Death of a U.S. Citizen in Oman

The loss of a loved one can be a very difficult experience, especially in a foreign country. Embassy Muscat can assist family and friends in the event of a U.S. citizen death in Oman. We can act as liaison in arranging the disposition of remains and help with forwarding personal effects. The family or legal representative must pay all funeral home charges, shipping costs for the remains and personal effects. We will work with any funeral home selected by the family to ensure proper documentation for shipment of remains to the United States.

Report of Death of U.S. Citizen Abroad

Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of a U.S. citizen, whether resident or tourist in Oman, should be reported to the Embassy so that a Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad can be issued. This document is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States.

The following is current information on Omani law and practice regarding the disposition of remains.

DISCLAIMER:  The U.S. Embassy Muscat, Oman assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms.  Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy. 

Maximum Period before Internment

For Omani citizens, local customs and law demand that embalmed remains be buried within 24 hours of death. For expatriates, the remains may be kept at one of the city’s three mortuaries until arrangements are made to transport the deceased for burial abroad, bury the deceased locally or arrange for cremation in Sohar/Salalah. Generally, the deceased must be buried within seven days of embalming.

Autopsies

Omani law requires an autopsy if a death is due to a criminal act or in cases, such as deaths resulting from suspicious traffic accidents.  If a patient dies in the hospital, Omani authorities normally do not perform an autopsy.  If an autopsy is not required, the family of the deceased may request it.If someone dies at home, it is important not to move him or her so the police may properly investigate the circumstances of the death.

If the ROP orders an autopsy and the family of the deceased objects, the family may request a waiver through Dr. Ahmed Sabri of the ROP Hospital’s Forensics Department at +968 2468-3167 or +968 9932-2270 or from the ROP Hospital’s Director General of Medical Services at +968 2460-3367 or +968 9936-9000.  Dr. Al Sabri is authorized to issue certificates of death in these cases.  If the police waive the autopsy requirement, obtain a mortuary release certificate from the ROP Hospital.

 Transferring Remains within Oman

If someone dies in a police district outside of Muscat, his or her sponsor must obtain a transportation permit from the local police in that district to move the deceased to the capital area for completion of the rest of the procedures.  The sponsor must provide a no objection letter from the embassy of the deceased’s country of nationality authorizing transfer of the remains to Muscat and make arrangements with the capital area police to receive the body.

 Undertakers in Oman

Several companies and individuals provide services such as assistance with documentation, coffins, sealing and transportation of human remains to airport or cremation site for a fee.  Costs vary depending on requested services.  Should you require assistance, please contact the undertakers directly at the listed numbers.

  1. Murtafat Al Awabi Trading, Wadi Kabir, Muscat, Oman: Contact Amjad Sarwar at +968 2481-0743 or +968 9938-5913, or Waseem Sarwar at +968 99557730/96557733.
  1. Al Ebhar Travels, Al Khuwair, Muscat, Oman: Contact Suresh Pillai at +968 2448 7414 or +968 9890 2634/9506 1010, Email: albehar@hotmail.com or mail-spillaimctom@gmail.com; or Hashil Al Sarki at +968 9946 7633.
  1. Gulf Agency Company (GAC) LLC, Muscat, Oman: Contact Joseph Ambrose at +968 2447 7800/2447 7886, +968 9988 6270, Email: ambrose@gac.com or Mohammed Al Rashdi at +968 9403 0202.

Storage and Embalming

There are no independent funeral homes in Oman.  In the Muscat area, the mortuaries of the Royal Oman Police (ROP) Hospital in Qurum, the Khoula Hospital in Mina Al Fahal or the Royal Hospital in Bowsher ordinarily handle storage and/or embalming.

  1. The ROP Hospital – For information on space availability and embalming procedures, please call Lt. Said Al Omairi, Mortuary in-charge at +968 9987-0003 or Dr. Ahmed Al Sabri, Forensics Department at +968 2468-3167 or +968 9932-2270. The ROP Hospital conducts autopsies free of charge. Embalming costs are approximately OMR 123.000 (approximately US $ 320).
  1. The Khoula Hospital – For information on space availability, call Mr. Naser Al Hattali at +968 9987-8599 (fax 2456-3113) or Mr. Ahmed Al Hammadi at +968 9115-5440 between 7:30 am to 2:30 pm Sunday through Thursday. After hours, contact Patient Services Duty Officer at +968 2456-0455 Ext. 5110. To make an appointment for embalming, please contact Mr. Salim Al Bulushi at +968 2456-5758 or +968 9942-7189 between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.  Khoula Hospital does embalming between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday and requires:
  1. Death notification certificate issued by the hospital where the individual died. This certificate must be endorsed by the Directorate of Medical Services at the Royal Oman Police Hospital in Qurum, and
  2. A no objection letter from the deceased’s embassy.

