The Norwegian won the PGA TOUR's Tour Championship earlier this year and now has a chance to do the same on the DP World Tour and become the first player to win both since Henrik Stenson in 2013.
A bogey-free 66 moved Hovland to 15 under at Jumeirah Golf Estates and the Ryder Cup star is hoping to go even lower if the putts start to drop for him.
"It's been a crazy year," he said. "It kind of feels like it has been the off-season. I have had six weeks off.
"This is another big one and would be really nice to have on the resumé and I feel like I'm playing some good golf.
"I gave myself a lot of looks. Didn't necessarily feel like I made a lot of putts. It was very close to the edges but it was very solid so hopefully tomorrow they drop in."
Hovland's Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood is also at 15 under, with the duo matching each other with rounds of 69-66-66 so far.
The Englishman has four top tens at this event, including a runner-up finish, and is determined to keep going until the very end.
"I'm very happy with the fact that you get to the final day of the year and I'm still playing well, still feel fresh and I'm still motivated and in contention," he said. "I take a lot of pleasure out of that. I think it's easy to shut off when you get so far down the season, but I kind of pride myself on going all the way.
"We'll see tomorrow. It was great today. Out there playing with one of the best golfers in the world and trying to go toe-to-toe with Viktor. Just look forward to more of it tomorrow. It's been great so far."