Death in Qatar: Repatriation and Funeral Procedures (2024)

Doha Guides Team regularly reviews this article to ensure the content is up-to-date and accurate. The last editorial review and update were on 06 February 2024.

The death of a family member or friend is difficult at any time, but the procedures in a foreign country may add to your stress and pain.

Qatar has opened a new Humanitarian Services Office located near the Hamad General Hospital Mortuary to facilitate these procedures and bring all services under one roof.

This guide is prepared based on the information provided by the Ministry of Interior and can be helpful in case of an unfortunate demise.

Death in Qatar: The Repatriation Procedure

The procedures will be completed through teamwork between the Ministry of Interior (Security Department, police stations and Forensic Centre), Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar Airways, Public Prosecution, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Department of Consular Affairs) and the coordinators in Embassies and Consulates.

First of all, any deaths occurring outside a hospital must be reported to the police by dialling 999.

Upon arrival, the police will fill out an initial death report and transfer the deceased to the Hamad General Hospital Mortuary. There is no charge for the mortuary service at the Hamad Hospital. It is possible for bodies to be embalmed at the mortuary.

The death should also be informed to the next kin in the home country and the concerned embassy of the deceased’s country.

Post-mortems are not usually carried out, although relatives must sign a consent form beforehand if required. After the procedures at the mortuary, you have to proceed to the Unified Services Department at Humanitarian Services Office.

Humanitarian Services Office Location and Timing

The Humanitarian Services Office is located exactly behind the Mortuary of Hamad General Hospital and close to the HR Department of the HMC and Ritaj Hotel.

Qatar Humanitarian Services Office Location Map

The new office provides simplified procedures for the repatriation of the bodies of expatriates who die in Qatar and also for their local burial if needed.

  • The office will remain open from 7 am to 9 pm seven days a week.

The procedures to be followed in the office are as follows, along with documents that need to be provided:

1. HMC (Counters 1 and 2 at the Humanitarian Services Office)

Required documents:

  • Passport of the deceased
  • ID of the person who reports the death
  • Filling up the death registration form
  • Collection of death notification report issued by the doctor

2. Ministry of Public Health (Counters 3 and 4)

Required documents:

  • Death notification report issued by HMC
  • Passport of the deceased
  • ID of the person who reports the death
  • Death registration form
  • Consent form of handing over the body – issued by the police (if the death occurred outside the hospital).

The MoPH issues the following documents :

  • Death certificate
  • Embalming certificate and documents for repatriating bodies outside Qatar (Letter to Customs, Letter to a health department official in the country of the deceased and Letter to mortuary).
  • Burial Permit (in case of burial inside the country)

3. Ministry of Interior (Counters 5, 6 and 7)

Issuance of the “To whom it may concern” certificate, cancellation of the residence permit (RP) of the deceased and exit permit for the bodies are done here.

  • Documents required for cancellation of the RP:
    • Copy of the death certificate
    • RP cancellation application
    • Copy of the ID of the sponsor
    • Original ID or original ID missing report
    • Passport of the deceased
  • Documents required to obtain “To whom it may concern” certificate:
    • Copy of the death certificate
    • Copy of the embalming certificate
    • Copy of the death report
    • Letter from the police of the death if it took place outside the hospital.
  • Documents required to get Exit Permit for the body:
    • Exit declaration
    • Death certificate
    • Passport of the deceased
    • RP cancellation

4. Qatar Airways (Counter 8)

Qatar Airways issues the “cargo policy” along with the ticket for the person accompanying the body.

Documents required by Qatar Airways:

  • Copy of death certificate
  • Copy of the “To whom it may concern” certificate
  • Letter from the Embassy
  • Passport of the deceased

5. Embassy of the Country of the Deceased

Documents required by the embassy of the country of the deceased are:

  • Copy of the death certificate
  • Copy of the death report
  • “To whom it may concern” certificate issued by the MoI

The Embassy will be issuing the “No Objection Certificate” to repatriate the body to the deceased’s country.

6. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs Department)

The consular affairs department at MoFA will facilitate coordination between the office and embassies for issuing a no-objection certificate (from the embassy concerned) to repatriate the body outside the country as soon as possible.

Procedure for Absconding Workers

The procedure for repatriating the body of absconding workers would be similar if the employer lodged a complaint with the authority concerned, saying the worker had run away.

Otherwise, the sponsor must complete the residency law’s legal requirements.

Road Accidents

In the case of road accidents, security requirements are to be fulfilled, and a forensic report is needed to start the repatriation procedures.

