Graphic by Joaquin Kunkel

UAE Updates

A look at what's been going on in the UAE this week.

Dec 11, 2016

####UAE Launches National Happiness Survey On Dec. 4, the UAE Government announced a national survey to measure the happiness and positivity of residents. “Starting on Dec. 12, some 14,000 people, representing all social segments and including nationals, expatriates, visitors and tourists, will be polled in a nationwide survey,” said Minister of State for Happiness Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi.
The survey will seek to gain insight on the happiness, quality of life and access to services and infrastructure of residents in the UAE. The information will be used to create a database to help government entities develop legislation and services to achieve happiness for the entire society.
“The launch of the national survey of happiness and positivity comes within the context of the efforts aimed at developing precise and comprehensive scientific tools,” said Al Roumi, mentioning that Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE, also described happiness as an important sustainable goal. The survey is part of the National Programme of Happiness and Positivity, launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE, in March 2016.
####Intelligent Transport System Ready for Trial A new smart transport system developed by a team from UAE University is now ready for its first deployment test. The system allows for inter-vehicle communication that allows for the use of route guidance in urban traffic networks. The information received by a vehicle in the new system can allow for the calculation of the quickest route to a destination, and minimize the risk of accidents.
“We are going to equip six vehicles to do the field testing … the [automated system] that we are testing enables the vehicles to change their routes and get better ones to reach the destination using the information that they receive from other vehicles,” said Yaser Hawas, director of the Roadway, Transportation and Traffic Safety Research Centre at UAEU. The team will prepare documents detailing the results of the deployment test after it is conducted and continue to develop hardware and software to enable communications between vehicles.
####13th Dubai International Film Festival The 13th annual Dubai International Film Festival opened on Dec. 7. The festival will feature 156 films and documentaries from 55 countries and public discussions about 2016’s acclaimed TV shows and movies. Celebrities from Hollywood, Bollywood and Arab cinema are set to attend gala screenings of their work, and a charity ball will be held to support local and international organizations such as Dubai Cares and The Global Gift Foundation. The 13th edition of the festival will honor actor Samuel L. Jackson, who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to cinema.
Priyanka Lakhiani is Deputy News Editor. Email her at
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