A Short History of the Happiness Meter


The Happiness Meter is one of Dubai's first strategic 'smart city' initiatives. The world’s first, city-wide, live sentiment capture engine, the meter builds on the vision of Smart Dubai to ‘make Dubai the happiest city on Earth.’   His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the first Happiness Meter during GITEX in October 2014. 

The Smart Dubai Office guides the roadmap and strategic objectives of the Happiness Meter. The Happiness Meter is developed and implemented by Smart Dubai Government. 

The Happiness Meter had been created as an interface to greet the city’s visitors and residents at every service and experience touchpoint, with live analysis provided in real-time to the city’s decision makers and leadership. The user experience for city-wide interactions needed to be simple, inviting and instantly recognisable with it's use of shapes and colour. Most respondents consider surveys time-consuming, with little or no benefit from partaking in the exercise. To address this, the Happiness Meter keeps the interaction down to a ‘single tap.’ The experience is designed to delight while encouraging instant feedback; whether at airport immigration, government service centre, public park, shopping mall or inside public transport.

Data collected from Happiness Meters — installed in services centres, websites, digital service transactions, and mobile applications —  is aggregated through the Happiness Meter Dashboard. The Dubai Happiness Index is calculated in real-time, giving an instant measure of happiness levels across the city. 


The Happiness Meter is the first tool under the ‘Measure’ portfolio of the Happiness Agenda. We want every experience in the city to contribute to the collective happiness of our people. We do not want happiness to become a concept that we acknowledge but cannot measure. Technology allows us a unique opportunity to engage with each and every person in our city.

Happiness Meter Principles

  • Connect with the pulse of happiness in the city.
  • Measure happiness factor at every experience that a visitor, resident or citizen may have in the city.
  • Gauge, learn from people’s experiences and continuously better our levels of service and excellence in everything we do.
  • Available to any and all public and private sector businesses and venues who want to measure happiness.
  • Aid venue owners and city leadership to understand and investigate areas of Dubai that can be improved even further.


The Happiness Meter is currently used by over 40 government departments, and a growing number of private sector partners. In less than one year, the Happiness Meter has collected more than 2 million votes. Today, the average happiness score for the city is 89%. 

During a ceremony honouring the Happiness Pioneers — government entities who were leaders in adopting the Happiness Meter — we adopted a target for 95% happiness by 2021. 

To accurately measure the happiness of people in our city, we are expanding the Happiness Meter product suite to encompass social media sentiment monitoring, surveys and feedback. The expansion of the Happiness Meter project will open new and valuable data for entities in the public and private sector to improve the happiness of their customers and employees.