The NASA Landsat program has continuously covered the globe since the seventies and is a great tool for anyone interested in observing changes on the ground.  Landsat 8, the most recent satellite has a black and white resolution of 15m. Although this is not useful for street side observation, the imagery is helpful when one wants a larger and historical view of a designated area.  Plus it is free! In addition to NASA, ESA has recently launched the Sentinel 2 satellite which gives 10m resolution.

Attached is a collection of Landsat imagery taken over Dubai.  I will post the mosaic and the individual shots.  Growth is easily observable when looking at the highways, new islands, and airport.