Can Dubai Really Become the Happiest City in the World?

Dubai | © radler1999 / Pixabay
Thais Kelly

What is happiness? For many it is a state of mind, an unmeasurable emotion that is nonetheless the common goal of millions of people around the world. And yet as part of its Vision 2021 – an ambitious government initiative that aims to make Dubai one of the best cities in the world – the emirate wants to put a number on joy and ultimately become the happiest city on earth. Here’s how.

The road to becoming the happiest city in the world

How can a city with approximately three million residents from over 200 nationalities become the happiest city in the world? Dubai believes that by 2021, it can. In the eyes of many governments, companies and communities, happiness is not only becoming a more tangible goal but a crucial one in order to achieve prosperity. Although being happy seems like a loose term, the World Happiness Report believes that it comes down to a science, where specific factors can directly affect happiness. These include economic prosperity, an individual’s freedom to decide, great social support networks, public generosity and social trust.

Little girls admiring Dubai from above

Through these factors, Dubai believes that it can become the happiest city in the world, stealing the title from Finland, which was proven to be the happiest country in the world by the 2018 World Happiness Report. In order to achieve this goal, the city is taking important measures. Dubai held the World Government Summit in February of 2018, where some of the most important names on the globe – such as the Prime Minister of India and even Neil deGrasse Tyson – met up to discuss strategies for growth and happiness. Additionally, the city has appointed Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi as Minister of Happiness and Wellbeing. This in itself is a powerful statement, as having a woman hold such a crucial title sets an example for the rest of the Middle East.

Technology’s role in the race to becoming the happiest city in the world

This still leaves the question – how can Dubai become the happiest city in the world? Well, the government is using technology as a key to happiness. The city hopes to become smarter, making residents’ lives simpler so that they can focus on their personal prosperity and consequently, the city’s greater prosperity. Apps like Smart Dubai are being used in order to help streamline several of the city’s public services, such as bill payments. People can also find ‘Happiness Meters’ across the city, where they can rank their happiness and in conjunction, come up with a happiness score for Dubai. As of 2017, the Emirate was already ranking as high as 90% and had gathered over six million votes. The ultimate goal is to rank at 95% by 2021. Through technology and innovation, Dubai aims to become a happier place for all – proving that the city is not only synonymous with the largest shopping mall or tallest building in the world, but the happiest people as well.

River sea boat in Dubai
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article