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Dubai leader announces 'minister for happiness' in government shakeup

The UAE also said it would also privatise select government services as well as shake up ministerial posts
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (C) is looking for a person under 25 to serve as the next minister overseeing issues that young people deem important (AFP)

Dubai's leader has announced the creation of a 'minister for happiness' in a major shakeup of UAE government ministries and the privatisation of some public services in the wake of falling oil revenues.

As part of a plan to create a "young and flexible" government, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, attending the World Government Summit in Dubai, said the post would go to his current office director, Ohood al-Roumi.

"Governments must be flexible. We don't need more ministries, but more ministers capable of dealing with change," Sheikh Mohammed said at the forum.

"We want a young and flexible government that will fulfil our youth's aspirations and achieve our people's ambitions."

The UAE is ranked 20 in the UN's World Happiness report 2015.

In addition to the announcement, the UAE also said it would privatise select government services as well as shake up ministerial posts.

An unspecified number of government ministries are set to be merged and a new ministerial position will be created to set policy in maintaining religious tolerance.

Maktoum added that he is looking for a person under 25 to serve as the next minister overseeing issues that young people deem important.

The prime minister did not comment on when the changes are expected to happen.

Most of Maktoum’s announcements were well received on social media, with many in the country praising the prime minister for listening to their needs.

However, some have gone online to criticise Maktoum, saying that crackdowns on the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups goes contrary to creating happiness.