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How is the UAE’s Happiness and Wellbeing Policy enacted within the higher education sector and workplace? A policy implementation study

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Omneya Omar
Publication date2021
Number of pages227
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis reports the findings of a multi-methods policy implementation study into the intentions, enactment, and implementation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Program of Happiness and Wellbeing. The study explores the Declaration of Happiness and Positivity as both policy and discourse, and its findings contribute to the existing literature by presenting a holistic view of happiness policy and the impact its discourses have had on UAE society.

This study's outcomes are derived from a multi-method approach of Critical
Discourse Analysis, Qualitative Media Analysis, and Content Analysis. The results
of these methods represent the influences, intentions, and enactment of the UAE
happiness policy. Examining the role of policy in happiness initiatives from multiple perspectives is essential as it offers insight into the problems associated with large scale initiatives and highlights the vital role that policy can have in their successful implementation.

Furthermore, this research's findings indicate that using a phenomenological
approach to policy creation and enactment can lead to a significant implementation gap between policy intentions and outcomes. The study points to the need for explicit foundational knowledge into the meaning of happiness and steps to achieve it to avoid creative non-implementation. The multi-perspective nature of this policy research is significant as it lays a foundation for understanding policy at a nuanced level. This work explicitly provides a view of how policy is implemented and enacted within the Arab state, offering an idea into an area of the world that is thus far, vastly underrepresented in policy research.