Ohood Al Roumi’s appointment to the position was announced on Wednesday via Twitter by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the prime minister, ruler of Dubai and the vice president of the UAE.
“National happiness isn’t a wish. Plans, projects, programmes, indices will inform the work of our ministries to achieve happiness,” he wrote on his official Twitter page.
Al Roumi will also continue serving as the director-general of the prime minister’s office, a position she currently holds.
Along with her roles in the UAE, the United Nations Foundation selected Al Roumi last year to be a member of its Global Entrepreneurship Council. She is the first Arab member of the body.
The creation of the new ministerial post was also announced on Twitter on Monday by Sheikh Mohammed, 66, who said the minister would “align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction”.
“It is a beginning of a new journey of achievement and giving to the people and we ask Allah to help us to serve and take care of them,” one of his messages read.
The 44-year-old oil rich seven-state federation, was ranked No 20 on the World Happiness Report in 2015, above the United Kingdom and below Belgium.
Switzerland was named the world’s happiest country in 2015, in front of Iceland, Denmark and Norway – with Canada rounding out the top five.
The report’s creators singled the UAE out in 2015 for its stated commitment to happiness.
“The National Agenda aims for the UAE to be among the best in the world in the Human Development Index and to be the happiest of all nations so that its citizens feel proud to belong to the UAE,” the UAE’s Vision 2021 plan says.