Abu Dhabi public happier as work-life balance improves, study finds

Report by the emirate’s Department of Community Development showed increases in happiness and satisfaction

The life satisfaction index increased by almost 7 per cent, from 6.68 to 7.1258 points. The National
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The happiness of Abu Dhabi residents has improved significantly in the past 12 months, according to a survey.

The study of quality of life indicators by the emirate’s Department of Community Development (DCD) in the capital found increases in happiness and life satisfaction from last year's report, in tandem with an improved work-life balance.

The happiness index rose by 7.8 per cent, from 7.17 to 7.727 points out of 10, according to the Quality of Life questionnaire.

The life satisfaction index increased by almost 7 per cent, from 6.68 to 7.1258 points.

And the work-life balance index shot up from 36.6 per cent to 52.6 per cent.

In January, the UAE introduced a 4.5-day working week for government employees, from Monday to Friday lunchtime, becoming one of the first countries to formalise the arrangement.

Most private companies kept a five-day working week, although some allow their employees to work from home on Fridays.

The UAE has also continued to make a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Case numbers have dropped markedly in recent months, allowing authorities to ease some safety restrictions.

The wearing of masks outdoors is now optional, although face coverings indoors remain mandatory, while border controls on entry to the capital from other emirates were lifted at the end of last month.

Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, chairman of the DCD, said the country has worked hard to improve the happiness of its residents.

“This has led the UAE to become one of the most prominent countries in achieving the highest levels of satisfaction and happiness,” he said.

In the study, residents also expressed rises in satisfaction with housing. Residence satisfaction in Abu Dhabi index increased from 67.9 per cent to 69.8 per cent.

Satisfaction with the current household income index also increased, up from 33 per cent to 38.5 per cent.

Abu Dhabi regularly tops rankings for the world's safest city, with an index score of 88.46 out of 100.

The UAE recently moved up to 24th place in the UN-sponsored World Happiness Index.

Finland led the index, being named the happiest country in the world for the fifth year in a row.

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands rounded out the top five.

Updated: March 21, 2022, 8:40 AM