The United Arab Emirates is to appoint a minister of tolerance and a minister of happiness as part of a cabinet reshuffle, the country's prime minister has announced.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, prime minister and vice president of the UAE, made the announcement on his Twitter page on Monday (8 February).
He wrote: "A new post, Minister of State for Happiness, will align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction," later tweeting: "The post of Minister of State for Tolerance has been created to promote tolerance as a fundamental value in UAE society."
The new posts were approved by the UAE's president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as part of what Sheikh Mohammed described as "the largest structural change in the history of our federal government".
His comments came as the World Government Summit in Dubai got underway in the emirate's Madinat Jumeriah Hotel, where best practice for future governments was discussed.
Although two new positions in government were created, the number of ministries has been cut – with several sectors, such as the ministries of education and higher education amalgamated into one department overseen by a single minister. This would allow ministers to "manage changing and dynamic strategic portfolios", the prime minister said.
Several ministries also saw title changes, with the ministry of health becoming the ministry of health and the protection of society with an additional remit of disease prevention, while the management of public hospitals by the state becomes "an independent entity'".
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour will be reformed to "better manage the UAE workforce in this new era of development", although no details as to what the reform would involve were forthcoming.
The plan also included the potential to outsource many government services to the private sector, Sheikh Mohammed said.