Video Credit: Logan Fish/Gulf News

The 38th Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive flagged off with much fan-fare on Friday. The Fun Drive took off from Al Fathiya in Hameem road, the starting point, to the finishing line, the Moreeb dunes at the beginning of the Empty Quarter.

Over 800 four-wheel vehicles are revved up for the region’s biggest off-roading event. For the uninitiated, the Moreeb dune at Empty Quarter is the highest dune in the UAE offering a breath-taking backdrop.

Day 2

10.09am

The desert fun is not over yet. It's Day 2 of the event and participants are raving.

"This is the first time we actually ventured and participated in the fun drive...For such a hugecrowd, the event was well organised," said Priya Kapoor.

Her husband Pradeep said: "I've been driving for 20+ years, and it's my first time to join a desert fun drive. We've done some camping and all but not full-fledge (desert outing). "I was not sure initially if could complete (the drive), but I'm thankful for the team," Pradeep added.

Kapoor quipped: "Seriously amazed, Gulf News really organised it well. Thank You."

9.45am

Awesome, amazing, unbelievable.

Those are some of the words used by the participants raving about their desert experience as part of the Gulf News Fun Drive.

8.39am

The Fun Drive participants are off to another day out in the dunes. 

8.15am

Surrounded by the undulating sand plains and rises, participants gather for a quiet breakfast. Everyone loves the food and the camping arrangements.

7.45am

After breakfast, kids explore the desert on foot.

7.15am

The desert on the edge of the Empty Quarter is awesome. Weather in the open desert is cold at this time of the year. The Fun Drive participants are off to another day out in the dunes to the final destination today.

6.30am

It's breakfast time in the desert, where a sumptuous meal is served.

And Fun Drive participants welcome the sunrise in the midst of mighty dunes.

Getting ready to explore part of the Empty Quarter on Day 2 of the overnighter.

Fun drive breakfast
Participants having a sumptuous breakfast in the UAE desert. Image Credit: Gulf News

Gulf News Fun Drive Day one concludes

9.16pm

Gulf News Fun Drive cake cutting.

8.25pm

Tanoura dance at the Mureeb Camp.

7.55pm

Dinner has been served. Participants gather for dinner and dessert. Evangeline Jose/Gulf News

7.45pm

Fun’s not over yet at the Gulf News Fun Drive. We are at the the Al Mureeb camp and there are lot of entertainment activities.

7.14pm

Participants at the Fun Drive are colouring this Land Cruiser Evangeline Jose/Gulf News

7.03pm

Bollywood performances getting the crowd going Bindu Rai/Gulf News

6.51pm

Kids at the camp have some fun finding the golden ball Anjana Kumar/Gulf News
Another game for children Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

6.47pm

Philip Eapen, Fun Drive marshal for 20 years talks about today’s drive Evangeline Jose/Gulf News

6.41pm

Don't miss the laser show on the mighty Moreeb dune Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

6.33pm

Marshal no 1 Stephen Dessurne, who was in the lead car, recaps his Fun Drive experience with tips for novice off-roaders. Bindu Rai/Gulf News

6.15pm

David Pryce Marshal interview after a long day of rescuing Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

5.58pm

A fun activity at the Moreeb camp Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

5.43pm

Father son duo Vivek and Dheer say they had a fabulous ride to the camp Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

5.37pm

Activities galore await people at the camp Anjana Kumar/Gulf News
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Hridvi Shah, aged 2, is one of the youngest members on the fun drive. She's earned a well deserved playtime at camp Image Credit: Bindu Rai/Gulf News

5.32pm

Happy dune bashers at the camp Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

5.28pm

After a long day in the desert, participants enjoying little luxuries at the camp. Bindu Rai/Gulf News

5.20pm

At the Moreeb camp setting with the mighty dune in the backdrop Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

5.14pm

4.55pm

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Final stretch to the overnight camp set up at base of the Moreeb Dune Image Credit: Bindu Rai/Gulf News