Upon presentation of the above documents, Khoula Hospital will give you an appointment date for the embalming and a standard form.  Please type the request form and give it to the authorities on the day of the embalming, along with the embalming fee of R.O. 103 (approximately USD 268).

Khoula Hospital can assist with contacting the ROP and customs officers for witnessing the sealing of the coffin. Sealing of the coffin requires the presence of ROP personnel, a customs agent and a technician, who will seal the coffin. Please speak to Mr. Naser Al Hattali or M Mr. Ahmed Al Hammadi or Patient Services Department.

  1. The Royal Hospital does not do embalming. If the deceased is located at the Royal Hospital, you will need permission from the local police station to transport the deceased remains to Khoula Hospital or Royal Oman Police hospital for embalming and eventual repatriation. To speak to the Director of Patient Services and Public Relations, call Said Al Salti at +968 2459-9778/2459-9161 (fax +968 2459-9776).

In order to process repatriation of human remains, please have the following documents stamped by the Directorate of Medical Services, Royal Oman Police (ROP) before submitting to the consular section.  The consular section issues the Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen.  In case of repatriation, the Embassy will issue the Consular Mortuary Certificate and prepare twelve sets to accompany the human remains.

  1. An original “certificate of death” issued by the Directorate General of Civil Status (DGCS), Royal Oman Police.  In Muscat, the DGCS office is located across Muscat International Airport beside the Al Azaibah Police Station.  Information to obtain the certificate of death is available at http://www.civilstatus.gov.om/english/default.asp.
  2. No objection letter from the deceased’s embassy for autopsy, embalming, repatriation or cremation in Oman.
  3. Notification of Death issued by the hospital where the deceased died or was taken.
  4. Certificate of absence of any quarantinable or infectious disease at time of death
  5. Embalming and sealing certificate
  6. Certificate regarding contents of coffin and sealing of container.
  7. Original and copy of the deceased’s passport.  The original passport will be cancelled by the Embassy and will accompany the human remains to destination.

Each of the above documents must bear the signatures of the representatives of 1) the Director General of Customs, 2) the Commissioner of Police and 3) the Medical officer at either the Royal Oman Police Hospital or the Khoula Hospital.

Original and 12 copies of the above documents, along with the deceased’s canceled passport and the airway bill of the shipping carrier issued by the airline agent, should accompany the deceased to the airport.

You must make travel arrangements so the deceased’s remains may be shipped as soon as possible after embalming. At all times, the employer or family must provide transportation and handlers.

Repatriation Costs

Below is approximate airfreight costs associated with repatriation of remains to points in the United States.  Note:  One Omani Rial (OMR) equals approximately U.S. Dollars (USD) 2.60.  Land transportation is not included.  These rates are subject to change.  For confirmation, please contact Mr. Chandrashekaran at Inchcape Shipping Services on +968 2451-0103/24522285 (fax: +968 2451-0260), Email: Chandrasekharan.Damodaran@iss-shipping.com.  Please copy E. I. Rajan, email: e.rajan@iss-shipping.com; website: www.iss-shipping.com.

Note:  Additional charges (i.e. Oman Aviation special handling, airway bill fee, agency handling and documentation) of RO 105.000 (approximately USD 273.00) will apply per shipment.

 

Muscat to

 

Rate/Kg.

in R.O.

