It appears that the United Arab Emirates is the happiest place to be in the Middle East.
It is, as far as the latest annual report that ranks 156 countries and territories by their happiness levels. The UAE is ranked 28th globally, ahead of other developed countries such as France (32), Spain (37) and Italy (50). It is also a happier alternative than fellow expat destinations Malaysia (47) and Hong Kong (75).
The report, prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, was released ahead of UN World Happiness Day on March 20.
It ranks countries based on happiness levels using factors that include healthy years of life expectancy and per capita gross domestic product. Leading experts across fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more – describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations.
Globally, Scandinavian countries dominate the rankings Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden well within the top ten.
But UAE leads the Arab region, with Saudi Arabia (34) a distant second, followed by Qatar (36), Algeria (38), Kuwait (41) and Bahrain (42).
The report also recognizes the UAE among just four countries in the world that have a Minister of Happiness among their Cabinet positions.