Funeral Prayers for Muslims

If the deceased is a Muslim, burial customarily takes place within 24 hours of death. Funeral prayers can be offered at a mosque adjacent to the Women’s Hospital at HMC.

  • There is a special room in Al Wakrah hospital for offering funeral prayers for non-Muslims. Prayers can also be offered at a dedicated facility in the Religious Complex premises in Mesaimeer.

Procedure Fee

All the administrative fees for different certificates and papers for repatriation of dead bodies or burial in Qatar have been cancelled. It means the whole procedure is free of charge.

However, if the body is repatriated, the charges for Qatar Airways tickets (for transporting the body and accompanying passenger) should be paid.

In case of transportation by flight, the mortal remains are to be embalmed at the mortuary and coffin charges are about QR 1200/- to QR 1500/- (Tel: 4435 5460).

Special Instructions for Indian Nationals

The next of kin has to send a letter to the Indian Embassy (Fax No. 4467 0448) stating that he /she has no objection for the burial or transportation of mortal remains and authorising either the sponsor, close relative/friend or any other person known to them, to take charge of the body for local burial or transportation to India.

Upon receipt of the No Objection Certificate from the Embassy, the mortuary authorities will release the dead body for local burial. They will also issue a Burial Permission Certificate for cemeteries for burial.

Hospital authorities will be contacted for embalming mortal remains only after obtaining clearance from the Ministry of Interior for the Transfer of the body.

An affidavit is also to be submitted by the legal heirs to the nearest airline’s office at the nearest International / Domestic airport stating that mortal remains would be accepted by them without any delay from the cargo terminal on arrival from abroad.

The same is to be faxed to the sponsor, airline and to Embassy. The airline cargo office may not accept the dead body without this affidavit. More details are available here.

Contact Details

Following are the contact details of different counters at the Humanitarian Services Office:

  • MoI – 40253371, 40253372 and 40253369
  • MoPH- 40253370 and 40253364
  • HMC – 40253368 and 40253365
  • Qatar Airways – 40253374
  • The fax number of the office is 40380855

The Humanitarian Services Office is expected to cut the lengthy procedures for repatriating bodies of people dying in Qatar into a few hours.

All citizens and expatriates in Qatar and citizens of other GCC countries will benefit from this office after following the customary procedures. A team in the office will provide all support to speed up the procedures of repatriation or burial.

Deceased Employee’s Final Settlements

According to Article 55 of Law No 14 of 2004, if a worker dies during the service, regardless of the cause of death, the employer shall deposit with the treasury of the competent court any wage or other entitlements due to the worker in addition to the end of service gratuity within a period not exceeding fifteen (15) days from the date of the death.

The deposit minutes shall contain a detailed report indicating the method of calculating the amounts referred to. The Employer shall deposit a copy of the minutes with the Department.

How To Get a Death Certificate in Qatar

The Births and Deaths Record Department at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) undertakes to issue death certificates and burial authorization for the non-Qatari population.

To obtain a death certificate and otherwise take the necessary procedures with MoPH, the following are the documents required for expatriates:

♦ Notification of Death letter issued by the hospital.
♦ Death Registration Form
♦ Original Passport of the Deceased
♦ Original ID / Passport of the Informant

Inheritance and Management of Assets

As per Qatari Law, inheritance is governed by the nationality law of the deceased at the time of death. The heirs of the deceased must provide a certificate proving their status.

Documentation prepared outside Qatar must be legalized by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country of origin and attested by the local Qatari Embassy.

For guidance, contacting the Qatari Consulate or Embassy in the country of interest may be useful. Authentication in Qatar is required after the documents have been attested

A deceased’s assets can be managed by the heirs personally or by another person with Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney issued outside Qatar must be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of origin and attested by the local Embassy of Qatar.

Bank Accounts and Loan in Case of Death

If a bank account owner dies, the account will be frozen until the estate is notified and documentation is provided. It is the heirs’ responsibility to inform the bank of their inheritance rights. The heirs of the deceased will need authorization from the bank’s legal department to manage the accounts.

Documents required:

  • Death certificate
  • Certificate demonstrating the status of the heirs
  • Power of attorney (if any)

Once authorization is obtained, the heirs or proxy may transfer the amounts in the accounts and close the account. The banks will control any outstanding loans and debts before allowing the movement of the financial assets. In some cases, financial products are insured, so the debt associated with them will also be covered.

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  1. Could you please inform me if there are any repatriation employment opportunities in Qatar. I am a qualified embalmer and funeral arranger?

    Thank you

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