At the age of 27, and with little warning, Karatsev has hurtled from obscurity before tennis went into lockdown 12 months ago to real prominence.
A 6-3 6-2 victory over South African Lloyd Harris on Sunday (AEDT) gave him a trophy for his efforts and he will enter the top 30 on Monday, having never had a double-digit ranking before this season.
Karatsev reached the Australian Open semi-finals last month, having had to win three qualifying rounds to make the main draw, and it took Novak Djokovic to stop that charge in Melbourne.
Now, Vladikavkaz-born Karatsev is back in another winning routine, with Andrey Rublev, Jannik Sinner and Dan Evans having figured among his victims en route to the Dubai final.
The first-time champion said: "I am super happy. It was a tight match. [I was] really nervous. I want to congratulate my opponent for the final [run]. He did a great week. Every final is different, so I am happy that I won."
Karatsev had some promising results at Challenger Tour level last year but had never shown form on the main circuit until the start of 2021, and suddenly he looks a major force to be reckoned with.
He said of the rush of success: "You never know when it is coming. I did a good job with my team, with my coach and it has happened now."