The French Center for Yemeni Studies (CFEY) was founded in 1982 in Sanaa on the initiative of Christian Robin and Rémy Audouin. Its purpose was to host archaeological missions and social science researchers working on the territory of the former Yemen Arab Republic.
Renamed the French Center for Archeology and Social Sciences of Sanaa (CEFAS) in 2001, its area of expertise has expanded, occasionally welcoming students and researchers also working in neighboring countries. In 2002, the agreements established between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) strengthened its scientific base by allowing the assignment of personnel from this institution and the creation of a mixed unit Services and Research (USR 3141).
In 2013, at the initiative of its supervisory bodies, CEFAS became a regional institute with jurisdiction over all the countries of the Arabian Peninsula (United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Republic of Yemen, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman).
In 2016, an agreement between the Kuwaiti authorities and the MEAE enabled the opening of a Kuwait City branch.
In 2021, CEFAS becomes the French Center for Research in the Arabian Peninsula (CEFREPA)
The French Research Centre of the Arabian Peninsula (CEFREPA) is a regional research center whose main objective is to promote studies on the Arabian Peninsula as a whole. CEFREPA is part of the “French foreign research institutes” network (Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs & French National Center for Scientific Research – CNRS), with 27 institutions located in more than 30 countries.