Death of a U.S. Citizen

In the event of the death of a U.S. citizen, our American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit works closely with the family of the deceased, the deceased’s sponsoring employer, or their representative in Qatar to document the death and finalize procedures for repatriation or local burial.

We have provided information below to guide you through the process.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Hamad Hospital Mortuary

Generally, the deceased is sent to Hamad Hospital Mortuary, regardless of where the death has occurred, and is held there until all documents are completed.  The mortuary is free of charge, regardless of how long the deceased stays there.

Local Burial

If the deceased is to be buried in Qatar, you must obtain the “Notification of Death” and notify the local police to send a representative to the cemetery at the time of burial.

For Muslims, there are several Islamic cemeteries in Qatar. The Government of Qatar covers the majority of the costs for the burial, except for the coffin.

For non-Muslims, the Government of Qatar provides transportation of the deceased and a grave site in the Dukhan Cemetery, located about 90 kilometers from the capital city of Doha, free of charge.  In these cases, the cost of opening the grave and the purchase of the coffin must be paid by the family, employer, or representative in Qatar.

Repatriation

According to local law, all employers are responsible for returning non-Qatari employees to their home country. If the deceased U.S. citizen was not employed in Qatar, responsibility for repatriation belongs to the deceased’s next of kin (NOK). The repatriation process normally requires one week from the time of death until embarkation from Qatar. U.S. based family members should hire a funeral director or home in the U.S. as soon as possible to coordinate the receipt of their loved one and make appropriate arrangements in the U.S. The U.S. Embassy does not have funds available to financially assist with repatriation or other costs associated with funeral arrangements.

Humanitarian Services Office

 The Humanitarian Services Office processes paperwork related to repatriation of the deceased outside of Qatar or arranging their burial within Qatar.  The Humanitarian Services Office is open seven days a week from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.  There, you will find the various departments where you can obtain and submit documents to complete the procedures for a burial or repatriation.  The office is located behind Hamad Hospital Mortuary and close to Hamad Medical Center’s HR Department.

Departments in the Humanitarian Services Offices:

  • Hamad Hospital Mortuary: +974 4439 2594
  • Hamad Medical Corporation: +974 4025 3368; +974 4025 3365
  • Ministry of Health: +974 4025 3370; +974 4025 3364
  • Ministry of Interior: +974 4025 3371; +974 4025 3372; +974 4025 3369
  • Qatar Airways: +974 4025 3374

Please note that while Qatar Airways is represented at the Humanitarian Services Office, the next-of-kin, sponsor or other representative is free to choose another appropriate cargo agent. You should provide the same documents as listed above.  Upon payment of shipping fees, the cargo agent will make a reservation and issue the ‘Airway Bill of Lading’.

Ordering a Coffin

Gulf Boxes

Tel: (974) 4435-5460; (974) 4435-1697
Location: Mansoora Street, Al-Najma area, Doha

Gulf Boxes is the only company licensed to supply coffins.

Coffins are usually made of wood and lined with stainless steel, hermetically sealed, and constructed of sturdy materials for a long voyage by air. The coffin is a basic construction and is not comparable to coffins manufactured and used in the U.S. The price of a coffin usually ranges from $250 USD to $1500 USD, depending on the quality and type of coffin selected. The local sponsor/employer or family is responsible for the cost of a U.S. standard repatriation coffin. The cost of shipping a U.S. standard coffin ranges from approximately $1,500 USD to $2,000 USD. The airlines use a standard weight of 150Kg to calculate repatriation costs.

Cost of Repatriation

The cost for repatriation to the U.S. varies from USD 2,000 to USD 3,000. Here are some airlines that handle repatriation from Qatar:

  • British Airways/Cargo : +974 462-2169
  • Emirates/Cargo: +974 462-1920
  • Qatar Airways/Cargo: +974 462-6900

Please note that whilst Qatar Airways are represented at the Humanitarian Services Office, the next-of-kin, sponsor or other representative is free to choose another appropriate cargo agent. You should provide the same documents as listed above. On payment of shipping fees, the cargo agent will make a reservation and issue the ‘Airway Bill of Lading’.

On the Day of Departure (Repatriation cases)

We recommend reporting to Hamad Hospital Mortuary at least 4-5 hours before the departure of the flight to finalize documents and close and seal the repatriation coffin.  Generally, the employer is responsible for arranging 4 to 5 persons to help place the deceased in the shipping container and transport it to the ambulance at the mortuary. Please contact Hamad Hospital Mortuary for the most up-to-date information about the procedure and documents required to complete the repatriation process.

The documents that accompany the deceased might include:

  • A U.S. Consular Mortuary Certificate,
  • A U.S. Consular Report of Death,
  • A Transfer of Body Certificate,
  • An Embalming and Sealing certificate,
  • A Local Official Death Certificate, and
  • A Transit Label affixed on container.