Central bases for information come in all shapes and sizes. Some of these quasi-portals will help in your general research on the region, what life is like and provide you with the basic information you need. Surf away for the information you need.
Whilst this site has an obvious slant to female expats in the Middle East, there is a significant amount of information available for those willing to dig into the depths of the information, especially on the boards
Index UAE is one of the most comprehensive directory of sites available in the UAE, and well worth a browse to search out what you are looking for
Tamimi, one of the leading law firms in the region, has a number of guides in their publications section on various business aspects of operating in the UAE.
The Emirates Network
The closest thing to a portal for the UAE. From cinema listings to visa requirements to the latest news, it's all here.
Major Developments in Dubai
Dubai Tourism hold a list of all the projects that are being developed, which gives the scale of growth perceived for the region
Dubai GIS Centre
As we have mentioned, this site, gives a great bird's eye view of the transformation that is happening.
The Dubai Handbook
Produced by the Khaleej Times, there is a business guide and a tourist guide, though this is probably very outdated, it does give an overview of sorts.
Need to find out who pulls the strings? This site collates the all the key players in the large organisations so you know who is who. Invaluable in many instances.
Dubai City Guide
They say they have "complete information on Dubai". Not complete, but good to see what is going on.
CIA World Factbook on the UAE
The standard basic stats that you need to know from a trusted source.