The ExPets: Your guide to relocating and importing pets to Qatar
Six months ago, Halah Mohsen, an Egyptian-American communications professional and a longtime Dubai resident, made a decision to move to Doha following an interview with a local company. Her main concern was: “Whom do I need to call to bring my cat with me?”
It’s a question that many expats raise, and one that local employers face regularly. Yet answers are neither easy to find nor verified. We follow Halah’s journey, to find clarity on this issue.
“When I first thought about relocating to Doha, the first thing that I was worried about was bringing my cat from Dubai. Five years ago, moving to Dubai from Cairo, the process was not so smooth, especially when I had to take him out of Cairo where he was placed in quarantine for about 12 hours. It was very distressing for me and for Pico, my cat. I certainly didn’t want to repeat this experience,” says Halah.
Based on recommendations from friends who have pets in Doha, Halah got in touch with a number of pet relocation service providers and finally chose to work with “Qatar Pet Relocators”, one of the first established businesses in the pet relocation field in Qatar.
To Halah’s great relief, Janet from Qatar Pet Relocators was great help. The process was simple with all paperwork and payments made online. Halah had to acquire the Ministry of Health certificate and exit permit in Dubai and sent them to Janet who took care of issuing the Qatar entry permit.
Halah, like all pet owners coming to Doha had two options: either travelling with her pet as an excess luggage or have them shipped after settling down in Qatar. In all cases, pet relocators are able to handle airport pickup, transportation and boarding to make the journey easier for pets and their owners. “I actually opted to travel with Pico and handled airport luggage clearance by myself as the trip from Dubai is short and Doha airport is small and easy to manage,” says Halah.
“On arrival at the Doha airport, my cat was taken to the passenger terminal where I was to collect my luggage. It only took about 30 minutes from the time we landed and he was there waiting for me. As I walked through customs, I showed the import permit and we were off to our new home,” she added with undeniable happiness.
Halah’s comfortable relocation of her pet came at a price of QR550 that she paid after arriving in Doha. However, prices vary according to the kind of pet, choice of services and other factors. See average fee list in the sidebar.[boxify cols_use =”1″ cols =”2″ position =”right” order =”none” box_spacing =”10″ padding =”10″ background_color =”#3c3c3c” border_style =”solid” ]
Average fee for pet relocation services:
|Government Import Permit||QR650 first pet,QR100 each thereafter|
|Government Registration||QR450 first pet,QR100 each thereafter|
|Airport pick up, delivery to residence in Doha||QR450 each shipment|
|Airport pick up for boarding||QR250 each shipment|
|Courier import permit to overseas country||QR350 each shipment|
|Overseas pet shipper liaison fee||QR500|
Whether you chose to travel with your pets or ship them alone, you need to be aware of a few more things:
- Pets must be more than four months old
- They have to be micro-chipped.
- All vaccinations need to be up-to-date, including any boosters (cats RCP and Rabies ± dogs DHPPiL and Rabies).
- Vaccines must be administered at least 30 days and not more than one year before arrival.
The mandatory documents include:
- Copy of vaccination records
- Copy of owner’s Qatari ID or Passport with Qatar entry visa
- Letter from employers confirming no objection to importing pets
- A completed and signed import authorisation form
- A completed and signed Ministry declaration form
Once settled, pet owners are required to register their pets at the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Department within 48 hours of arrival, a service that your pet relocator will be able to help you with.
If you are travelling with your pet, ensure that it’s permitted by the airline. Some airlines have rules regarding certain breeds, so a simple question to your travel agent or pet relocator can save a lot of hassle.
The process of relocating your pet to Doha is not complicated but it is better to start as early as possible to meet all health and documentation requirements.
“I must confess, bringing Pico to Qatar was a breeze and relatively cheap compared to what I had to pay when I took him to the UAE. However, the scene changes once settled. Qatar has still a long way to go when it comes to pets products and services” she concluded.