Ahh, I see! I ought to take pictures of our airline food - it's a lot prettier and better presented than that hotel food.
You're right about the airline not serving pork. But all the beer, wine, and miniatures are complimentary onboard. Within Dubai, pork and booze are served at a lot of restaurants and can be purchased at liquor stores and grocery stores.
I don't know what percentage of Dubai residents aren't Muslim - it could be as high as 50% but I really can't say. I kind of blend in here, actually. If I stand out, that might be from dressing less slutty than other girls in their 20's. =)
I'm now more convinced than ever that the deal to let a Dubai company own US ports was turned down entirely due to bigotry. Culturally, Dubai is becoming a very Western.*
Young girls dressing slutty means that they have the right to do so. Hopefully, many other rights will follow.
* Note to readers- I have no ojections to Islamic beliefs or practices. But, I place a very high value on the freedoms of expression, and belief. I object strongly to any religious group forcing its beliefs and practices on others.
It was definitely bigotry. Great Britain (whose company owned the U.S. ports in the first place) has had more terrorism incidents (and from 'inside') than Dubai; Emiratis were not going to replace the workers already holding jobs in the U.S. ports; and Dubai was in a position to provide a whole lot more funding for issues like security after winning that bidding war. So I feel the controversy had more to do with what was happening in D.C., than with Dubai.
As for rights here in Dubai, there are of course separate courts, and non-Muslims aren't tried in Shariah courts (to my knowledge - correct me if I'm wrong) so there is a separation there. But when it comes to insignificant issues (clothes, drinking) the rights are the same for everybody. We all have to register for a license to buy booze at the store, but Muslims can register as well as people of other faiths. (Many people don't know this.) There are a gazillion bars, and anybody old enough will be served, even if his clothes are religious. LOTS of my coworkers are Muslim women, and they certainly don't wear a hijab to fly.
On the other side of that coin are men who won't drink in Dubai because it's a small town and they don't want to be seen doing it. A guy on my flight yesterday, wearing a dish-dash and sitting behind a sheikh, kept pointing at the wine menu and saying, "HOT COFFEE!" So I had to bring him wine in a coffee cup. Then there are lots of women who wear the albaya, sheila, and everything even though the don't have to, but it is their personal choice.
And of course, anybody can wear a cross or buddha or Hindu god on their clothing or jewelry, or paint their goddess or whoever on their car. We just aren't allowed to preach on the corner and hand out Bibles. But the royal family donated a bunch of land to build all kinds of churches on.