181224 fun drive
The first Fun Drive was held on March 28, 1986. Seven day drives, 26 overnighters, one Abu Dhabi day drive and three Friday fun drives have been held so far. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Online registration for the 38th Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive, to be held on January 11 and 12, 2019, opens on December 24.

Those interested in taking part in the annual event can visit the website www.gnfundrive.com to register; preference will be given to Gulf News subscribers.

The Fun Drive, which will be held in the Western Region, will start at Al Fathiya on Hameem Road and end at the Moreeb dune camp in Liwa, which is the start of The Empty Quarter.

Although 2019 will be the 33rd year of the Fun Drive, the January event will be the 38th; some years have hosted two Fun Drives.

The first Fun Drive, a day drive really, was held on March 28, 1986. Seven day drives, 26 overnighters, one Abu Dhabi day drive and three Friday fun drives have been held so far.

Entry fee, inclusive of VAT, is Dh500 for adults and Dh210 for children under 12. Those under the age of four get free entry. Payments will be refunded if entries are not accepted. If a participant wishes to cancel, this will be accepted until December 28. Payments for additional passengers will be accepted between January 2 and 4. The list of confirmed participants will be published in Gulf News on December 30. Fun Drive numbers will be assigned to those confirmed and a mail informing them of theirs will go out on the same day.

The main sponsor of the Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive is Al Futtaim Motors — Toyota, the checkpoint sponsors include Al Jazira Poultry Farm LLC, FASTFIT, G-Shock, Orient Tours, Orient Travel, Toyota and Western Digital.

Support sponsors include Byrne, Emirates Water, Flow Composite Manufacturing FZC, Fly Audio & Almani by Ahaat, JANSPORT, TORC - The Off Road Company and US Polo Association. Catering is by JA Resorts & Hotels and Mafraq Hotel. Food packs will be provided by Mister Baker. Fun Drive numbers will be sponsored by Amity University Dubai. The communication sponsor is SanDisk and tyre sponsor BF Goodrich. Recovery is by IATC and the Fun Drive is being held with the support of Al Gharbia Sports Club.

Participants should arrive by 7am, park in designated spaces and walk over to the check-in to complete formalities, have breakfast and collect their goodies, which include cases of water, lunch boxes and bags. After that, participants are required to deflate car tyres and line up for departure.

The lead car will be flagged off at 9am and convoys will follow. The first vehicles should arrive at the campsite by 4pm.

Amenities at the camp include community tents, portaloos, showers and food and beverage counters. Entertainment programmes which have been lined up include camel rides, circus shows, a magic show, DJ and live band and belly dance performances. Overnight stay will be followed by breakfast which will be served between 7 and 9am.

How to register

Visit the website www.gnfundrive.com

Entry fee: Inclusive of VAT, Dh500 for adults and Dh210 for children under 12; free for children under 4

Entry cancellation: to be accepted until December 28

Additional passenger payments: Between January 2 and 4

List of confirmed participants: To be published in Gulf News on December 30

Fun Drive Information Pack and when to get them from Gulf News offices:

Dubai: January 2-4, between 9am and 7pm

Abu Dhabi: January 2, 3 between 9am and 2pm

Al Ain: January 2, 3 between 8am and 11am

The Fun Drive Disclaimer, with original signatures of all participants, will have to be handed in when collecting the pack. This pack will not be issued unless the Disclaimer has been handed in.

What makes the Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive popular?

  • It is not a rally or race, but a fun event of fun for the whole family
  • It is an opportunity to venture out, without worry, into the desert, because of the charted route, detailed instruction and help at hand
  • It is an opportunity to enjoy an outdoors weekend, with every possible amenity provided
  • It is an event of companionship, where over 3,000 persons stay at the camp in a congenial and secure atmosphere and savour the delights of five-star catering, continuous live entertainment and communal living.