The United Arab Emirates' minister for happiness says part of her mission is to encourage local media to tell more positive stories because "happiness is contagious."

Minister of State for Happiness Ohood Al Roumi, who was appointed to the newly-formed post in February, says focusing on positive aspects of everyday life could help give people in the Middle East hope. She says when people are optimistic, they are more productive and creative.

Speaking Wednesday at Dubai's Arab Media Forum, she said the media cannot ignore the hard realities facing the region, but that to focus on negative stories exposes people to depression and leads to people "thinking the world is an awful place."

The Happiness Minster said for every terrorist, there are thousands of inventors, inspirational teachers and doctors too.