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Entertaining evening provides icing on cake

Dubai: The 31st Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive lived up to its reputation of providing memorable experiences in the desert, courtesy some mighty dune bashing and an evening of splendid entertainment.

For the drivers, who traversed some of the highest sand dunes in Liwa for more than nine hours, a brilliant day of dune bashing could only be complete with an equally fantastic evening of delicious food and joyous entertainment.

On Friday afternoon, many remained zealous to possibly conquer the last sandhill in the expedition. But, it was soon time to head toward the camp site. Meanwhile, the search for a picturesque view of the sunset was fairly easy — nearly every corner pointing west had equally mesmerising views. The gentle wind and orange hue of the sand dunes made every picture a natural wonder.

Party to look forward to

Although tired bodies longed for rest, there was an evening of entertainment, games, music and dance to look forward to. It was a party no one wanted to miss. The camp was set to be a one-stop-shop for entertainment, food and activities.

Tourists, visitors, and residents spread around coffee tables, talked, laughed and shared their experiences of the day, and nature's wonders they had witnessed en route.

Live music and bands kept people of all cultures and interests entertained. Egyptian Tanoora dance, a broadway show sort of dance, and charismatic belly dancers enthralled the crowds.

Participants made a beeline to the food counters, where meats of different flavours, vegetables, rice and other foods were present to cater to different taste buds. A cake weighing 418 kilograms, specially baked for Gulf News courtesy Mafraq Hotel, was cut and shared among all the participants. The 3 metre by 3.2 metre cake, carved in the shape of the Fun Drive campsite, was sufficient for the thousands of participants.

Children enjoyed camel rides and face painting. Raffles and prizes offered by the sponsors put a smile on many winners' faces.

Police presence

The Abu Dhabi Police at the campsite attended to all the complaints and helped file accident reports for participants' insurance requirements. On Saturday morning, adults and kids hiked up the Moreeb dune to watch the sunrise. Some stayed a while on the slope before having breakfast and heading home.

Al-Futtaim Motors — Toyota, which has been sponsoring the Fun Drive for the past 22 years, was the main sponsor this year. Toyota, AXA, Al Masaood Bridgestone, Dubai Duty Free, Motorola, Nescafe, Orient Travel and United Arab Bank sponsored the checkpoints.

The Fun Drive numbers were sponsored by 3M Protected. Danube Buildmart provided the wheel covers. The Fun Drive was also supported by Al Ain Water, Alco, Byrne, DAW Ironman 4x4, E-Max, IATC, Intersport, UAE Exchange, Liwa Hotel, and NMC Healthcare which provided medical assistance at the camp.

MainStage Music and Events handled the entertainment while Mafraq Hotel in Abu Dhabi undertook the catering services for the event. The Fun Drive was held with the support of the Abu Dhabi Motor Club.

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