A festival of happiness is coming to Dubai

Police smiley face

Don’t worry, be happy. Easier said than done in today’s hectic and hazardous world, but International Day of Happiness is coming up and as usual, the UAE is invested in cheering us up.

Happiness is a trip, not a destination and the second edition of the UAE’s Happiness Journey picks up again from 15th March, culminating with International Day of Happiness on the 20th of the month.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, the five-day event, will draw on the legacy and values of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

It’s part of a National Programme for Happiness and Positivity that has seen the UAE appoint a happiness minister and stick huge smilies on public buildings to create a positive way of thinking, because we sometimes need reminding that happiness is a choice.

smile happy

This year’s Happiness Journey kicks off with a colourful Happiness Carnival at City Walk, which is expected to draw in 2,000 people from 200 nationalities from 5pm on Thursday, 15th March.

A whole section of Dubai Design District (d3) is being devoted to creating smiles, with a five days of events at new recreational space The Block from 16th March. Covering the mind, physical and emotional wellbeing, plus gastronomy and art (food and pretty pictures always make us happy), a host of experiences, speakers, experts and sessions should have those serotonin levels rising, ending with a celebration on Happiness Day itself.

Last year the UAE became the first country in the world to set up a National Council for Happiness and we even have our own Minister for Happiness, the smiley Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi.

Private companies are also up for making us laugh and Rove Hotels have promoted the wonderfully-named Happyness Chipote to Chief Happiness Officer of the hotel’s new Happiness Hub to create a department devoted to fun and liveliness.

Need more reasons to smile about Dubai? Here are six things about the city that make us happy.




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