UAE: The ‘happiest’ little police state ever?

Belen Fernandez in Middle East Eye:

In February, Time Out Dubai ecstatically reported that the United Arab Emirates was “one of the happiest countries in the world”, according to a new study by the Boston Consulting Group.

The article’s author, Scott Campbell, gushed that the “transformation to happiness” had been “guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum”, who is not only the ruler of the emirate of Dubai but also the vice president and prime minister of the UAE.

Transformative steps have included “adopting a globally unique, science-based programme to analyse happiness levels” and “asking people to rate public services with emoji-style reviews”.

Obviously, nothing says genuine human contentment – in an artificial land characterised by soul-crushing materialism and malls with ski slopes – like a digital yellow smiley face.

More here.