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Building Blocks for the Next eGovernment Era: Exploratory Study Based on Dubai and UAE’s Ministry of Happiness Communication in 2020

Authors: Diamantino Ribeiro, António Pedro Costa, Jorge Remondes


Dubai and the UAE governments have been investing in technology and digital communication for a long time. These governments are pioneers in introducing innovative strategies, policies and projects. They are also recognized worldwide for defining and implementing long term public programs. In terms of eGovernment Dubai and the UAE rank among the world’s most advanced. Both governments have surprised the world a few years ago by creating a Happiness Ministry. This paper focuses on UAE’s government digital strategies and its approach to the next era. The main goal of this exploratory study is to understand the new era of eGovernment and transfer of the happiness and wellness programs. Data were collected from the corpus latente and analysis was anchored in qualitative methodology using content analysis and observation as analysis techniques. The study allowed to highlight that the 2020 government reshuffle has a strong focus on digital reorganisation and digital sustainability, one of the newest trends in sustainability. Regarding happiness and wellbeing portfolio, we were able to observe that there has been a major change within the government organisation: The Ministry of Happiness was extinct and the Ministry of Community Development will manage the so-called ‘Happiness Portfolio’. Additionally, our observation allowed to note the government dual approach to governance: one through digital transformation, thus enhancing the digital sustainability process and, the second one trough government development.

Keywords: Ministry of Happiness, eGovernment, communication, digital sustainability.

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