The UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has issued an operating licence for the first section of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.
The permanent representative of the UAE to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hamad Al-Kaabi, said that the Board of Directors of FANR granted the licence to the Nawah Power Company in what is a "historic moment" for the UAE.
He said: "The realisation of this distinguished achievement would not be possible without the wise vision of the state and its leadership that focused on building a peaceful nuclear energy programme in order to ensure that the UAE's future energy needs are met."
In January, the authorities in Abu Dhabi announced that their first nuclear plant would start operating in "a few months".
This was confirmed by Al-Kaabi, who added that it will contribute to the UAE's efforts in terms of development and sustainability goals. He did not, however, give a specific date.
The Barakah Plant was scheduled to open in late 2017, but the inauguration date was delayed several times.
Located to the west of Abu Dhabi, the plant was built by a consortium led by the Korean KIPCO in an agreement worth more than $20 billion.
When fully operational, the four power reactors will provide about 25 per cent of the UAE's electricity needs.