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National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing launches the Community Design for Wellbeing Initiative

The National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing launched the Community Design for Wellbeing initiative, which is the first participatory platform for community engagement in the UAE, aiming to boost citizen engagement in designing initiatives to promote wellbeing in the UAE. It builds on the outcomes of the wellbeing team meeting held as part of the UAE Government Annual Meetings. The initiative aims at designing new initiatives to enhance the adoption of a healthy and active lifestyle, identifying the main challenges facing the society in this regard, and raising the community awareness on healthy living and its impact on the community wellbeing. 

More than 700 people from different segments of the society participated in designing solutions that enhance wellbeing. The initiative further witnessed the participation of a number of ministers and government officials, including Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi. 

Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing and Director General of the Prime Minister's Office, noted that the Community Design for Wellbeing initiative reflects the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to ensure that the government furnishes an open platform for community participation in designing solutions and developing initiatives and projects which focus on wellbeing as one of the key pillars of the society. 

Al Roumi added, "The Community Design Platform is a community-to-community platform. It enables individuals to design solutions to address the challenges hindering wellbeing, in partnership with various government and private sector entities." The initiative focuses on boosting happiness and wellbeing through two main pillars, namely, active and healthy lifestyle. It focuses on these two factors as 50% of an individual’s health depends on his lifestyle and eating habits. Furthermore, many diseases could be traced back to an individual’s lifestyle." 

She pinpointed that the initiative encourages individuals to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle through community-designed initiatives. H.E. also hailed the active partnership of different ministries, government entities and private sector companies, which have played an important role in identifying the community members lifestyles and participated in designing solutions and initiatives to enhance wellbeing. 

The initiative witnessed the participation of more than 700 people from different segments of the society, including school and university students, families, senior citizens, people of determination, national service participants, and Chief Happiness and Wellbeing Officers. Prominent government officials were among the participants. 

Mustafa Al-Agha, Head of MBC Sports, has also participated in a design session on healthy nutrition and healthy life. He shared his personal experience with the audience on the best ways to promote healthy lifestyle in the UAE community. 

The initiative was organised in partnership with a number of government entities including: Ministry of Health and Prevention; Ministry of Community Development; Ministry of the Interior; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Climate Change and Environment; Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development; Ministry of Infrastructure Development; General Sports Authority; the Office of the Minister of State for Future Food Security; Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi; Dubai Municipality; Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority; Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Dubai Sports Council and Sharjah Sports Council. 

The partners’ list also included a number of leading institutions in the private sector, which actively participated in implementing interactive activities and helping participants design ideas and solutions, such as Carrefour - Majid Al Futtaim Group, NMC Healthcare, Valiant Clinic, Abu Dhabi COOP and Deliveroo. 

Under the Community Design Platform, activities highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and committing to physical activity in promoting healthy and active lifestyles. The initiative further hosted discussions focusing on designing solutions to the challenges facing boosting physical activity and applying the principles of healthy living to the society. 

A study conducted by the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing highlighted that enjoying a healthy life is the third most important pillar in an individual’s wellbeing, noting that only 45% of UAE individuals exercise for just two hours or less a week. 

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