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General preparation of the Gulf News Fundrive camp PHOTO: Puneet Bajaj/Gulf News Image Credit:

Dubai: Hundreds of off-roaders will be traversing the scenic sands of the Tilal Swaihan expanse in Al Ain on Friday as the Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive kicks off.

This year, a new ‘loop’ format has been introduced for the Fun Drive, meaning the dune-traversing caravan of four-wheelers will start and end at the same location. The ‘Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive Tilal Swaihan Experience’ is being held on Friday and Saturday.

Supporters

The Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive is supported by Al Futtaim Motors – Toyota, who are the Main Sponsor, and the event is being held in association with Tilal Swaihan, Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, Al Ain, and ADNEC.

Copy of NAT FUNDRIVE 2020 logo 1-1579179488996

Checkpoint sponsors include Al Jazira Poultry Farm LLC, BLACK + DECKER, Dobinsons Spring & Suspension Trading LLC, FASTFIT, Orient Tours, Orient Travels, Shell HELIX Motor oils, Toyota and Western Digital.

Support sponsors include Byrne, Coleman, Emirates Water, Fly Audio & Almani by Ahaat, Mediclinic, TORC The Offroad Company and Techxhub.

Catering and food packs will be provided by Capital Hospitality.

Fun Drive numbers are sponsored by Tilal Swaihan. The communication sponsor is SanDisk and tyre sponsor is BF Goodrich. Shell HELIX Motor oils is the lubricants sponsor and recovery is by IATC.

New route

This is also the first time that an Overnighter is being held in the Al Ain region and the route therefore is brand new and very challenging.

The Fun Drive 2020 has been designed by Route Director John Spiller and Deputy Route Director Mohamed Saeed Al Shamsi with invaluable inputs from Al Ain Municipality. The annual event promises to be among the best routes in the history of Fun Drives held previously.

According to the route directors and organisers of the event, this year’s drive will be very exciting, challenging and a test of drivers skills as they will have to maneuver through dunes, gravel tracks and hilly areas.

History

The first Fun Drive was a Day Drive held on March 28, 1986 with just 75 vehicles. So far there have been seven Day Drives, 27 Overnighters, one Abu Dhabi Day Drive and three Friday Fun Drives.

The 2020 Fun Drive will be the 34th year of the Fun Drive. There have been two events in certain years, hence this year’s Fun Drive will be the 39th.