Today was a proud day for the UAE as one of its officer cadets graduated from Britain's Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst with honours.
Ahmed Sohail Faris Al Mazrui, 23, was presented with the international sword by Jordan's King Abdullah II, awarded for excellence.
Watching in the crowd was his twin sister, Shamma Bint Sohail Faris Al Mazrui, who in February last year became the world’s youngest government minister when she was appointed the UAE's Minister of State for Youth, aged 22.
She was joined by her father, uncle and other UAE dignitaries to watch Sandhurst's newly graduated officers complete their passing out ceremony.
Al Mazrui was one of five UAE cadets who graduated from Sandhurst today, continuing the country's long association with the world-class military college.
He was one of only eight officer cadets to receive formal recognition for excellence - and was also the only UAE national to be honoured.
His sister said: "[I am] full of joy and pride for my brother Ahmed for winning the international Sandhurst sword of honor. This is an honour for all of us. Today, Sandhurst military academy honours his hard work, perseverance and determination.
"Congratulations to all five Emirati youth on their graduation. Their grit and valour are how we build a great nation. The future is youth. The courage, values and leadership of UAE Sandhurst military academy graduates represent Emirati Youth building our tomorrow."
The academy's prestigious Sovereign Parade was a day of tradition and pageantry, showcasing the precision long associated with its prestigious reputation.
After a rain-soaked rehearsal on Wednesday, those taking part were relieved to see the clouds giving way to blue skies and brilliant sunshine this morning - a fitting day to end the cadets' year-long training.
His Majesty was not only there in his capacity of representing Queen Elizabeth II, but also to witness the graduation of his own son, Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein.
"The graduating cadets are thinking: 'Hurry it up along, sir'. They want to get up those steps.
"The parents are thinking: 'No, don't rush the tributes to our sons and daughters.' Nothing could be a prouder moment for the families and friends of these fine cadets. And I should know: my son Hussein is one of them."
While acknowledging the ceremony's impressive display of military pageantry, King Abdullah also reminded spectators of the foundations upon which it is based.
He added: "The rest of us must not forget what lies behind this impressive performance.
"That is, the iron self discipline and the mutual support on which great soldiering depends.
"Nowhere is this taught more effectively, than here at the RMA. Because - as a Sandhurst soldier recognises - one cannot lead, unless one serves.
"You young officers have chosen a noble career of service. Wherever you go and whatever challenges you'll face, you'll stand as examples of duty, honour and resolve”.
Reminding the newly graduated officers of their "huge and, at times, daunting responsibilities", King Abdullah told them they must strive to be the best.
جلالة الملك يلقي كلمة للخريجين في أكاديمية ساندهيرست