Dubai is famous for its rapid development and construction projects. It turns out that you can see some of these projects on Google maps by merely zooming in and zooming out.
For example, take the “Business Bay” project, which involves expanding the 14km Dubai creek, an inlet of the Persian Gulf, up to a total of 26km inland, such that it curves through a newly built cluster of skyscrapers. This project has been stalled and delayed, such that development may not continue to its completion, but at least 22km of the total planned extension has been completed. Google Maps allows you to see the growth of the creek from its pre-21st century expansion to its current development but zooming in and out of google maps. Zoomed in, the satellite photographs are relatively current. Zooming out, the photographs are dated. (In addition to Business Bay, you can see the growth of Dubai in a number of other neighborhoods, such as the skyscrapers of the DIFC, the Burj Khalifa and downtown, and a new highway that crosses the creek).
The same can be seen for the Palm Jebel Ali, the second of three planned man-made Palm-shaped islands off the coast of Dubai. Zoom in and you can see how the original skeleton has expanded, and also the beginnings of the docks for boats.
Looking at other parts of the world on Google maps, you can see the phenomenon in reverse. Recently, I visited Erbil in Kurdistan, Iraq. The international airport in Erbil is enormous, one of the largest airports in the world. Zoomed out on Google maps, the airport is a giant plot of land with one small runway. Zoomed in, you can see the complex as it currently appears, with an enormous runway from north to south.