The world number four, who is seeking to become the first player to win a hat-trick of ranking titles since Stephen Hendry in 1990, came through a tight encounter 9-7.
Ding looked to be on course for a comfortable victory at 7-3 until Dott reeled off three straight frames to threaten an upset.
But Ding notched a 121 break in the 16th to halt the Scot’s fight back before sealing victory with an impressive 63 clearance.
"Graeme played great safety from 7-3 down," said Ding to World Snooker. "The last few frames were difficult because Graeme raised his game and was playing at a quick pace. I could feel his confidence out there.
"In the last frame, he didn't play the perfect safety so left me a long pot, and it was lucky for me to get that chance when I was more than 50 points behind. I knew it was my last chance so I held myself together to win the match with a solid break."