Money can't buy him a home: exclusive New York building snubs Qatari PM - and his 15 children

He is the owner of luxury UK department store Harrods and has developed one of the most luxurious apartment blocks in Britain, but it seems that the prime minister of Qatar's money cannot buy a home in one of New York's most exclusive buildings.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani has had his $US31.5 million bid for two apartments on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue rejected by the co-operative board of the building.

The New York Post claimed that the size of his family, which also includes two wives, was causing a problem.

While the official reason for the rejection has not been announced, suggestions in the New York media ranged from the number of children - he has 15 - and staff that would be using the apartments, to his diplomatic immunity status.

Others have suggested that the board was uncomfortable with one person having such a large share in the building.

Sheikh Hamad bid a combined total of $US31.5 million for two apartments at an auction held by the estate of Huguette Clark, a reclusive millionaire and previous owner of the apartments.

But he was not even granted an interview by the buildings board which, according to various media reports, had concerns over allowing the prime minister of a foreign country to live in the building.

In New York, many apartment buildings have a board which interviews prospective owners and decides whether they can live there.

In Sheikh Hamad's case, it was reported by, that his security demands would cause a disruption to other tenants. The New York Post claimed that the size of his family, which also includes two wives, was causing a problem.

His diplomatic immunity also meant that he would not be responsible for any issues that occurred at the apartment.

It is also said that the board was concerned about his plans to convert the two apartments into one large home - something it had previously indicated it would allow.

The brokers for the building, Brown Harris Stevens, declined to comment.

The apartments Sheikh Hamad wanted to buy took up the entire eighth floor of the building and overlooked Central Park. They had a combined 22 rooms, including five bedrooms, eight bathrooms and two libraries.

Among the tenants of the apartment building is Martha Stewart, the American television personality. It is not clear whether she is on the board which rejected Sheikh Hamad's bid.

Sheikh Hamad became the owner of Harrods in May 2010 after it was sold by Mohamed al-Fayed to Qatar Holdings.

He also had a stake in the development of One Hyde Park, one of the most exclusive addresses in London.

The Daily Telegraph, London