Improving the life of slum-dwellers is one of the major challenges facing Arab Governments and all parties concerned. Despite the presence of national development plans and strategies, property and housing policies, and laws and regulations aimed at achieving decentralization and improving the livelihood of slums, the gap between policies and reality is still wide. This study presents an overview of the status of slums in the Arab cities. It highlights the policies and practice aimed at achieving the goal of "Cities without Slums" set forth by the United Nations in 1990. The study argues that development policies and housing strategies aimed at improving slums should take into consideration the needs of vulnerable communities in urban areas and should be jointly devised by central Governments, local authorities, civil society organizations, slum-dwellers and the public sector. The study concludes with some suggestions in that regard.