UAE Vice President promises more happiness for citizens

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Photo - Stephen Hindley/AP

The UAE’s vice president and ruler of Dubai has announced ambitious investment plans that will give a boost to the Gulf state’s future.

The statement from Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the Gulf state would continue to invest in its citizens’ futures.

“We are pressing ahead with our plans to invest in our resources to achieve comfort and happiness to all,” Sheikh Mohammad said in a statement to state news agency WAM.

“It is the duty of the government to provide citizens with excellent quality of life, prosperity and opportunities to the citizens to achieve happiness,” the ruler of Dubai added.

The statement comes days after a United Nations report ranked the UAE as the happiest country in the Middle East.

“This requires rallying efforts, formulating right policies and laws, ensuring security, justice and safety to the community, tending to the underprivileged segments and the continuously developing infrastructure. It also requires clear plans, capable teams and optimum use of available resources.”

The UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri recent said the country’s economy is expected to grow nearly 4% this year. The optimistic forecast comes in stark contrast with the one issued by the International Monetary Fund, which said economic growth would dip to 2.3% in 2012.

The Gulf state was last week ranked 17th worldwide in a United Nations happiness survey. Neighbouring Gulf states Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, ranked as the 26th, 29th and 31st happiest places in the world, respectively.

The report named Yemen, Afghanistan and Palestine as the least happy places in the Middle East.

“The development plans we approved, the initiatives we launched and the policies and laws enforced, have all but one goal; to bring about happiness to the citizens, their families and their children. What we have achieved so far is just an initial milestone that will be followed by harder work and more accomplishments so we can become the world’s best,” Sheikh Mohammad said.

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