The Russian, the third wild card to become Dubai champion, replicated his fearless striking from Melbourne to oust four seeded players en route to the final.
A three-sets victory over Dan Evans was followed by two comeback wins against Italian duo Lorenzo Sonego and Jannik Sinner, before a rocket-fuel 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 Russian duel with Andrey Rublev.
Karatsev is certainly comfortable on this stage.
“I am really happy with my performance and really happy with my game,” said the straight-talking 27-year-old. “After the Australian Open, for sure gave me confidence, I kept going, practising hard… I arrived here with more belief than in Doha. I showed a fantastic week and a good game.”