Thompson fired a bogey-free 66 on Friday at Emirates GC to take the lead over Sophie Gustafson and Italian Margherita Rigon.
Gustafson and Thompson teamed together in a pre-tournament par-3 contest under the lights in the emirate, taking the win in the event. Both players are long off the tee, which Thompson believes is an advantage.
'I get to hit a lot of drivers. You just have to place it out in the fairway here and go for your second shot,' she said.
With her record-setting LPGA win at Prattville in September, Thompson is familiar with the feelings of contending and winning.
'It helps a lot. I mean I know what to expect with my nerves and everything,' she said. 'Just going to take it slow and not get ahead of myself.'
If Thompson wins on Saturday, she would eclipse Ashleigh Simon as the youngest professional to win on the circuit. Simon won the 2007 Catalonia Ladies Masters at 18 years, 37 days.
Amy Yang, however, will remain the youngest winner in the tour's history. She took the 2006 ANZ Ladies Masters as an amateur at 16 years, 192 days.
Thompson would relish the win.
'It would feel amazing,' she said. 'This is such a great tournament, and I mean it would be an honor to win this, so I'm just going to try to take it easy and play one shot at a time.'