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Happiness web
University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood co-signs a Memorandum of Understanding with His Excellency Professor Mohamed Albaili, Vice Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University and Mr Jamal Al Owais, Medical Attaché.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention have agreed to work with the University of Birmingham in exploring ways of helping to make the United Arab Emirates (UAE) one of the ‘happiest’ countries in the world, in line with the UAE Vision 2021.

The Project will see academic experts across a range of social sciences disciplines working with the Ministry to identify ways in which social and cultural cohesion can be boosted in the UAE.

A group of senior Ministry representatives including His Excellency Professor Mohamed Albaili, Vice Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University, Dr. Fuzan Al Khalidi, Director of Healthcare Strategy and Policy and Mr Jamal Al Owais, Medical Attaché, visited Birmingham to meet Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood, and co-sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University.

Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “The University of Birmingham is honoured to work with Dubai’s Ministry of Health and Prevention to explore new partnerships which could help develop the happiness of people in Dubai.

“We particularly look forward to working with counterparts at UAE University - the most prestigious Higher Education institution in the UAE, which also host the Emirates Center for Happiness Research, the first of its kind in the UAE and the Middle East.”

The document signing follows a series of initial meetings with Dr Fuzan, as well as His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Olama and His Excellency Dr. Yousif Al Serkal from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention in London.

Mr Jamal Al Owais, Medical Attache for the Ministry of Health and Prevention, said: “We look forward to the promising prospect of engaging with the prestigious University of Birmingham for the much-anticipated ‘Happiness’ Project.

“God willing, the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum will become closer to becoming a reality for the good people of Dubai. We extend our thanks to the academic experts and to all those who will be involved in making this happen.”

Launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in 2010, UAE Vision 2021 aims to make the UAE among the best countries in the world.

In order to translate the UAE Vision 2021 into reality, six national priorities have been identified which represent the key focus sectors of government action in the coming years.

This MOU will play a key role in the first of these priorities: ‘Cohesive society and preserved identity’, with the University of Birmingham exploring ways of helping to integrate all segments of society while preserving the UAE’s unique culture, heritage and traditions, as well as reinforcing social and family cohesion.

In this way, the University is supporting the UAE’s National Agenda to be among the best in the world in the Human Development Index and the happiest of all nations, so that its citizens feel proud to belong to the UAE.

• The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.

• The University is renowned for its research excellence and its researchers have received 11 Nobel Prizes. From pioneering organ transplants, discovering gravitational waves and furthering understanding of Shakespeare, to developing cures for cancer, advances in robotics and revealing the structure of DNA, the University has been at the forefront of some of the most ground-breaking discoveries of the last 100 years.

• Already recognised in the top 1% of universities across the globe, opening its Dubai campus marks the latest phase in the University of Birmingham’s global expansion and builds on the University’s international teaching activities in Singapore and China, and its extensive international research collaborations.

• Professor Mohamed Albaili was appointed as Vice Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in June 2016. From 2013 to 2016, he held the position of the UAEU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Provost). Prior to that, he served as the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the same university for two years. Before this appointment, he occupied several academic positions as the Associate Dean for Social Sciences for five years, Assistant Dean for Research, and Professor of Psychology.

• His Excellency Dr Mohammad Salim Al Olama is the Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention. In 1998, he joined the Department of Health & Medical Services (DOHMS) Dubai and was eventually appointed as the CEO of the Hospital Services Sector and Acting CEO of the Clinical Support Services Sector In September 2013, he was appointed as the Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention, a role designated to him owing to his contributions and experience in healthcare sector.

• The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) was the first comprehensive national university in the United Arab Emirates. Founded in 1976 by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAEU is a research-intensive university and currently enrolls approximately 14,000 Emirati and international students. UAEU offers a full range graduate and undergraduate programs through nine Colleges: Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Food and Agriculture; Humanities and Social Sciences; IT; Law; Medicine and Health Sciences; and Science.