4.00pm

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Camp at Liwa coming up soon Image Credit: Bindu Rai/Gulf News

3.35pm

Some cars now taking the shortcut to reach camp. Bindu Rai/Gulf News

3.00pm

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Mitch Perera from Sri Lanka is a second generation marshal. He started 32 years ago as a navigator when his dad Chris Perera was a marshal. Image Credit: Evangeline Jose/Gulf News

2.40pm

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Some cars have gone off the route, marshals have gone behind them to re-route the participants on the right track. Image Credit: Evangeline Jose/Gulf News

2.30pm

A challenging dune approaches participants. Marshals instruct drivers as the drive over it. Falah Gulzar/Gulf News

2.15pm

While their vehicle is stuck, a mother and her kids send out a message for Gulf News Bindu Rai/Gulf News

2.05

The dunes are where the action is at... Bindu Rai/Gulf News

2.00pm

Press Car driver pulls a participant out of a tough spot. Clint Egbert/Gulf News

1.50pm

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Marshals Pradish Thomas and Anit Zhakur stand proud after rescuing four people from a SUV that was wedged in deep in the dunes. Image Credit: Bindu Rai/Gulf News

1.45pm

Participants jump in to help other vehicles trapped in the sand. Bindu Rai/Gulf News

1.10pm

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Another rescue attempt underway Image Credit: Bindu Rai/Gulf News

12.01pm

Faateh Ahmad is a second generation marshal at the Gulf News Fun Drive. Has been part of the event since he was eight years old. Inspired by his father, who is also a marshal, he decided to join this year. Falah Gulzar/Gulf News

11.40pm

eggs
Eggs being distributed after Checkpoint 2, all participants Image Credit: Evangeline Jose/Gulf News

Dalia Henderson and James Henderson said that the news about the Gulf News Fun Drive "spread all around Dubai." Falah Gulzar/Gulf News
Simimol Raijo, Raijo James and family, very excited first timers. Right from the beginning of the event they knew that they will be at the Gulf News Fun Drive next year. Falah Gulzar/Gulf News

11.00am

Cars making their way over the dunes. Evangeline Jose/Gulf News

10.44am

friends
A group of friends gather to say cheers for us Image Credit: Anjana Kumar/Gulf News
camels
Caravan of camels spotted Image Credit: Bindu Rai/Gulf News

10.24am


Hanspeter Rohner is a first time marshal has come all the way from Switzerland only for The Fun Drive. He is a stunt flyer/pilot and an off roader. He is with marshal Jacob Oommen, who has been driving with GN Fun Drive for 12 years. Evangeline Jose/Gulf News

Hanspeter Rohner is a first time marshal has come all the way from Switzerland only for The Fun Drive. He is a stunt flyer/pilot and an off roader. He is with marshal Jacob Oommen, who has been driving with GN Fun Drive for 12 years.

First help job of the day, participant Surendra Dhanekula’s children helped him deflate the cars tyres, but they were too deflated. Here marshals are helping them with the correct tyre pressure.


10.19am

Marshalls
Marshals working hard to get this four-wheeler out of the sand. Image Credit: Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

10.01am

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Volunteers handing calendars at the first check point. Image Credit: Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

9.43am


9.23am

first group
First group of cars in the desert Image Credit: Bindu Rai/Gulf News

9.15am

Cars at the flag off, Gulf News teams cheer for the participants Evangeline Jose/Gulf News

9.03am

flagoff
Shaikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan and Rajeev Khanna, Gulf News Commercial Director, flagging off the drive. Image Credit: Bindu Rai/Gulf News

8.27am


7.34am

A bunch of excited children on their first Gulf News Fun Drive and they are expecting one bumpy day ahead. Anjana Kumar/Gulf News
At the check-in counter. Off-roading enthusiasts arrive early to register their vehicles for the Gulf News Fun Drive in Al Fathiya. Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

6.00am