsible to fulfil this goal.”

Sheikh Mohammad in October last year, launched a ‘public happiness index’ to measure people’s satisfaction with government services.  Online data kept at government departments will be daily fed onto a central database, and be regularly gauged to rate performance.

 

 

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