Nissan photo for Gulf News Fun Drive
Off-roading is one of many attractions of the annual Gulf News Fun Drive Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The highly-anticipated Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive ‘Tilal Swaihan Experience’ returns this year, to be held March 5 and 6 (Saturday and Sunday), offering participants off-roading thrills in the pristine endless sands, and entertainment and dining at the camp site.

Marking the start of a new association with Nissan, Al Masaood Automobiles Company LLC and Arabian Automobiles Co. LLC, registration for the latest 40th edition of the annual event opens at 9am on Saturday online at There is no in-person registration.

Being hosted by Tilal Swaihan, Adnec and with the support of the Al Ain Municipality, the Fun Drive returns to the vast Tilal Swaihan desert area of Al Ain region, again offering the Overnighter and Loop format, meaning participants will embark on a seven-hour desert drive from the camp site in the morning and return to it before sundown. They will then enjoy a night of festivities and dining under the cool winter sky, surrounded by dunes, and, after a hearty breakfast the following morning, return to their homes.

Memorable experience awaits

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Chairman of the Committee of the Tilal Swaihan Festival, welcomed the Fun Drive. He said: “We are looking forward to welcoming all participants of the Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive. The last edition held in January 2020 was a huge success, and we are certain that the upcoming Fun Drive in March will provide participants with another fantastic and memorable Tilal Swaihan experience that will leave them wanting more.”

Abdul Hamid Ahmed, CEO & Editor-in-Chief & Executive Director Publications, Gulf News, said: “Over the years, the Gulf News Fun Drive has become a very established and popular brand, not only among Gulf News readers, but others too. It has been a hugely successful yearly event for nearly four decades. People from around the emirates and beyond eagerly wait for the announcement of the Fun Drive every year, so they can register themselves in time. As a result, we witness that the bookings fill up within a day or two.”

The first Fun Drive was a Day Drive only and was held on March 28, 1986. So far, there have been seven Day Drives, 28 Overnighters, one Abu Dhabi Day Drive and three Friday Fun Drives, thus making the upcoming one as the 40th.

Free PCR tests

As per current UAE government rules, all persons entering the camp will need to display a 96-hour negative COVID-19 PCR test result on the official UAE Alhosn App. The tests will be provided free-of-cost to Fun Drive participants. Full details will be forwarded to each registered participant.

Gulf News Fun Drive Nissan logo
Image Credit: Gulf News

Support of partners

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

The event is being hosted by Tilal Swaihan, Department of Municipalities and Transport, Al Ain City Municipality and Adnec.

Checkpoint sponsors include Nissan, Dobinsons Springs & Suspension Trading LLC, Castrol Lubricants, Sandisk, Nature Valley and TORC The Offroad Company.

Support sponsors include Aqua De Fonte, Techxhub, Camptrek, Dubai Ice, Byrne, Plastica Industries LLC, Dhofar Global and Lifeline Healthcare Group.

Catering and food packs will be provided by Capital Hospitality. Fun Drive numbers are sponsored by Tilal Swaihan. Communication Cponsor is Western Digital and tyre sponsor is BFGoodrich. Castrol Lubricants is the exclusive Lubricant Sponsor and recovery is by IATC. Entertainment is by Oblivion by Black Mountain Entertainment.