As I think more about it, is seems that there are three basic types of differences:
1. Completely irrelevant: The best example I can think of is which side of the road you drive on. As long as everyone does the same thing, it doesn't matter.
2. Things were there is an absolutely right or wrong: For example, American culture improved when we banned slavery.
3. Things that have two sides. These things have to been seen from both sides to be understood, because they involve two competing interests.
Take the issue that Mohammad brought up in the comments to that post, about the differing treatment of nationals and various expats. You have two competing principles, one that says that everyone should be treated the same, and another that there should be some rights that only citizens have. An easy example is that in the US, where only citizens can vote. The UAE seems to drawn the line between these balancing interests closer to the "more rights for citizens" end of the spectrum than the "everyone treated the same" end. Some of these are written law, and some are unofficial but widely known.
There are many situations where foreigners (I mean Persians, Indians, Asians and not Westerners)dont get "enough" respect. There are many examples of those cases that i can mention. But one of the good ones is waiting in queues. I remember when I was doing my Driving License test. I waited in the line for 1 hour and out of no where a local comes and takes the test before me. I went to the manager of the Emirates Driving Institute and told him and his reply was very simple "He is local".
A couple of other examples: I have also heard from other expats who have been here for some time that if a car accident involves a national and an expat, the expat will be blamed, even if by objective standards he was blameless. Another example I have heard is that nationals pay less per kilowatt hour for electricity.
I don't know if these differences are cultural, simply a reaction to the overwhelming preponderance of expats here, or some combination of the two. But since some in America (I'm looking at you Pat Buchanan) want to limit immigration and make English the official language because of what they perceive as too much Hispanic immigration, I have been asking myself how I would react if I suddenly found myself feeling like a stranger in my own country.
The other aspect of Mohammad's story, about how non-Westerners are treated, also raises a question. As a Westerner, it makes me uncomfortable when I am helped/waited on/served before others, but I don't know that I can do anything about it. How do any of the rest of you handle these situations?
[Added on Saturday night]
Also, I would recommend reading the link that uaeyah included in the comments to the first post.