Monday, February 11, 2008

Formalities to handle the dead

Formalities to handle the dead
By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: January 11, 2008, 23:40

Dubai: The UAE is an open country and any person of any religion or ethnic backgrounds can shift to live here or choose to visit if he or she meets the residency and labour requirements.

However, if an expatriate dies here there is an established process and certain steps need to be taken either to bury him or her or to repatriate his or her body to their home countries.

There are seven emirates in the UAE in which expatriates are allowed to reside but when a person dies, his or her friends will encounter big differences in the law between the emirates which allows burying expatriates here.

Some emirates like Sharjah and some other emirates will not allow the burying of non-Muslims in its cemeteries as its cemeteries are open only for burial of Muslims. It is immaterial from which emirates their residency has been issued.

While in Dubai and Ajman they allow the burial of Muslims or non-Muslims in their grave yards.

However, in order for a burial in Dubai you must have your residency visa issued from Dubai only otherwise you will not be allowed to be buried in this emirate. While in Ajman incidentally, the law permits the burial of dead expatriates regardless of from where their residency visa has been issued.

There are some religions which do not bury their dead beloved but they cremate them such as Hinduism. One should know that the only emirate which has such facilities for cremating bodies is Dubai but one should have Dubai residency visa to be able to be cremated in Dubai.

The burying of Muslims of any nationality at any of the emirates is free of charge while non-Muslims have to pay specific amount of money for burying and using the municipalities vehicles to transfer the body from hospital or morgue to the graveyard.

At the same time there are many expatriates who do not want to bury their beloved here but they refer to transfer the body to their home countries. In order to do so, there are specific processes to repatriate the body of their beloved friends or relatives which could take a long time even exceeding one week.

If a worker dies here, the company where the labourer worked has to pay the cost of repatriating his or her body to their home country. In the case of a domestic helper too, the cost of burying or repatriating his or her body to their home country must be paid by the employer only.

People on visit visa are also allowed to be buried in UAE grave yards.

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