UAE is happiest Arab country for 5th year running, UN report shows

World Happiness Report ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be

The UAE is the happiest country in the Arab region for the fifth year running.

That is according to this year's World Happiness Report that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.

The UAE came in at 21 worldwide, dropping one spot from last year, but maintaining it's top rank among Africa and the Middle East for half a decade.

This year's report, released on the International Day of Happiness on Wednesday, focused on how happiness has evolved over the past 12 years, with a focus on the technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies that have driven those changes.

According to a statement by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which produces the report, the UAE has been improving its rank year upon year since making its citizen's happiness an official policy three years ago.

"In 2016, the UAE committed to implementing a happiness and wellbeing policy agenda within the Emirates, and to help lead the growing happiness and wellbeing movement globally through research, collaboration, and policy implementation.

"Results from the most recent world happiness report, released at the UN Headquarters in New York, indicate positive trends for the UAE since 2016."

Emiratis recorded high happiness scores with residents ranking life in the UAE as happier than that in their home countries.

In the 2016 World Happiness Report, the UAE ranked 28th worldwide and has since advanced seven places.

"These results confirm that the UAE is on an upward national trajectory since its 2016 commitment to happiness and wellbeing," the UN statement read.

Finland topped the list worldwide with fellow Scandinavian countries Denmark, Norway and Iceland making up the top four.

The US increased one spot from last year to 19th, after having dropped four places between 2017 and 2018.

Saudi Arabia was the next highest ranking Arab country in 28th place, just above Qatar at 29. Next was Bahrain at 37 worldwide and Kuwait ranked 51st happiest country in the world.

The bottom three in the global ranking were Afghanistan, Central African Republic and South Sudan – all countries that have struggled with conflict and instability.