Fun drive Nissan
Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive ‘Tilal Swaihan Experience' begins tomorrow. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Ahead of the latest edition of Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive ‘Tilal Swaihan Experience’, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, sponsors of the event have shared their diverse offerings that await participants during the event.

Zouheir Tamim

Zouheir Tamim, snacks marketing manager, General Mills, spoke about the significance of wellbeing. “We at Nature Valley like to encourage people to find ways to be mindful of their wellbeing in this busy modern life. The start of that journey is being connected to our roots — nature,” he said.

“This connection improves our mental and physical health, especially when it’s extended to the snacking choices that we make on daily basis. Small choices such as high protein, real ingredients, no preservatives, no artificial colorants and flavours make a big difference to how we start and end our day.”

Tamim invited participants to stop by their checkpoint and basecamp for competitive games during the day and night.

“We are excited to partner with Gulf News and bring that connection to life. Join the ride over charming dunes and relax under the captivating night sky with people you meet along the way — ‘Be One with Nature’,” Tamim said.

Another sponsor, Castrol Lubricants, is the exclusive lubricant partner of this Fun Drive. Castrol lubricants is distributing free environment-friendly goody bags to all participants beside giving free MAGNATEC SUV engine oil specially formulated for SUVs to all participants from their checkpoint.

‘Event of companionship’

Yogesh Valaulikar

Describing the Fun Drive as “an event of companionship”, Yogesh Valaulikar, managing director, Aqua de Fonte, said the community spirit of the Fun Drive is exemplified by how “thousands of people from around the world stay at the camp together, in a secure atmosphere and experience the delights of living in a community. It celebrates friendships, unity, and culture”.

He added: “We are looking forward to partnering with Gulf News Fun Drive as the official water partner. Aqua de Fonte aims to instil a feeling of freshness and refreshing flavour that quenches your thirst. It would be a great way to broaden of reach and highlight the health benefits of drinking water. Not only does it provide you with the energy you need but it is a much healthier alternative than carbonated and caffeinated drinks. With Aqua de Fonte as the water partner for Gulf New Fun Drive, we wish to create a wave of healthy living across the duration of the event.”

Creating memories

Khwaja Saifuddin Ahmad

Gulf News Fun Drive has been the trendsetter of having a fun-filled family time in the desert overnight and one of very few annual events that every outdoors-loving resident looks forward to, said Khwaja Saifuddin Ahmad, senior sales director — Middle East, Western Digital/Sandisk.

“The planning and management of an event of this magnitude in the middle of the desert complements the experience,” he added.

“For many years we have been associated with Gulf News Fun Drive. This year also we will be the communications sponsor as wherever there is data you need the best data storage products which we offer under our WD, Sandisk , WD_Black brands. Also, we will be sponsoring a checkpoint where the participants can catch a breath and also create memories of the event and later at the campsite experience and avail special offers.”

Going off-road

Navin Jacob

Navin Jacob, operations manager — TORC, The Off Road Company, invites all participants to the company’s exhibit hall where they will showcase their product range and share their off-road experiences with all. “We will give market proven recommendation to every interested participant to improve their 4x4 car in terms of reliability, performance and latest technology,” Jacob said.

“Gulf News Fun Drive is a great platform for our business house to showcase our rich experience and vast product range to like-minded adventurers, over-landers and nature lovers. Gulf News Fun Drive brings together the vast community under one umbrella and in one place while ensuring the safety and quality of the overall experience. The scenic routes, world-class amenities, ‘Gourmet-On-The-Go’, medical facility backup and excellent planning makes the event a memorable one for both the participant and the sponsors.”

All on track

BFGoodrich Tires have been long-term partners of Gulf News Fun Drive. This year was special, as participants got an exclusive feel of some to-be launched products which perform “extremely well” on their day-to-day drives and at the same time provide “superior experience” in mild off-road usage conditions, such as driving on sand.

Naser Shashaa, vice-president, Sales and Marketing for Michelin Middle East & North Africa cluster, said: “UAE has an interesting mix of pristine highways and beautiful deserts and our BFGoodrich range continues to thrill our customers with driving experience that is synonymous with the brand globally. We are very happy to see the excitement of the participants as they enjoy their drive on BFGoodrich tires.”

Jawahar Ganesh, managing director of Al Futtaim Auto Centers, said: “I came to UAE in 2021, and what amazes me is the choices of different terrain the country offers to drive on. Events like Gulf News Fun Drive offer a safe and exciting journey to both off-road enthusiasts and families to enjoy the day in a safe and fun environment. A big thank you to the organising team for planning this event, and we all look forward to a fun day with BFGoodrich.”

BFGoodrich Tires are displayed in the campsite booth and participants are invited to visit the booth to see the product and meet the team.

Game on

Gulf News Fun Drive provides a unique opportunity for driving enthusiasts – an adventurous yet safe desert driving experience which is otherwise not accessible, especially for beginner or amateurs, noted Sanjay Holmukhe, Founder & CEO of Techxhub.

He said: “Techxhub is driving the ecosystem development for sim-racing in the region to improve access to the best and latest sim-racing solutions. We believe participants in the Fun Drive to be motorsports fans and introduce sim-racing opportunities. Popular racing games like Gran Turismo and Forza have become more realistic, virtually replicating the thrill of driving the world’s fastest cars on world’s best racing circuits. There’s a next level opportunity for driving enthusiasts to pursue sim-racing esports with Assetto Corsa & F1 Esports and more.”

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The CEO added: “To get the best of performance and experience, Techxhub provides best-in-class sim-racing rigs that enable maximum immersion, which includes with a direct drive wheelbase from Simucube, Formula / GT steering wheel from Cube Controls, performance pedals form Heusinkveld, and the largest range of driving seats from Playseat.”

Gulf News Fun Drive participants can now experience “real-world racing and try some of the best sim-racing rigs”, he said.

“We will also have sim-racing esports tournaments with amazing prizes at the campsite. It will be a fun evening for all racing fans.”