Dubai: From trading pearls and fishing to engineering the happiest city in the world.

It all started with a vision of one man, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, who wanted to make Dubai become the happiest city in the world.

A great leap forward from fishing and collecting pearls to be traded with other nations to engineering the happiest city in the world. Long ago, most Dubaiers used to live in houses made of corals with no water for sewers and electricity, However, Dubai now is indeed the pearl of the East and one of the world’s most favorable go-to places.

The culture of Dubai is a great mixture of beautiful Islamic and western styles. A metropolitan where the East and the West converge. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine, and lifestyle are very prominent in the city. Everyone in Dubai is guaranteed a free-way living. A city that once was home for a single ethnically homogenous community has now transformed to become also home for other ethnic groups and nationals. If you’re in Dubai, you’ll have the chance to hear hundreds of languages with different dialects and accents, and you don’t have to travel anywhere to buy stuff. You can just buy it from Dubai Mall that has products from nearly 120 countries.

Visitors of Dubai can also enjoy very culturally-rich experiences. Especially after the launch of Dubai Culture that empowered many projects and initiatives as part of a great step forward to achieve the vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 that aims to boost Dubai’s stand as a cosmopolitan city for culture, arts, and literature. These initiatives and projects include Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition, Visual Art Programme, the First cultural visa in the world and my favorite is the SIKKA Art Fair.

Another interesting aspect of Dubai Culture is the adoption of happiness and positivity approach. Thus, happiness programmes and initiatives were launched to spread joy among people. After a while, some surveys revealed that a surprising majority of Dubai residents said they feel happy and safe. In Dubai, you can see a police Happiness Patrol handing out rewards to law-abiding drivers instead of fines and tickets. People are asked to rate public services with emojis to reward good behaviors instead of punishing the bad.

The UAE is one of four national governments to appoint a senior government member responsible for coordinating national happiness efforts. Happiness in Dubai is a serious matter, especially after it became an increasingly preferred indicator for social progress by governments and global organizations such as the United Nations.  

In conclusion, happiness is an integral part of Dubai’s smart transformation. A smart and happy city that prioritizes happiness as a key objective, led by the Smart Dubai Office that oversees that transformation and utilizes innovative technology.     

Working to live or living to work!

It is without a doubt that work can help us find ourselves, make a difference, and perhaps to live a happy life. But in this pursuit of happiness, we sometimes forget that we also have lives to live and times to spend with our loved ones. That’s why it’s important to strike some balance here between life and work to avoid stress and to maintain a healthy wok atmosphere.

The old saying goes: ‘healthy body, healthy mind.’ That’s why if you want to physically feel well, you have to maintain your mental health and vice versa. That can be achieved by doing daily exercises and eating healthy food. You can’t keep working like a machine without taking breaks, and you can’t keep thinking about work or take it home with you. This won’t only ruin your family relationships but worse still, the stress caused by such behavior can cause other physical problems like high blood pressure or heart diseases.

So if your life is all about work, then you’ve missed a lot of interesting and positive aspects of life that make you an interesting person to other people, especially to employers. Thus, having other interests outside the work environment helps to improve your social skills and to build a well-rounded and sophisticated character that will eventually make you more attractive to people, and you can share those experiences with them. That’s why it’s important to have hobbies and activities and include them in resumes. Because most employers look for such qualities in employees.

It’s sad how some employees don’t get how important mental health is in the workplace. Studies have shown how dangerous and risky ignoring mental health could be. In some cases, it can lead to stress-related illnesses, depression and even burnout. This happens when employees suffer a great amount of pressure and stress that could be caused by outrageous workloads, eventually leaving them with a feeling that their work isn’t being appreciated.

In conclusion, we only live once. So if you do feel you’re acting all spooky and out of character, then perhaps it’s time for you to take a break and to really start looking into your work-life balance. To maintain a good work-life balance, we all should take some personal time off when it’s necessary, breaks should be taken all the time, doing exercises, going on holidays, spend time with friends and family, eat healthy food, get enough sleep, and above all, we shouldn’t bring work home with us.

Why hire a decorator if you can do it yourself! Here’s some DIY ideas on a budget.

Stop reading decorating magazines, it will only make you feel unsatisfied with how small your room is or how poorly your apartment was decorated. Instead, you can remodel, rebuild or redecorate your rooms with these three easy tips & tricks.

Utilize the dark side of the bed!

If you have a small apartment filled with clutter and stuff, your bedroom, especially your bed area is a great place to store things underneath. If you have an elevated bed or a platform bed, you can easily throw whatever stuff you want underneath it. And if you don’t have a bed like that, don’t worry, you can always get bed risers which give you additional space under your bed. You can then store things like suitcases, luggage or old boxes. You know, those suitcases and old boxes can also be used to store in them whatever junk you want to get rid of.

Build upwards … Take advantage of your vertical space.

Another trick is to use your vertical space to your advantage. You can have, for example, a huge wall gallery. If you enter someone’s apartment with a gallery on their wall, this gallery will immediately draw your eyes from the floor to the ceiling, because there’s a lot of stuff to look at. This tip works not only with small rooms but also with large ones too.   

Utilizing the vertical space also means building upwards, you know, like putting up a shelf. A simple shelf on a wall next to your bed means that you can keep favorite reads and books within easy reach, you can also display lots of catchy things like trinkets and book covers. Believe me, nothing could go wrong with a simple shelf. They are simply practical. Wall shelves could be installed everywhere in your apartment, and they can hold additional things like books, décor, knick-knacks and lots of stuff.

Shelves are my favorite. They can be installed above your TV or above your kitchen cabinets. If you think about it, there’s lots of room for using the space upwards.

Rearrange your room design.

If you’re bored with your room design and you can’t afford buying new furniture now, you can always ‘Feng Shui’ your room by moving furniture around. This will allow natural light to enter different corners of your room. Furniture can make your room look different and bigger for free. You can shop secondhand for an old wooden chair if you don’t already have one, dip it in bright red paint and see how beautiful it will look next to a bright set of chairs.  

You can do a lot of things with tips and techniques like these. If you put imagination to work, your options are limitless. Plus, DIY gives you satisfaction of being able to show off projects that you did yourselves. They even have a name for it. It’s called “The IKEA Effect”!