Since its opening in 2017, the United Arab Emirates University’s (UAEU) Emirates Center for Happiness Research (ECHR) has aimed to serve both the broader community as well as the university population through the provision of evidence-based professional services, with research and training that promotes and enhances happiness and positivity.

On International Happiness Day, the UAEU announced the delivery of the nation’s first Positivity and Wellbeing for-credit course. It offers students the opportunity to engage in and experience a number of positive psychology interventions like gratitude, savoring, developing goals, developing purpose and meaning, and deepening their relationships, among others. Students will learn why these strategies work according to various positive psychology theories, as well as the conditions under which they are effective. The course aims to explore a variety of topics in positive psychology, and many from a UAE cultural perspective.

Under the leadership of the Center’s Director, Dr. Zakeya Al Rasbi, as well as Dr. Louise Lambert, positive psychology researcher at UAEU and instructor for the new course in Fall 2018, a number of research projects have also been launched. For instance, the Center will investigate the impact of using positive psychology interventions on various variables like levels of collectivism/individualism, health complaints, and locus of personal control.

A non-credit positive psychology course will also be opened to the broader community later in 2018, while a positive organizational psychology program will be offered to government and private business entities as well, allowing the nation as a whole to benefit from the ECHR’s expertise and services.