Many happy returns to the Crown Prince of Dubai.

He’s one of the UAE’s favourite royals, and HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum turns 35 today. We know we’re not alone in being huge fans of the poet-adventurer-prince, so we thought it was only fair we celebrated.

Here’s 10 things you might not have known about the man also known as Fazza.

He loves animals


#Dubai 9.12.2016 سلام لأهل الهجن من تالي

A post shared by Fazza (@faz3) on

If Sheikh Hamdan was our friend, he’s the one we’d be calling when our pets were acting weird. The man has an incredible bond – and a gentle touch – with animals. Who could forget the time he earned the lasting affection of a little fish by freeing it when it got stuck? Not us.

His best friend is an adorable kid 

Good morning guys 😬 صباح الخير

A post shared by Fazza (@faz3) on

Mohammed bin Ahmed Jaber Al Harbi, the son of royal associate Ahmed Jaber ‘AJ’ Al Harbi, is extremely close to Sheikh Hamdan’s heart. He often joins the royal’s entourage while travelling, and the two clearly share a special bond.

Sheikh Hamdan is at it again with more cave-diving footage
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He went to military school 

His Highness graduated from Sandhurst School in England in 2001, crediting his military education for teaching him the value of teamwork and perseverance. Sheikh Hamdan later went on to study at both the Dubai School of Government and the London School of Economics. Which leads nicely into our next point…

He’s patron of a university here in Dubai

Sheikh Hamdan is president of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, founded in 2009. With a focus on business and health studies, the university offers a mix of online and in-person teaching.

He’s a family man

This time I am the uncle not @uncle_saeed #Windsor 13.5.2016

A post shared by Fazza (@faz3) on

Even the briefest look at Sheikh Hamdan’s Instagram shows how much he loves his family. Whether he’s spending time with the next generation, or looking back to his forebears, His Highness appreciates those closest to him.

He lost his elder brother in 2015

Sheikh Hamdan’s clear devotion to his family only makes this point sadder. His Highness’s elder brother, Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, died of a heart attack at just 33. Sheikh Hamdan has said before that “Rashid’s death is my heaviest sorrow.”

He loves to travel

Sheikh Hamdan isn’t one to let his grief hold him back, though. Just this year he’s travelled to the USA, New Zealand, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Italy (among others). That’s got to be a full passport.

He loves a bit of adrenalin

☝🏼 breath… better make it count! #diving #spearfishing 4.5.2017

A post shared by Fazza (@faz3) on

Those holidays don’t tend to take place on a beach with an ice-cold coconut water, though. Sheikh Hamdan is a little more adventurous than that, whether it means skydiving or spear fishing. We’re sure he makes it look a lot easier than it really is.

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He’s a keen photographer

Good 🌧 morning #Dubai 26.2.2017 صباح الأمطار

A post shared by Fazza (@faz3) on

And appreciates others’ work, too. You’ll often find Faz sharing pictures he’s taken himself, and last year he lent his own collection to a public photography exhibition. Nice one.

He’s a bit of an athlete

@sandstormdxb 10.2.2017

A post shared by Fazza (@faz3) on

We’ll watch this one from the sidelines, thanks. Please do note the personalised tee shirt.

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Images: Instagram