I don't use harems in my game. I don't see what they add. You keep bringing it up as a thing. But why would there be "male harems"? That, in and of itself, misunderstands the purpose and reason for the harem existing. (Spoiler alert: they were for rich families, a space where the wives, daughters, aunts, etc. of rich men could have a private walled garden away from outsiders. It was a very domestic place.) A "male harem" doesn't even make sense in the cultural context; it would be a far worse depiction to create "male harems" than to simply, y'know, not have harems. Which plenty of real-life Islamic residents did not have, because again, they were almost always the province of the relatively rich.The question is when does this place stop being a representation of middle eastern culture and just become a disney park with orient theme?
You are after all removing religion (Islam, including the interaction with dhimmi), the views on gender (harem, ect.), their economy and social structure (slavery), probably the "pecularities" of their government (fraticide or imprisonment of the people in line of the throne. Also slave governments as there are no slaves).
What is left of middle eastern culture? Names, clothing and bazaars?
Yes, I have to admit that when you want to create a "family friendly" RPG (as far as a RPG centred around killing things and taking their stuff can be called family friendly) some things are problematic to include.
But instead of flat out removing them they should be adapted, i.e instead of removing harems also having male/other harems or instead of the complete removal of Islam have 5 gods each representing a pillar ect. And such changes should be kept to a minimum.
That I see as a compromise.
I have not removed the religion. The Safiqi priesthood is strongly inspired by Islamic beliefs; it is monotheist (unlike your incredibly blasphemous suggestion of a polytheist alternative), has a strong tradition of legal jurisprudence, holy figures of the past revered for their contributions to the faith (we casually call them "saints" but a more appropriate term would probably be Wali, since that's a term actually used in Islam; it literally refers to "friends" of Allah), and a central "Temple-City" (Kafer-Naum) that is a major spot of pilgrimage because that's where the first temple to the One was built in this land. In fact, I have actually been more inclusive of religious things than you give credit for, inspired by a North African acquaintance of mine, who pointed me toward the Kahin (we just say "Kahina" for simplicity in my game), the pre-Islamic animistic religious types, who I have adapted as the druids (Kahina of the "living" spirits of animals and elements) and shamans (Kahina of the "dead" spirits of the afterlife and concepts/forms).
Despite your accusations to the contrary, while slavery is not practiced, I have otherwise striven to keep a similar economic structure. There is a great deal of economic disparity between the rich and the poor. The Brass Ring is made up of merchant "princes" (both genders, because again, economic equality between the sexes is enforced by the choice to play a game where players can be male or female), and is the de facto legislative council of the city, even though technically they wield no actual legal power. They're just so influential and can cause such a ruckus, the Sultana knows it's wise not to piss them off for no reason. Trade and contracts are extremely important, and the flow of goods, magic, and services is a huge reason why the main city, Al-Rakkah, IS the Main City. It sits at the mouth of the Sadalbari, which roughly bisects the arid/desert Tarrakhuna region (think a climate similar to Morocco.) Overland routes going northeast and southeast connect to most other major cities, and Kafer-Naum lies to the east, near the headwaters of the Sadalbari, while Al-Rakkah has some of the deepest ports on the western Sapphire Sea. There are a lot of poor folks, a lot of exploitation and drugs and societal issues. But there's also some hope for things to get better, and groups in the shadows working to balance out the problems.
Whenever possible, I try to use creatures from the mythology of North Africa or Arabia. The party has fought ghuls (specifically alukah al-ghul, "blood fiends"), werehyenas, nasnas, qarin (that was actually super fun to write, I went with a slightly variant interpretation of the classic "parallel-world djinn" idea), dandan (though mine were just larger-than-man size dragon-eel type things, not ship-swallowing monstrosities), and other standard Arab or pre-Arab mythical creatures. They've also fought unrelated stuff like manticores and basilisks. Various types of genies are relevant, but also distant: marids, efreet, jann, and djinn, as well as mixed-elemental "mizaj" (which literally means "mixed") who are more similar to mortal humans while retaining a few genie qualities. Genies take a place vaguely similar to fey in this world: they're scary and some are extremely powerful and they live in a parallel, more overtly-magical world.
So no. I haven't willy-nilly carved things up however I please. I have taken great pains, in fact, to keep cultural contexts and meanings consonant. I strive very hard to make any deviations both knowing and intentional, rather than ignorant or accidental. I have chosen places that I consider ultra-high accuracy to be an impediment rather than a benefit, and have thus gone for moderate accuracy in those places. Though I do not use the actual language outright, I do try to keep most terms or phrases rooted in Arabic, Hebrew, and/or Farsi/Urdu, unless I'm very specifically going for something meant to be foreign. Even then, I try to transliterate as much as possible, so (for example) when the party were tailing some thieves who were mostly foreigners, I gave them names transliterated from those folks' actual names, into the standard style of the Tarrakhuna or something approximating it (e.g. one was from far away Yuxia, a distant land drawing on various pan-Asiatic concepts; her name was listed on a guard's ledger as "Taqami ar-Inori," because that was the local transliteration of her actual name, Takami Arinori. Sadly, she didn't survive her trip into the jungle.)
As a relatively minor point, something I like to do to add color and depth is doing research on the types of building materials and architecture frequently used in these areas, and on the types of food and drink frequently served there. Although my Tarrakhuna region does not have quite the same hangups about alcohol, in general they still favor stimulant drinks over depressant drinks, so while "tavern" type places exist, they're seen as being low-class affairs for slovenly workers frittering away their pay on getting wasted. Instead, refined folks go to coffeehouses (or tea parlors, a relatively recent development now that active trade has begun with distant Yuxia.) And no place can outshine Lady Safiyya's Coffehouse. Several members of the Brass Ring keep permanently reserved private booths (complete with enchantments to prevent eavesdropping), despite the enormous cost of doing so, purely due to the opulence and reputation of having a private booth at Lady Safiyya's. People of good breeding do keep some alcohol, but generally use it sparingly and only for special occasions, in part because the best drink is always Jinnistani in origin, and Jinnistani booze is potent stuff.
So...yeah. It is, in fact, possible to take specific pieces and concerns and say, "This is a historical behavior, but it is not a behavior that is acceptable in my games, where my players are meant to be encouraged to play the character they wish, including that character's gender identity. As a result, I will not be including these elements, not because I deny that they existed or wish to conceal the faults of past civilizations, but because, knowing these things existed, it is better for the player experience and better for creating a culture the players will WANT to know and understand and cherish." By making this a world the players can willingly immerse themselves into, rather than instantaneously feeling like they must fight against it every step of the way, I can do a great deal more to share the interesting, the terrifying, the beautiful, and (yes) the horrifying that can crop up in this kind of context. (Because, again, if the world were built on the back of slavery, my players would instantly become freedom fighters, and that defeats the whole purpose of trying to present such a setting!)