The 2018 Overnighter Fun Drive will start at the UAE Motorplex Umm Al Quwain and take around eight hours. Image Credit: Supplied

Online registration for the 37th Gulf News Fun Drive, which will be held on January 12-13, will open on Thursday.

The 2018 Overnighter Fun Drive, supported by Al Futtaim Motors — Toyota, will return to the Northern Emirates after three years.

What is it?

The 37th Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive supported by Al Futtaim Motors – Toyota, is all set to give you an exciting Umm Al Quwain experience.

The Fun Drive will start at the UAE Motorplex Umm Al Quwain. After breakfast, participants will depart on an eight-hour drive through the desert in a ‘loop’ which will bring them back to Al Aqran area in UAQ, where the overnighter camp will be located.

The original idea behind the Fun Drive was to give people the chance to experience the desert. Unlike today, there were more unknowns off-road in the UAE, and very few people dared to venture.

A challenging drive, the course will go through many exciting sand and hill sections, offering scenic views.

The 37th edition will also have one of the best camps in the history of the Fun Drive as it is located in the midst of scenic dunes.

How much does it cost?

Dh500 per Adult 

Dh250 per child

Free for children under 4

What is included in the Fun Drive package?

Participants will start arriving at the Emirates Motorplex from 6am, and after parking in the designated spaces will check-in to complete formalities, have breakfast and collect their various goodies.

Goodies include a case of water per car, one goody bag per car and lunch boxes for all passengers in the car.

After collecting the goodies, the participants will deflate tyres and line up for departure.

The lead car will be flagged off at 8am and convoys will follow. After an eight hour drive, the first vehicles will arrive at campsite by 4 pm.

Amenities at the camp include community tents, portaloos, food and beverages. There will also be an entertainment programme which includes camel rides, DJ and live band as well as a belly dancing performance. There will also be plenty of activity with spectacular set ups in the sponsors’ areas.

Following the overnight stay, participants will leave for their homes, after the breakfast which will be served between 7 - 9 am.

Origin of the Gulf News Fun Drive

The first Fun Drive was held in March 1986, as a way to introduce residents to the dunes of the UAE, as most residents in those days didn’t dare to venture into the desert.

With 75 vehicles, the first Fun Dive was a huge success and capturing the imagination of a huge number of people. Since then thousands of off-road enthusiasts have participated in the annual event.

The Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive is supported by Al Futtaim Motors – Toyota, who are the Main Sponsors. Checkpoint sponsors include Laban Up, Lacnor, Oasis, Orient Tours, Orient Travel, Pringles, Total and Toyota. Support sponsors include Byrne, Denim, Flow Composite Manufacturing FZC, TORC The Offroad Company and Wildcraft. Catering is provided by Foodcraft and JA Resorts & Hotels. Official hotel is Barracuda Beach Resort UAQ.

Fun Drive numbers are sponsored by Amity University, Total is the lubricants sponsor and BF Goodrich is the official tyre sponsor. The Fun Drive is being held with the support of IATC and the Emirates Motorplex, UAQ.

How to register

Off-road enthusiasts can register online at www.gnfundrive.com till 7pm on Thursday.

Those unable to register online can register in person on the same day at the Gulf News offices in Dubai from 9am to 2pm, in Abu Dhabi from 9am to 1pm and in Al Ain between 9am and 11am.


Entry cancellations will be accepted only till December 24.

Payments for additional passengers will be accepted till December 29.

Gulf News will publish the list of confirmed participants on December 26 and an email with Fun Drive numbers will go to out to the confirmed participants on the same day.

Bookings are strictly subject to confirmation and preference will be given to Gulf News subscribers. Payment will be refunded if the entry is not accepted.

When registering in person, participants will have to provide the Emirates ID numbers for all passengers, and Entries will not be accepted without it.

Original identification will be verified at Check In on the day of Fun Drive.

Information packs

Registered participants can collect the Fun Drive Information Pack with the Fun Drive numbers and manual from the Gulf News offices as follows :

Dubai: December 27-29 from 8am to 7pm

Abu Dhabi: December 27-28 from 8am to 2pm

Al Ain: December 27-28 from 8am to 2pm

The Fun Drive Disclaimer, with original signatures of all participants will have to be handed in when collecting the pack. This pack will not be issued unless the disclaimer has been handed in.

Important notes

The 2017 Fun Drive is a long distance “endurance” event and the following must be noted :

• Participation is not recommended for children under 6 and the very elderly

• Every passenger must have a seatbelt.

• Because of the terrain involved there will be challenging sand and gravel sections.

• Participants will have the option to abandon the drive at any checkpoint and continue over tarmac to the camp.

• Participation will be limited to Driver + maximum of four (provided there are seatbelts per passenger)

• To explain the route requires many GPS waypoints. Therefore we will give priority to applicants who have GPS in their cars 


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