Roger Federer was cheered as he walked on court. He maintains a home in Dubai and is viewed as a part-time local in the city.
Milos Raonic slightly tore his right hamstring on Saturday, feeling a sharp pain while chasing down a drop shot in win over Juan Martin del Potro.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hit seven aces, dropped only three points on his first serve and did not face a single break point.
Dominic Thiem now heads to this week's Mexican Open in Acapulco where he is the defending champion in the hard-court tournament.
Andy Murray was upset in a four-set, fourth-round encounter with Mischa Zverev at the first major of the year.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will take on Lucas Pouille, who defeated Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-3 in the other semi-final.
Top-seeded Milos Raonic, ranked fourth in the world, beat No. 7 seed Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6 (6) in the night semifinal.
Semifinalist Casper Ruud was trying to become the youngest to reach an ATP singles final since Kei Nishikori nine years ago.
Angelique Kerber struggled with a knee injury during a 6-3, 7-6 (3) loss to Elina Svitolina in the semifinals of Dubai Championships.
In Saturday's semi-final Nick Kyrgios will face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who thumped compatriot Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-1.
Juan Martin Del Potro overcame fourth seeded Sam Querrey. On Saturday, he will take on Milos Raonic for a berth in the final.
Dominic Thiem beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the semi-final of Rio Open.