||The development of effective photocatalyst for the decomposition of a broad spectrum of pollutants such as organic dyes in wastewater or natural water is of great importance in environmental realm. In this study, nickel molybdate (NiMoO4) with different crystalline-phase and morphologies such as sphere-like, rod-like and hierarchical were successfully synthesized via a surfactant-assisted hydrothermal reaction method. The photocatalytic degradation of the Reactive Yellow 160, as bio-resistant water pollutant, was conducted to investigate the photocatalytic properties of various morphologies of NiMoO4 samples. In summary, the NiMoO4 with alpha-phase crystal structure and rod-like morphology exhibited 2 times higher photocatalytic activity as compared to other synthesized morphologies and 1.5 times higher photocatalytic efficiency than that of commercial nano-ZnO. Furthermore, kinetic analysis confirmed that the degradation of above-mentioned dye follows the Langmuir–Hinshelwood kinetic model. Thus, this study unveils that α-NiMoO4 with rod-like morphology is a promising photocatalyst for environmental applications.