The 37-year-old has reached a 10th final in the emirate and is seeking a record-extending eighth success.
Federer faces Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas just over a month after losing to the 20-year-old in the last 16 of the Australian Open in four enthralling sets.
The Swiss legend is hoping to secure the 100th singles title of his ATP Tour career and would become just the second man after Jimmy Connors to reach a century of tournament wins.
“It’s been a successful hunting ground for me, here,” he told ATP World Tour.
“Hasn’t always started easy, the first tournament I played here in Dubai people weren’t happy with my performance.
“I came back the following year and tried to prove them wrong, that they didn’t see the right Roger – the bad one, the emotional one.
“I came back and won it then I think four years on the trot.
“It’s been a good place and I’m really happy that this year again I was able to make the finals after not playing last to prove to myself and the fans that Dubai works out very well for me usually.
“I’m still in the running so I hope I can play my best in the finals now!”