 

Rate/Kg.

in USD

 

Estimate based on average weight of coffin (150 kilograms or 330 pounds)

Atlanta 5.550 RO 14.43 USD 2164.50 USD
Chicago 5.550 RO 14.43 USD 2164.50 USD
Dallas 5.900 RO 15.34 USD 2301.00 USD
Houston 5.900 RO 15.34 USD 2301.00 USD
Indianapolis 5.550 RO 14.43 USD 2164.50 USD
Los Angeles 5.830 RO 15.16 USD 2274.00 USD
New York 5.345RO 13.90 USD 2085.00 USD
San Francisco 5.830 RO 15.16 USD 2274.00 USD
Seattle 5.900 RO 15.34 USD 2301.00 USD
Washington, D.C. 5.530 RO 14.38 USD 2157.00 USD

 

Islamic law does not permit cremation, but local law does.  The Management of Hindu Temple owns two cremation sites in Oman.  One is located in Sohar, approximately 230 kilometers from Muscat.  The other is located in Salalah.  The crematorium disposes of remains in accordance with Hindu rites.  The Management of the Hindu Temple is willing to extend this service to others of non-Hindu faith upon application by the relevant embassy.  Contact information for the Hindu Temple is +968 2479-2170/2478-3257, Fax: +968 2478-2170, Cell #’s +968 9920-8021/9261-3069/9956-6810, Email: hma1941@hotmail.com.  For cremation in Salalah, the contact # is +968 9949-1045.  The following documents must be submitted to the concerned for cremation:

  1. Cancelled passport copy of Deceased
  2. Death certificate
  3. Notification of Death from hospital
  4. Two passport size photographs of deceased
  5. No objection letter from Embassy to the Management of Hindu Temple requesting cremation as per Hindu Rites & Customs.
  6. No objection letter from ROP – release of deceased body for cremation
  7. No objection letter (original) from sponsor/employer to the Management of Hindu Temple requesting cremation as per Hindu Rites & Customs
  8. No-objection letter from the deceased’s next-of-kin notarized by the U.S. Embassy in Oman.
  9. Passport copy of NOK

Please note that the employer or relative is responsible for transportation of the remains to the Sohar/Salalah cremation site.

In very rare cases of death resulting from a contagious disease, Omani law may require cremation.  In such a case, the Khoula Hospital will help make the necessary arrangements.  The local sponsor (employer) must pay for (or arrange payment for) transportation and body handlers.

Muscat: Burial for Muslims may take place in various locations throughout the Sultanate.  For non-Muslims, there is only one location, in the capital area at Ras El Hamra, within the Petroleum Development of Oman (PDO) compound.  The contact at PDO is Suleiman Al Sharji; you may reach him at +968 2467-7629, +968 9986-2010 or via email at Suleiman.Sharji@pdo.co.om.   PDO donated the grounds and maintains the cemetery, although in theory the Christian Cemetery Committee oversees the burial ground.  This committee is voluntary and includes senior representatives of various firms in Oman, a representative of the Ministry of Defense, and chaplains from both the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church in Ruwi.  Thus, the ground is considered hallowed for all Christian faiths.

The cost of burial is R.O. 200 (USD 520.00) for an adult, R.O. 75 (USD 194) for a child between one and 12 years, and R.O. 50 (USD 130.00) for a child under one year.  The price includes fees for digging the grave, labor, filling in the grave and maintenance.  Private arrangements must be made for a clergyman, transport of the deceased, coffin and any subsequent headstone.  Adult graves will have a simple plaque fitted by the Committee.

You should submit the following documents to PDO representative for burial:

  1. Complete burial registration form available with PDO
  2. Copy of the death certificate
  3. No objection from the ROP for burial.
  4. No objection letter from deceased’s embassy
  5. No objection letter from deceased’s next of kin.

Tombstone may be ordered from Sun Technical and Services LLC., Amerat, Muscat, Oman.  Contact Mohamed Arif Surti at +968 9938-2380, email: arif_surti@gmail.com or Muzammil Surti at +968 9540 7860 for information on types of tombstones and prices.

Salalah: Non-Muslims may be buried at the Christian cemetery. Contact an official at the church compound in Dahariz for further information.  The phone number of the parsonage for the English-speaking Protestant pastor is 23235677.  A Catholic priest and clergy for several other denominations are also available at the compound.

Currently, there are no fees for a cemetery lot, but it is up to the family (or their representatives) to make arrangements that in the US are normally cared for by the undertaker (hire backhoe/gravediggers, obtain a coffin, transport from the hospital to the cemetery) and to make arrangements for a gravestone (if desired).

The cemetery is located close to the Dahariz roundabout at the intersection of As Sultan Qaboos Street and As Sultan Taymur Street.            

Exhumation:  Oman does not permit exhumation after burial.