H.E. Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi, confirmed that the Department is striving to provide every member of Abu Dhabi community with the highest levels of satisfaction, happiness and quality of life. The Department is keen to conduct periodic surveys and annual questionnaires, which aim at identifying what the community needs and aspires to in order to promote its development and achieve the highest rates of satisfaction and happiness. These efforts are in line with the Department's vision of providing a dignified life for all.
He added: "The world celebrates the International Day of Happiness, which falls on the twentieth of March of each year. We are proud of this occasion, for it emphasizes our excellence and leadership, especially after Abu Dhabi was ranked as the happiest city in the Arab region according to the World Happiness Report 2020. This highlights the Emirate’s global leading role in adopting the happiness approach to be a new way of living that can ultimately make life better and more fulfilling. Our Department produced an annual report on the quality of life in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for the second consecutive year 2019/2020. This report reflects our efforts to meet the aspirations and values of creating a decent standard of living for all community members, as well as promoting quality of social life among citizens and residents of the Emirate".
The quality of life questionnaire includes the measurement of 14 key indicators, namely housing, income and wealth, jobs, work-life balance, health, education, security and safety, social relations, community engagement, environment, cultural values, community service, access to information and the subjective well-being index. The subjective well-being index is one of the most important indicators of the quality of life, which falls into two basic standards: life satisfaction and happiness. The findings showed that the average happiness score in Abu Dhabi for the year was 7.17 out of 10, which is considered a high score according to the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS).
His Excellency stated that the results of the Happiness Index varied between the different community groups in Abu Dhabi. Males were practically happier than females, with their index reaching 7.2 compared to 7.12 for females. Also, the average happiness score was higher among the citizens of Abu Dhabi compared to residents, reaching 7.33 compared to 7.14 for residents. However, people in Abu Dhabi recorded high indicators of satisfaction with household income, followed by job satisfaction and education, satisfaction with family life, and the sense of safety and protection; these indicators are quite important for measuring happiness.
According to Dr. Al Khaili, the measure of happiness varied by age groups. Respondents in their early thirties were less happy with an index of 6.76, and those in their sixties and over were happier with an index of 7.85, followed by the age group of 55-59 with an index of 7.83, then the age group of 15-19 with an index of 7.55.
The Chairman of the Department of Community Development stated that the annual report set the parameters of life satisfaction and happiness for residents of Abu Dhabi. The satisfaction with household income and family life were among the strongest contributing factors to life satisfaction, each representing around 5% of the variation in satisfaction with life scores, upon which factors such as age, self-perception of health status, satisfaction with housing, general job satisfaction and the sense of safety and protection, are built.
He pointed out that: "Improving the community standards of living and instilling happiness in each and every person are among the Department's top priorities. Thanks to the visions of our wise leadership, we are working to be the happiest people in the world. The Department is striving to further develop programs, initiatives, policies and strategies that are aligned with the best international standards in order to achieve happiness and quality of life and fulfill its responsibilities towards the social sector".