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UAE companies come together to support the “41st Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive, the Tilal Swaihan Experience, being held from Feb. 11-12 Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE companies are coming together to support the “41st Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive, the Tilal Swaihan Experience, Powered by Al Masaood”.

The 2023 edition of the popular adventure weekend event will be held on Saturday, February 11, and Sunday, February 12, in the open desert of the emirate of Al Ain.

The Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive the Tilal Swaihan Experience, Powered by Al Masaood. The latest Fun Drive will again take place in a ‘Loop’ format, meaning it will start and end at the same location. Tilal Swaihan is approximately 70 kms from Al Ain. The area is a tourist destination and recreational campsite that blends local resources and UAE’s rich culture with world-class amenities and attractions.

Main sponsor

Bachir Gemayel, Sales and Marketing Director, Al Masaood Automobiles said: “For the second year in a row, we are thrilled to support the Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive as the event brings together adventure enthusiasts, their families, and friends for a fun outdoor weekend. This is in line with our commitment to support initiatives and activities that benefit the community and promote a variety of sports as well as help establish Abu Dhabi as a global hub for sporting events. It also highlights the importance of the “Sports & Youth” pillar of Al Masaood’s CSR program, which emphasises the importance of enriching the cultural and social fabric of our community through the incorporation of sports as a way of life and involving youth in a variety of activities.”

Copy of FUNDRIVE Overnighter COL Logo 1-1676038122807

Gulf News Fun Drive — a popular adventure

“The Gulf News Fun Drive is a popular adventure event that has been going on for four decades, with car enthusiasts and their families looking forward to enjoying themselves year after year. This family-oriented, social desert drive offers a terrific opportunity to participants to get to know the community and enjoy a blend of adventure, outdoor thrill, and communal living in the vast Arabian Desert. We are delighted to participate in the event for the second successive year as it reflects Al Masaood’s vision of embracing Emirati culture, heritage, and traditions through a variety of sporting events and other activities.”

Logistics support and more

As the exclusive automotive partner, Al Masaood Automobiles will be providing logistics support in the festival using a line-up of Nissan Patrol Super Safari units available to attendees so that they can relish the dunes seamlessly. The division is showcasing some of its popular Nissan models — including the 2023 Nissan Patrol, the all-new 2023 Nissan X-TRAIL, and Nissan Patrol Nismo — during the overnight event.

“We recently launched the all-new 2023 Nissan Patrol, with pioneering NissanConnect technology, across all our showrooms in the national capital. NissanConnect, which is the Nissan’s first-of-its-kind digital platform in the region, offers customers a seamless connection between their vehicles and smartphones for access to a variety of services that improve the overall ownership experience,” said Gemayel. He added: “The all-new 2023 Nissan X-TRAIL, which is another addition to our line-up of cars, has already captured the attention of car enthusiasts in the region with its elevated, luxury style that is a genuine representation of the Nissan spirit — versatile and adventurous.”

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Nissan Patrol: The hero of all terrains

The Nissan Patrol, or the Hero of All Terrains, comes with two varied engines — a 4.0-litre V6 engine that produces 275 horsepower and 394 NM of torque, offering a unique combination of power, performance, and efficiency; or a larger 5.6-litre V8 engine that generates 400 horsepower and 560 NM of torque for ultimate performance in the toughest of conditions.

“Then we have the Nissan Patrol Nismo, the race-inspired version of the legendary Nissan Patrol, which underlines the brand’s heritage as a motorsport brand, and the region’s long-standing love for high-performance vehicles.”

Support sponsors

The support sponsors of the Gulf News Fun Drive include Al Ain Water, Byrne, Halwani Bros, Mother’s Recipe, and Plastica Industries LLC.

Checkpoint sponsors

Checkpoint sponsors are 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. The official caterer for the Fun Drive is Capital Hospitality. Vehicle numbers are sponsored by SUKOON Insurance.

Event host

The event is being hosted by Tilal Swaihan, Al Ain.

The official caterer

The official caterer for the Gulf News Fun Drive is Capital Hospitality

Tyre sponsor — Yokohama

An event for off-roading enthusiasts

Vikas Anand, General Manager, Tyres & Batteries Department of Yokohama said: “It is a fun event for off-roading enthusiasts to enjoy some family time while challenging their vehicles in the desert. As a tyre sponsor it provides us with the opportunity to showcase our range to a small but niche audience.”

