United Arab Emirates enlists Berkeley on path to happier workers, more positive country

Government workers in the United Arab Emirates gather for happiness training. (Photo courtesy of Berkeley-Haas)

Some 60 recently appointed “chief happiness and positivity officers” in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) prime minister’s office are being trained by UC Berkeley experts to create a more positive workforce, and ultimately a happier country.

The project is spearheaded by UC Berkeley Executive Education in partnership with the Berkeley-Haas School of Business and the Greater Good Science Center.

Training in business, psychology, leadership and public policy will focus on topics ranging from mindfulness and creating metrics around happiness and positivity, to leading happy people and organizations. Government employees working in areas including the oil industry, information technology, education and welfare are participating.

Berkeley-Haas Dean Rich Lyons credited Berkeley’s leadership in interdisciplinary research and “unparalleled spirit of questioning the status quo” with its selection for the UAE program.

Future training will take place in Dubai, the UAE’s most populous city, and on campus, where students will be invited to join field trips to Bay Area companies that practice happiness and positivity in the workplace.

The UAE is home to a population of 9.2 million and boasts the seventh-largest oil reserves in the world. 

Read more about Berkeley's happiness training in the UAR.