Dubai uses social media to measure happiness
17 October 2018|07 Safar 1440|Gulf News
Dubai is aiming to be the happiest city in the world and they are using technology to do so.
For instance, Smart Dubai, a technological service provider to the Dubai government has implemented the Social Happiness Index to measure happiness through social media platforms.
They use seven different ‘Smart’ dimensions to measure the overall happiness score: Living, economy, environment, people, mobility, governance and the newest addition is the digital services category.
People’s online posts related to each one of these services are analysed. However, not every dimension is equally weighted; some are considered more important than others.
The system records all the mentions that are related to happiness and Dubai.
“Every mention that is captured is contextually analysed and based on the context it’s either put in the positive, neutral or negative category,” said Richard Dib, Head of Business Development at Smart Dubai during the Gitex Technology Week.
“Our mandate is to make Dubai the happiest city in the world and we are using technology to achieve this ultimate goal. This is not the same as other cities in the world. They maybe positioning themselves to be the smartest [in terms of technology] but we are focusing on technology to maximise happiness.”
Speaking about what ‘happiness’ exactly is, Dib said: “Happiness is to make them [the public] have a more efficient, seamless, impactful and personalised experience. So imagine that if you’re living in Dubai and if you have to do a government transaction, you would have to go through a huge amount of paperwork and interact with different entities. But imagine if you have it on your mobile and you’re sitting on your couch. You can submit the application within seconds and receive the approval within seconds, too. The rest of the time, instead of spending it in traffic or moving from one entity to another, you’ll be able to spend it with your beloved ones.”
Dib also said that Dubai aims to achieve 90 per cent in the Happiness Index by 2020.
“The UAE government has given huge attention and effort to the idea of happiness in the country,” Dib added.
Besides social media tracking, Smart Dubai had also had government and private entities install happiness metres to measure the public’s satisfaction rate since 2015.
Hessa Al Beloushi, Director of Smart Services Department at Smart Dubai, said that the initiative is going strong and as of 2018, 165 entities, both public and private, have the device installed.
Another sector that is focusing on people’s happiness is the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). The government entity is introducing various information communication technologies to facilitate all digital experiences for the public.