Video Credit: Cling Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: The GWM (Great Wall Motor) TANK 500 is a big thumbs up for this seasoned off-roader and marshal on duty at the Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive Tilal Swaihan Experience, supported by the Department of Municipalities and Transport, Al Ain City Municipality.

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Mitchell Perera who is also the head of control room for the Gulf News Fun Drive to be held this weekend (Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11), said the GWM TANK sprung a surprise with its superior performance on the desert.

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Perera besides the GWM TANK 500 Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Perera put his valuable 39 years of off-road experience (and his 39th year marshaling the Gulf News Fun Drive) to the test with the bold and luxurious looking GWM TANK 500 on Saturday (February 3) during the Marshal’s drive on the 42nd Gulf News Fun Drive route.

A seasoned off-roader to say the least, Perera said once engaged the GWM TANK 500 is unstoppable.

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GN Fun Drive logo for 42nd edition
Image Credit: Gulf News

The exterior

“At first glance the GWM TANK 500 is breathtaking and very much like a premium SUV with some admirable features,” said Perera.

“The front of the vehicle has a bold look and the lights compliment the face of the car with its luxurious look usually seen in high-end premium cars. The front grill has a bold letter T embedded and the rest of the bumper is designed flawlessly giving it a very rugged off-road look.”

He said: “From the side it looks very stylish and has great lines making it very aerodynamic and hence reflects in the fuel consumption and overall style. The rear comes with a swing out soft closing single door and has an integrated rear roof spoiler with very futuristic looking rear LED tail lights.”


Perera is partial of the interior. “This is where the magic is on GWM TANK 500. The leather used inside, the stitch is only found in exotic and premium car segments. The luxury leather trim continues all the way across the SUV.”

“The steering comes with a very comfortable tilt and telescopic steering with user friendly controls. The centre console is equipped with the transmission shifter and all the necessary soft touch buttons which controls the 4WD modes, the front and rear differential locks.”

The GWM TANK comes with fully integrated wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto enabled and is very easy to pair. “The centre screen is where all the infotainment system is and comes with many creative features not found in many luxury SUVs in this segment. I found the 4WD expert mode very interesting and once engaged the GWM TANK 500 is unstoppable. It even comes with a racing mode and a drift mode which I have never seen on any 4WD truck or SUV to date.”

He added that the legroom in the middle and on the third row is very comfortable and roomy.


Equipped with a 3-litre twin turbo V6 mated to a 9 speed automatic gives this SUV a lot of muscle. The off-road performance is very superior and handles exceptionally well. The GWM TANK 500 that was tested is equipped with optional twin fuel tanks and has approximately 1000 km ideal for those overlanding or long trips. Once engaged in 4WD modes and based on terrain and driving style that figure may change, however the GWM TANK is one of the most fuel economical SUVs in this segment.

Main sponsor

GWM (Great Wall Motor) is distributed in the UAE by Swaidan Trading Co., a division of Al Naboodah Group since 2003 is the automotive sponsor of the 42nd Gulf News Fun Drive, Tilal Swaihan Experience.

Checkpoint sponsors for the event include the exclusive Automotive Sponsor, GWM Tank - Al Naboodah, and Castrol Magnatec, which serves as the exclusive lubricant sponsor. Additionally, Dobinsons Springs & Suspension Trading LLC, Al Jazira Poultry Farms LLC, TORC – The Off Road Company, and Yokohama Geolandar, the official tire for the event, and Quanta who are also the Ice-cream sponsor, are among the checkpoint sponsors.

Other support sponsors comprise Karcher, Xbox, Byrne, Steigens, Almarai, Armaf, Ciel Events, Plastica, Baqer Mohebi and Tornado Watches.

Capital Hospitality is responsible for catering the Fun Drive, while the Iranian Hospital is the medical partner. Recovery operations are being handled by IATC – the International Automobile and Touring Club of UAE. Al Ain Water is the official water sponsor, and Twinings is our Official Tea Sponsor.