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