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Image retrieval is one of the most applicable image processing techniques, which has been used extensively. Feature extraction is one of the most important procedures used for interpretation and indexing images in content-based image retrieval systems. Effective storage, indexing and managing a large number of image collections is a critical challenge in computer systems. There are many proposed methods to overcome these problems. However, the rate of accurate image retrieval and speed of retrieval is still an interesting field of research. In this study, the authors propose a new method based on combination of Hadamard matrix and discrete wavelet transform (HDWT) in hue-min-max-difference colour space. An average normalised rank and combination of precision and recall are considered as metrics to evaluate and compare the proposed method against different methods. The obtained results show that the use of HDWT provides better performance in comparison with Haar discrete wavelet transform, colour layout descriptor, dominant colour descriptor and scalable colour descriptor, Padua point and histogram intersection.