The United Arab Emirates Now Has Ministers for Happiness and Tolerance
The ruler of Dubai has announced two new delightfully whimsy cabinet positions: Ambassdor of Happiness and Ambassador of Tolerance (appointed to Ohoud Al-Roumi and Lubna bint Khaled, respectively). Al-Maktoum—who is also the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE—has shared that this move was in an effort to boost country morale. While the titles themselves sound like lines out of a storybook, there are certainly responsibilities attached. The prime minister announced the appointment on Twitter (see below), along with some insight into what the new ambassadors will be taking on, specifically that the Happiness position "will align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction." This announcement came during a cabinet re-appointment, which was also shared on Twitter.
Many social media users have approached the news with celebration—for the fact that such titles exist and that they've been filled by women in both cases—but some have poked holes in the situation, worried that the roles won't seriously address topics such as gender inequality. Being that both jobs are entirely new to the cabinet, it will be interesting to see how they evolve in the coming months. After all, the UAE already takes the No. 20 spot on the 2015 World Happiness Report.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure.Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.