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LEISURE Preparations under way for the 32nd Gulf News Fun Drive

More than 1,000 4x4s expected to participate in attempt to set world record

By Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter
January 9, 2013

Dubai: Preparations are in full swing for the 32nd Gulf News Fun Drive on Friday, organisers said.

More than 1,000 4x4s are expected to descend on 7he Sevens where they will be flagged off for a 200-kilometre desert drive in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for being the ‘Largest Convoy of Off-Road Vehicles’.

Over at the site, 85 highly experienced marshals have put up arrows along the route to ensure no one will get lost on their way to the camp.

Saliya Jayaweera, Deputy Route Director of the Fun Drive, told Gulf News that the route is 100 per cent new and passes through a section of Dubai desert which most people have not seen yet.

“I have been driving at the Gulf News Fun drive for the past ten years and this is the most unique route so far,” Jayaweera said.

“When you get to Section 6, there is a special section called Jabel’s Delight which is a 10-12-kilometre stretch of very challenging and soft terrain. When we get to Section 8, we have a lot of red sand,” he added.

Before the flag off, participants will be treated to a variety of breakfast items including an Indian breakfast bar and a continental breakfast courtesy of 7he Sevens.

“Preparations are going well and it is great to see 7he Sevens getting ready to welcome the 2,500 participants to the 32nd Gulf News Fun Drive,” Kerstie Cooper, Events Coordinator at 7he Sevens, told Gulf News.

“Making sure that all participants and marshals arrive and depart on time is a vital part of the day so we are putting everything in place to guarantee this will happen,” she added.

At the campsite, tents are going up, rollers, graders and bowsers are at work so that the ground is just right.

“We have catered for many Gulf News Fun Drive events and for many other desert events, so it’s nice to see the transformation of a desert into an event area,” Ralph Hayes, Corporate Director of Hospitality, Events and Restaurants at JA Resorts & Hotels, told Gulf News.

Hayes said a team of 90 chefs will be preparing the Fun Drivers’ Friday dinner and breakfast at the camp the next day. An international menu will be on offer keeping in mind the different nationalities of the participants.

“It’s going to be a chilly night out there and the biggest challenge will be to keep the hot food ‘hot’. With cold wind blowing from all angles, we want to ensure that the guests are served delicious food and there are lots of items that come directly off the grills,” he added.

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