Gulf News Fun Drive, which started off way back in 1986 with just 75 four-wheel drive vehicles, has today grown into one of the biggest events in Dubai’s calendar. The off-roading extravaganza has grown tremendously in popularity that since 1997, the number of vehicles had to be capped at 750, and the number of participants between 2,500 and 3,000.

The 37th edition of the overnight desert bash will take place on January 12 and 13, and returns to the Northern Emirates after a gap of three years. While the flag-off will be at 8am on Friday, January 12, at the UAE Motorplex in Umm Al Quwain, participants will start arriving at 6am, park in the designated areas, complete check-in, have breakfast and collect their goody bags, which will include water and a lunch box.


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The route this year, set by route director John Spiller (see our interview in the next page), comprises vast stretches of sand and hills along scenic landscapes. It is estimated to take 8 hours to cover, after which participants head to an elaborate camp set up at the Al Aqran area in Umm Al Quwain.

Amenities at the camp include community tents, food & beverages, live entertainment with a DJ and a belly dancer. As with every previous Overnighter, participants will be provided breakfast the next morning before they leave.