We propose an informative dialect recognition system that learns phonetic transformation rules, and uses them to identify dialects. A hidden Markov model is used to align reference phones with dialect specific pronunciations to characterize when and how often substitutions, insertions, and deletions occur. Decision tree clustering is used to find context-dependent phonetic rules. We ran recognition tasks on 4 Arabic dialects. Not only do the proposed systems perform well on their own, but when fused with baselines they improve performance by 21-36% relative. In addition, our proposed decision-tree system beats the baseline monophone system in recovering phonetic rules by 21% relative. Pronunciation rules learned by our proposed system quantify the occurrence frequency of known rules, and suggest rule candidates for further linguistic studies.