Towards a Sustainable Happiness Model for UAE: Lessons from Latin America

  • Vidya Nandagopal University of Dubai
Keywords: Sustainable happiness, Non Economic factors, UAE Happiness Index, Latin American model of Happiness, Interpersonal relations


Traditionally studies on Happiness have been using income as a proxy for wellbeing and quality of life using GDP to measure progress of nations. We need to understand here that while income is an objective measure, Happiness is a subjective measure. One of the key criticisms leveled against GDP is that it does not take into account sustainability. Sometimes growth may be there but not achieved through sustainable thereby risking the future. On the flip side economic growth itself may not be sustainable in some cases. So can we depend on economic factors alone to be happy? In the past decade or so more and more countries are looking at the “Beyond GDP “agenda. in 2011 the OECD developed a framework for measuring wellbeing that can reflect and support development of measurement frameworks on a national level. there are a sizeable number of Latin American countries scoring consistently high on the Happiness index despite a number of socio economic issues. The recently published World Happiness report (2018) suggests that this is not a mere coincidence. It is based on the fact that Happiness in Latin America has social foundations. UAE lists in the top 20 countries with a happiness index of 6.774. (Source: World Happiness ranking 2015-17).This is the first ever attempt to superimpose the Latin American happiness model on the UAE local community to arrive at a sustainable happiness model for them.



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Author Biography

Vidya Nandagopal, University of Dubai

Corresponding Author


1. Books
Seligman Martin E.P, 2013,”Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment”, Atria Paperback edition.
Wiling Meik, 2017, “The little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People”, Penguin House, UK, 2017.
2. Reports
Global Happiness Policy Report, World Government Summit, 2018
Helliwell John .F, Layard Richard, Sachs Jeffrey.D,World Happiness Report, 2018.
How to Cite
Nandagopal, V. (2019). Towards a Sustainable Happiness Model for UAE: Lessons from Latin America. International Conference on Advances in Business and Law (ICABL), 2(1), 165-175.