The decision would enable these associations, which are mainly supermarkets and other retail businesses and mostly government owned, to raise funds needed to expand and diversify their activities, it said.
It comes as a spate of delistings and an absence of big initial public offerings are putting pressure on the stock market of Dubai, the UAE's business hub.
The Dubai government last year announced plans to list 10 state-backed companies on its stock market as part of plans to boost activity on the local bourse. It also said it plans to set up a 2 billion dirham ($544.6 million) market maker fund to encourage more private companies to list.
The UAE government's decision on cooperative associations also allows bourses the option to establish special platforms to list and trade the associations' shares.