We report a pathway to grow GaAs nanowires on a variety of substrates using a combination of atomic layer deposition and metallo-organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE). GaAs nanowires were grown via MOVPE at 430–540 °C on an atomic-layer-deposited Al:ZnO buffer layer. The resulting nanowires were affected only by the properties of the buffer layer, allowing nanowire growth on a number of substrates that withstand ∼400 °C. The growth occurred in two phases: initial in-plane growth and subsequent out-plane growth. The nanowires grown exhibited a strong photoluminescence signal both at room temperature and at 12 K. The 12 K photoluminescence peak was at 1.47 eV, which was attributed to Zn autodoping from the buffer layer. The crystal structure was zincblende plagued with either twin planes or diagonal defect planes, which were related to perturbations in the seed particle during the growth. The used method combines substrates with variable properties to nanowire growth on a transparent and conductive Al:ZnO buffer layer.