Monday, 13 January 2014

Gulf News Fun Drive

On Friday, 10th Jan we attended the Gulf News Fun Drive. It is basically a planned/guided day long drive in the desert that is organised every year since 33 years now. 
Cars going up and down the dunes
I went in not knowing what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to see the huge turnout- more than 900 cars and the expanse of the arrangements. In essence, there was a guided route to be followed with about 8-10 check points. The target was to complete 6 check points by 2.30 pm to avoid driving in the desert in the dark.

Throughout the track, their were 'Marshal' and 'Sweep cars' that are driving around to provide help with any kind of problems. The underlying feeling was of great camaraderie and team spirit where strangers helped each other out with cars stuck in the sand, punctured tyres etc.

The changing terrain starting from more firm mud tracks to soft sand

The overnight event includes a breakfast, a packed lunch, a dinner and again a breakfast next morning apart from the Marshals and Camp facilities overnight for the cost of AED 350 per person. We went in prepared with bags full of food expecting the food quality to be as bad as that at the Desert Safaris but to the contrary, the catering was by Jabel Ali Resorts which could easily rival a brunch spread in a 5 star hotel. A few top tips:
  • Go as lightly packed as you can 
  • Don't set a goal to finish the course, do as much as you can and return to the camp to enjoy the experience of a night in the desert
  • Eat as less as you can before and during the drive
  • Carry anti-sickness medicines 
  • Do not go in with your new fancy car - there will be more appropriate occasions to flaunt it

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