Arab Towns Organization (ATO)

Organisation des villes arabes (OVA)

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15 Mar 1967, Kuwait City (Kuwait), on approval of statutes, following conference, 11 Mar 1967, Kuwait City. Previously also known as Arab Cities Organization (ACO).


In relation to Arab towns: preserve identity and heritage; support development and modernization of municipal and local authorities; improve and boost services and utilities; support member towns development schemes through providing loans and assistance; maintain cooperation with member towns in the process of planning and coordination of development activities and services, accordingly with each economic, social, cultural and environmental capacities; facilitate exchange of service-related achievements and expertise among member towns; coordinate efforts to modernize and standardize municipal regulations and codes; maintain liaison and cooperation working in ATO-related fields.

Future Events

Past Events(18)

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Organizes: conferences; seminars; training courses; exchange of research papers, studies and expertise; exchange of visits; competitions; celebrations; annual 'Arab City Day' on 15th March. ATO institutions:

 • (i) Arab Towns Development Fund (ATDF) - finances member city development projects through arranging medium-term loans at nominal returns. It works to provide services to the largest possible number of member towns at a time, and prioritizes projects and arranges finance for up to 50 percent of each total cost.

 • (ii) Arab Urban Development Institute (AUDI) - an academic advisory entity that makes up the technical body of ATO. It is specialized in all fields related to training, research, consultation and documentation supporting achievement of organizational objectives.

 • (iii) 'ATO Award' - foundation aiming to: encourage creativity in the fields of Arab and Islamic architecture, towns' environmental health and municipal performance development with the implementation of information technology; protect Arab urban heritage and identity and the maintenance and rehabilitation of historic monuments and sites; encourage Arab architects and planners to adopt Arab and Islamic architectural styles and use information technology to promote Arab cities beautification and development of municipal performance. Prizes include:

 • -First: Architectural Awards - Architectural Project; Architectural Heritage; Architect;

 • -Second: Environmental Health Awards - Environmental Awareness; Environmental Safety; Environmental Advocate;

 • -Third: Urban Greening and Landscaping Awards - Urban Greening; Urban Landscaping; Urban Environmentalism Expert;

 • -Fourth: Information Technology Awards - Use and Implementation of Computers; Systems and Software; Information Expert.

 • (iv) 'Arab Urban Environment Centre' - carries out research in areas related to natural and urban environment.

 • (v) 'Arab Forum on Information Systems' - upgrades manipulation of information technology in municipal works.

 • (vi) 'Heritage and Arab Historic City Foundation' - specializes in research on all aspects related to Arab urban heritage and history and promotes such within an Arab comprehensive strategy.

 • (vii) 'Arab Urban Observatory' - measures Arab urban developmental performance and supports sustainable development-related decisions; contributes to outlining developmental plans for Arab towns; works within a broader international programme.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 2 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 1 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 22 countries
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