Raffle draw, complimentary giveaways at Fun Drive

Anand said there will be raffle draw, prizes, complimentary items — like 10 T-shirts for GN personnel, facilities for pressure check and tyres re-inflation after the drive ends.

Medical and humanitarian assistance

Iranian Hospital is lending its support of humanity with medical services for Fun Drive attendees and lending a healthy support.

“The Iranian Hospital, under the auspices of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, is honoured to be a supporter of social activities aimed at improving society’s health and happiness. We are pleased to announce that Iranian Hospital-Dubai has been providing medical services to UAE nationals and other expatriates for more than 50 years. The Fun Drive is a major activity in the UAE to promote a healthy and wellness environment for humans. We are ready to support this cheerful assembly through medical support,” said Dr. Shahin Mohammad Sadeghi, Director General of Iranian Hospital.

Looking forward to a fun-filled experience

Khalid Shaikh, Sales Manager at Al Jazira Poultry Farm said: “Gulf News Fun Drive’ from the name itself indicates a fun filled experience to be spent with family and friends. We have noticed the rise in popularity of the Fun Drive over the years amongst the UAE, Gulf residents. The Covid-19 era did put a pause on family oriented fun experiences only to leave a serious learning that life is short and that we must not lose any opportunity enjoying life to the fullest,” said Shaikh, adding that the Drive offers that very opportunity.”

Partnering since many years

“We have been partnering with Gulf News for the Fun Drive since many years now as check post sponsors. The energy and zeal among the participants associated with the Drive reflects an energy that can be derived on daily consumption of Al Jazira produced quality and healthy variety of fresh eggs. We are sampling fresh eggs to all the participants crossing our check post.”

Quality products at the Fun Drive

He added: “AJPF is known for producing quality and healthy egg products through innovation and a dedicated team that provide the best to the end consumer. Today, we have the largest variety of nutritious eggs ranging from a regular variety to Omega-3, DHA Omega-3, Lutein, Eco and Vegan-fed hen eggs, Folic Acid and Freshest Organic eggs; each variety imparting a distinct health benefit to the consumer. The most recent addition to our range is the ‘Smoked Eggs’ which has already been declared by many of our customers as a clear winner on the taste aspect blended with the perfect smoke aroma. This year we wish to bring the ‘smoked eggs’ experience to the Fun Drive participants for them to relish the taste along with the numerous health benefits.

Fun Drive professionally organised

Castrol spokesperson said the Gulf News Fun Drive is very professionally organised. “There is full knowledge on the terrain ahead of the event by providing the required infrastructure “On Ground” for a near perfect “Off-roading” experience,” said the spokesperson.

“Castrol lubricants is providing free products on site. A six litre pack of Castrol MAGNATEC will be provided for all the off-roaders to experience the brand performance. Castrol MAGNATEC lubricants is the preferred lubricants choice by all off-roaders for their cars,” said the spokesperson.

“As mentioned, there will not be any spokesperson from Castrol due to company guidelines.”

Spectacular off-road family event

Roshanara Sait, Founder, Ciel Marketing & Events said the Gulf News Fun Drive has and will always be a spectacular off-road family event, the best in the UAE. “One gets to experience the magnificent UAE desert in an adventurous but safe way, surely a great camping weekend for the entire family. The organisation is superb and the hospitality, campsite and entertainment excellent. I, personally have been associated with the Fun Drive since 1997 and this association is a privilege,” said Sait.

“We will provide the entertainment on campsite, which matches the high standards of the event as a whole. The atmosphere at the campsite will be vibrant, with show lighting, excellent music, laser beams belly dancers, Bhangra and Bollywood. We will create a fabulous celebration and a perfect finale to a perfect day,” said Sait.

Backpacks for marshals and navigators

Jan Sport and REEF are providing backpacks for marshals and navigators.

Neyha Nurie — Marketing Manager, said: “As a brand JanSport and REEF believe in outdoor adventures, active lifestyle and the thrills it brings along while exploring nature in a dynamic way. The Gulf News Fun Drive offers a great opportunity to bring the adventures to life.”

“We are providing backpacks for the marshals and navigators for the crucial role they will play in ensuring the success of the event. JanSport backpacks will come in handy to store all essentials and more. JanSport makes iconic backpacks and bags for men and women, for travel and school, for outdoor and city adventures.

REEF makes eco-conscious and high-quality comfortable products that look as good on the streets as they do on the beach. The products are designed to make you feel ridiculously comfortable, relaxed and free in any environment,” explained Nurie.