The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed has finally arrived in London if a new post on his Instagram story is to be believed. Earlier on Wednesday, Sheikh Hamdan (also affectionately known as Fazza) posted a short video of himself sat in the passenger seat of a car driving along a South London street. Dressed in a stylish brown hoodie and plain black face mask, Fazza didn’t caption the post or give any clue as to why he was in the UK.
While Sheikh Hamdan is certainly no stranger to London and the UK, this is the first time he is believed to have visited Britain since the country went into lockdown in April. The visit comes nearly three months after he posed with an Emirates boarding pass destined for London on flagship flight EK001 to Heathrow.
But that boarding pass turned out to be an elaborate hoax – spotted by eagle-eyed observers who noticed his seat assignment in the exclusive First Class cabin was 3F. In fact, the Emirates 777 which was operating the route at the time only has two rows of suites in its’s First Class cabin.
Instead, Fazza had been visiting Dubai International Airport (DXB) to both inspect what Coronavirus safety measures had been implemented at the airport and to chair a special meeting of Dubai’s executive council. While he captioned the post ‘coming soon’, the Crown Prince has largely remained in Dubai throughout the Corona crisis.
But did Fazza end up flying with Emirates in the end? No stranger to social media, Sheikh Hamdan didn’t give his 10+ million followers any clues. Ordinarily, however, Fazza might fly the seven-hour flight from Dubai to London on one of the luxury private Boeing 747-400’s operated by the Dubai Royal Air Wing.
If he is in the UK like it appears, Fazza may well have to go into quarantine for 14-days as part of government regulations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Britain has an ever-dwindling number of ‘air corridors’ from which travellers can come to the UK without going into self-isolation and the UAE has never made the cut.
One possible get out for the Crown Prince, though, might be if he can prove he is in the UK on official diplomatic business. If that’s not the case, Fazza shouldn’t be too bored – Dubai’s ruling family own a 63,000-acre Highland retreat, a £45 million mansion in Suffolk and a £75 million Surrey estate which the family has owned since the 1990s.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.