NAT John Spiller-1646381723563
John Spiller, Fun Drive Route Director, during an interview at Gulf News office in Dubai. 7th January 2019 Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: “Everybody is itching to get back on the sand,” said Gulf News Fun Drive route director, John Spiller, as the overnighter ‘Tilal Swaihan Experience’ is set to return after a gap of two years owing to the pandemic. This year’s Gulf News Fun Drive, powered by Nissan, is set for March 5 and 6.

“This is the longest gap between two editions of Gulf News Fun Drive and I am so happy that this year we decided to go ahead with it,” Spiller added. Speaking to Gulf News, Spiller said: “Hopefully, we can put COVID-19 behind us and have a fun trip through and through. This year, we are going back to Tilal Swaihan as they were great hosts last time.”

Balanced route

Spiller said the route this year is a balanced one. “Those participating in Fun Drive for the first time have the option to choose an easier route. The more experienced drivers can opt for a harder terrain, so they can have their fair share of adventure.” He added that the optional route was meant to ensure that everybody enjoyed the Tilal Swaihan experience. “The route is similar to last time, but we have introduced a more entertaining option as we go around the route. We would like people to enjoy their weekend adventure, than stressing about getting stuck in the sand,” he explained.

The route last time was a ‘loop’, meaning that the starting and finishing points were at the same location. This year, Spiller said the route will be largely similar, but there will be an easy option available for first-time Fun Drivers.

Spiller said there would be 78 marshals on duty to assist Gulf News Fun Drivers.

“There will always be challenges, but we have always dealt with them in the best possible manner — thanks to our 36-year experience in organising the Gulf News Fun Drive,” he added.

People keen on adventure

Spiller said the pandemic had put a pause on people’s plans to get out and have fun. “They are keen to get out of their homes now for some outdoor adventure. That’s why we are putting together a really fun and entertaining weekend for the participants.”

Spiller, an experienced event director, route coordinator and Clerk of the Course with a proven history of working in the international motorsport-related events said this time, organising the event involved some additional challenges. “A host of events have opened up and marshalling people for this event was a challenge. But the Gulf News Fun Drive is very important to us and we have 78 marshals on board to steer the show for us. We look forward to an exciting weekend of fun,” he added.

About the venue

Tilal Swaihan is a venue for thrilling activities, camping and fun rides for the entire family, as well as a perfect hotspot for an overnighter, said Spiller.