The weekend attraction will be held in a 'Loop' format, meaning it will start and finish at the same location - after going through a mix of dunes, wadis, and hills Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Online registration for the ‘41st Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive, the Shamal Experience, Powered by Nissan’ opened today at 9am on

The 2023 edition of the popular adventure weekend event will be held on Saturday, January 14, and Sunday, January 15, in the open desert of the emirate of Umm Al Quwain.


The latest Fun Drive will again take place in a ‘Loop’ format, meaning it will start and end at the same location. The route - which traverses a mix of dunes, hills and wadis - is designed by Route Director John Spiller, who says: “The route has something for everyone as it is designed so that even the first-timers can complete it without a problem, with easily achievable options. There are however challenging sections for the expert off-roaders that will provide a few thrills and spills.”

new logo gulf news fun drive 2023
Image Credit: Gulf News

Register online

Starting today, participants will be able to register online only, on, and complete all formalities. Bookings are subject to confirmation and preference will be given to Gulf News subscribers. Payment will be refunded if the entry is not accepted.


The entry fee charged is inclusive of VAT and the per head cost is Dh500 per adult and Dh210 per child under 12. Entry for children under 4 years of age is free. More details are available in the advertisement carried in the print edition of Gulf News today.

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Decades of fun

2023 marks the 37th year of the Fun Drive but as Gulf News has run two events in certain years, this Fun Drive will be the 41st.

The first Fun Drive was a Day Drive only and was held on March 28, 1986, with only 75 vehicles. So far, Gulf News has done eight Day Drives, 29 Overnighters, one Abu Dhabi Day Drive and three Friday Fun Drives - thus making this one the 41st in the series.

Support of partners

The Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive Shamal Experience is Powered by Nissan and supported by Arabian Automobiles Co. LLC and Al Masaood Automobiles Company LLC.

Checkpoint sponsors include Nissan, Castrol Magnatec also the exclusive Lubricant sponsor, Amaron the Official Battery, Dobinsons Springs & Suspension Trading LLC, Al Jazira Poultry Farms LLC. DENIM, and Yokohama Geolandar the Official Tyre for the event.

Support sponsors include Al Ain Water, Byrne, AIL Group, Halwani Bros, Mother’s Recipe, Barracuda Beach Resort, Mister Baker, Plastica Industries LLC. and CAFU who are also the Official Fuel sponsor.

Official Caterers for the Fun Drive are Ronaldo’s Spago.

Vehicle numbers are sponsored by SUKOON Insurance.

The event is being hosted by the Emirates Motorplex Umm Al Quwain with the support of EMSO (Emirates Motor Sports Organisation).