Sheikh Hamdan at 41: Crown Prince of Dubai celebrates birthday with throwback photos

He is known for his love of travel, adventure, poetry and nature

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Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, is celebrating his 41st birthday on Tuesday.

Sheikh Hamdan, popularly known as Fazza, has been Crown Prince since 2008.

On his birthday, he reposted photos shared by his family members on Instagram Stories.

Sheikh Hamdan also shared a photo of him kissing one of his children.

In May 2021, he became a father, welcoming twins Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan and Sheikha Sheikha bint Hamdan with his wife, Sheikha Sheikha bint Saeed. They welcomed a third child, a baby boy named Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamdan, in February.

Known for his adventurous side, Sheikh Hamdan often completes adrenalin-pumping activities such as skydiving, free diving and scaling Burj Khalifa.

In summer, he shared a video of himself conquering the perilous Half Dome hike in Yosemite National Park in California. Rising more than 1,500 metres above Yosemite Valley and 2,682 metres above sea level, Half Dome is one of the most challenging hikes in Yosemite.

His passion for fitness also led to the creation of Dubai Fitness Challenge in 2017. The month-long annual event, which is under way at the moment, aims to transform Dubai into one of the world's most active cities by encouraging everyone to commit to doing physical activity for 30 minutes a day for 30 days. Free citywide activities have been launched for everyone, irrespective of their age or fitness levels.

He regularly takes part in the Dubai Fitness Challenge, including the flagship Dubai Run, which is on November 26 this year.

Sheikh Hamdan is also known for his love of animals, his forward-thinking nature and his passion for the country. He has a loyal social media following, as well as countless celebrity friends.

He has shared several glimpses into fatherhood with his 16 million Instagram followers, including introducing his children to his beloved horses at F3 Stables during a summer trip to the UK and taking them for a bike ride alongside his father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Hamdan often shares throwbacks to his childhood on Instagram too, stressing the importance of family to him. From ski trips to desert adventures, his feed is full of nostalgic childhood memories from the UAE and afar.

His devotion to his family and siblings is also clear from his social media posts, while he frequently praises his father Sheikh Mohammed both as a ruler and a mentor.

He has also spoken publicly about the death of his brother, Sheikh Rashid, from a heart attack at 33, paying tribute to him on the anniversary of his passing.


Sheikh Hamdan received his elementary education at Rashid Private School in Dubai. He then followed his father for officer training in the UK, graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2001, a few months before his 20th birthday.

The experience, Sheikh Hamdan said in a 2012 interview with a Dubai magazine, “showed me the importance of self-discipline, commitment, virtue, responsibility, endurance, understanding, teamwork and friendship … and the benefits of hard work".

After Sandhurst, the Crown Prince continued his education at the London School of Economics. “Continuing my studies overseas was important,” he said in the same interview. “It provided me with new skills and taught me how to apply them.”

Four years later, Sheikh Hamdan assumed his first official position, as Chairman of Dubai’s Executive Council in September 2006. Two years later, he was named by Sheikh Mohammed as Crown Prince of Dubai, an appointment that added more responsibilities and his own staff and office.

Why do many call Sheikh Hamdan 'Fazza'?

Like his father, Sheikh Hamdan writes poetry, which he sometimes shares online.

Fazza means "a person who speeds to the help and support of others". From the Emirati dialect, it's a term often used in Nabati poetry, which is a common art form in the UAE.

Sheikh Hamdan has described his poetry as "my identity and poetic character through which I humbly attempt to rekindle joy in the hearts of people, alleviate their suffering in my own simple way. I express their hopes and aspirations".

Updated: November 14, 2023, 8:46 AM